Max McDaniels is visiting an art museum with his dad when he spies a mysterious Celtic tapestry - and is soon visited by a Recruiter who wants to whisk Max away to the fantastical Rowan Academy.
©2007 Henry H. Neff; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
Even tough I am only halfway through, I can already say that I enjoy this book a lot, the story flows well, and the plot line is very interesting. The main theme is magic, somehow akin to the Harry Potter world, but yet completely different. Recommended.
The only drawback that I have about this audio version is that at the end of each audio chapter there is a sound like a loud bang followed by 7 seconds of something like static or white noise hiss. Unnerving. This puts me off every time it happens, I have to remove my headphones and curse a couple of times before continuing.
When I first began this series several years ago in print format I hadn't read the Harry Potter books. That was probably a good thing. Many people in these reviews have decried this book as nothing more than a Harry Potter ripoff. As far as this book goes, that is probably true and the similarities run pretty deep. But I'd argue that beginning with the next book the series takes a turn away from the Harry Potter plot line and begins to set itself up as a series in its own right. Stick with the series, the first book takes a little bit of effort, but the remaining books will amaze you.
While the similarity to Hogwarts and Harry Potter is unavoidable, there are enough twists in the story for it to hold its own. Max seems grounded and his relationship with his dad is endearing. The blending of technology, espionage, and old magic makes for a refreshing change from typical wizardry explanations, and the history, art references, and mythology woven throughout educate as well as entertain. The ending begs and pleads for a sequel-- let's hope it comes soon.
I love to read YA fiction, as I have three boys at my house, with whom, I enjoy talking to about books. This one was a great listen. I listened with the boys, and we all enjoyed it and wanted to listen to more. The writing was enjoyable. The characters believable.
This is a wonderful book that is definitely inspired by Harry Potter. So what? Harry Potter is awesome. I was happy with the prospect of revisiting it and my expectations were met and exceeded. Enjoy the reminder of Potter while it lasts (just for this book), because after this book, the series becomes completely its own. The pacing picks up. It's adeptly original. It explores areas of plot that I've simply never seen before (and I know this genre). In short, it gets REALLY interesting and it deserves way more hype than it has received. I should mention as well that the performance takes it to yet another level. He brings it to life. Seriously, why is this not famous? Buy this book and its sequels--you won't regret it.
i was sucked in by the description of a boy who encounters a celtic tapestry and goes to an academy for magic. at the FIVE HOUR point in this eleven hour book and except for the above-described opening set up, there has literally not been a single moment of PLOT. the kid has arrived at school, experienced some third rate potter inspired atmospherics, gone to bed, gotten up for his first full day at school, met some poor potter inspired characters...at the five hour point/halfway mark in the novel!!!! my worst purchase yet...perhaps in the next five hours a story will BEGIN, but i won't be there to find out.
"Well worth getting"
This book is a great read, it's very imaginative and the characters are very vivid. At times it is quite similar to Harry Potter - but I doubt that would be a problem for most people.
I would recommend this book to anyone as it is very well read and engaging.
"Good story, narrator can't do accents"
The narrator can't do accents. Admittedly I am british, which probably makes me more sensitive to mistakes than most, but his attempt at a british accent was awful (think Dick Van Dyke at times). It was bad enough that I couldn't concentrate on what he was saying any more. I liked the story well enough that I think I am going to buy the sequel but it will be on paper not as an audiobook.
I was rather disappointed - I found it to be rather badly written and badly also read. The characters names made me cringe for some reason, maybe it was the accent which I found grated and made the story feel like it was being dragged along by the scruff of it's neck.
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