I’m trying really hard to write book reviews. Short ones, to hold over between Book of the Week posts!
So my goal is to write a small book review for each book that I read, good or bad, and the best book that I read that week will become the Book of the Week post. At least, this will be the plan while I am reading more than one book a week. It’ll also be more ideal because between me and Kat, we can cover WAY more books than we did before!
So get used to WAY more book reviews, and I’m hoping to get better with the movie reviews as well!
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Imagination matters most in a world where art can keep monsters trapped—or set them free.
Lots of twins have a special connection, but twelve-year-old Matt and Emily Calder can do way more than finish each other’s sentences. Together, they are able to bring art to life and enter paintings at will. Their extraordinary abilities are highly sought after, particularly by a secret group who want to access the terrors called Hollow Earth. All the demons, devils, and evil creatures ever imagined are trapped for eternity in the world of Hollow Earth—trapped unless special powers release them.
The twins flee from London to a remote island off the west coast of Scotland in hopes of escaping their pursuers and gaining the protection of their grandfather, who has powers of his own. But the villains will stop at nothing to find Hollow Earth and harness the powers within. With so much at stake, nowhere is safe—and survival might be a fantasy.
I didn’t even realize that John Barrowman had written (well, collaborated) on a book with his sister until I saw the signing that was going on at Once Upon a Time Bookstore. I was able to go meet both John and Carole and get the first book of the Hollow Earth series signed. I also grabbed another copy of the book to be signed, and am giving it away, until August 7th, so check that out here.
Anyway, after I got it, of course I had to actually sit down to read it. And I really enjoyed it. The book is middle grade, not usually what I read, as I stick mostly to young adult literature. However, I do read books like Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, which are considered more of the middle grade novels and I adore John Barrowman, and his sister was equally amazing and hilarious.
The story has a very adventurous story that is easy for any kid, or adult, to get wrapped up in the story. As soon as the book starts, you are completely wrapped in the adventure that Em and Matt are on. They have this wonderful magical world about them, in a world that is so familiar with, which made it feel very much like Percy Jackson. Percy Jackson is about a demi-god, following prophecies from an oracle, on adventures across the United States, with awesome things from myths like centaurs and minotaurs, and Medusa, but with normal every day kid things as well. Hollow Earth accomplished the same sort of kid adventure that any person can wrapped in. The powers that are given to Em and Matt are also very enviable, much the way we feel envy of Percy and Harry. I know that having my imagination as a super power would be SUPER fun.
One thing that really caught me about this series is that Carole doesn’t write down to her audience. She realizes that she is writing directly to a children’s audience but she doesn’t take that and dumb her characters or plot down. I enjoyed it immensely as a twenty-five year old adult because she creates a complex story, an adventure, and the problems and issues she presents are complicated and required critical thinking and inferring. I thought it was awesome that Carole really believes her audience capable enough to keep up with that kind of story because I really do believe kids can keep up with a story like that. Because not only does it make it accessible to kids, but it also really makes it enjoyable for adults as well.
So if you’re fans of those adventure books, with a little mix of fantasy, I definitely recommend this book. It has a similar feel to a Percy Jackson or Harry Potter novel, but it stands very steady on its own and John and Carole have created a very addicting series. I hope to get my hands on Bone Quill very soon, to see what happens to the twins of this novel.
5 out of 5 Stars
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