Review: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

From Goodreads: Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.

Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.

Until now.

Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world…a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.

The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma’s extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into The Emerald Atlas. I know I want to read more MG fiction because I generally enjoy it, but one thing I do not enjoy at all is time travel. I know enough about quantum physics (yeah nerd I know) to be annoyed with all of the mistakes that authors normal make when they base their time travel on a theory that we already are researching. The magical aspect that The Emerald Atlas uses is a fantastic way to utilize time travel. I truly enjoyed the idea of putting a photograph in a book and then traveling back to that exact moment.

The three children in the book, Kate, Michael and Emma each have a strong and different personality. It’s hard to have a clear favorite but I think I enjoyed Emma’s spunk the most. For three children who know they have parents alive and are moved from orphanage to orphanage because their parents gave them up, the kids are fantastically not whiny and very self assured. They believe in the love their parents have for them.

John Stephens writing is amazing. I loved all of the little quirks of the novel and his use of language. It made the book all the more fantastical. Stephens has all of the right stuff to be the Rowling or Pullman of this new generation.

The side characters you meet along the way really make this novel even more grand. Gabriel the ruffian, and many more mythical creatures that I don’t wish to name for fear of spoiling the book for you. All in all I think this is an amazing new book and I am anticipating the second one as if I were a child!

Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book. It is not a spoiler and I think gives you a good use of language. To set the scene, this is the husband of a woman who is obsessed with swans, she has live swans, a swan hat, swan shaped couch, swan statues and well you get the picture:

And so it was one night near the beginning of December, while sitting before the fire with her husband, Mr Lovestock–who took a vacation by himself every summer supposedly to collect beetles, but actually to hunt swans at a private reserve in Florida, blasting them at near-point-blank range with a mad grin on his face–so it was that Mrs. Lovestock sat up on the swan-shaped couch where she had been knitting and announced. “Gerald, I am going to adopt some children.”

John Stephens is going to be signing at Hicklebee’s in San Jose on April 6th at 3pm. If you can’t make that and want a book signed and personalized for you or your little one just click the link and give Hicklebee’s a call, they will hook you up.

You can click here to read the first chapter.

Book Trailer: one of the best I have ever seen:

FTC Disclosure: This book was given to me by a publicist at a conference. She was right this book is awesome

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Interview: Emma from Deception

Pam:Are you anxiously awaiting seeing your parents and brother again?

Emma:Well … Max … it’s not like we’re best friends, but he is my brother and I am kind of worried about him. And my parents have some serious explaining to do. You don’t disappear for weeks and then drop a bombshell like that note they left me. At least now I know they’re alive, I just have no idea what they’re up to. You know how you’re always wishing that your parents would leave you alone? It’s not as good as it sounds.

Pam:Are you hoping to find a way around the rules so that you can be with Bennett?

Emma:Yes! But it’s not as easy as just breaking the rules. He could lose his powers, and I don’t want to take that from him. What if he’s not the same without them?

Pam:Natalie. Friend or foe?

Emma:Sometimes she bugs the heck out of me, other times I think she’s the best friend I’ve ever had.

Pam:Anxious about your meeting with the Knell?

Emma:A little. Mostly I’m pissed off about the way they’ve treated me and plan to let them know.

Pam:Are you planning to research why you have so many similarities with your ancestor?

Emma:It’s not like I can google it. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’m hoping the Knell will have some answers.

Pam:The end of the book gave us a kind of shocker. How are you processing that information?

Emma:I’ve always had issues with trust. This isn’t helping. Not sure I have processed it yet.

Pam:Did you get a new phone or are you still using the purple dinosaur?

Emma:Purple dinosaur, thanks for reminding me. Praying there’s a new phone in my immediate future.

Pam:Will you be returning to the museum and the prep school or moving on somewhere else?

Emma:Right now, I’m still in Bennett’s museum and at Thatcher. It’s hard to know what will happen next.

Pam:Will you be asking Bennett the hard questions. Like how did he get guardian forms for you?

Emma:The more I learn about the Knell, the less surprised I am Bennett had those papers.

Pam:How does it feel knowing you are like super ghost keeper?

Emma:I feel special, terrified, powerful, and humbled all at the same time.

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Review: Deception Haunting Emma 1 by Lee Nichols

From GoodReads: When Emma Vaile’s parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age “knight in J.Crew armor,” Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.

After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can’t shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can’t explain, as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Emma doesn’t trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he’s about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.

Deception is a fantastic start to a new series. Nichols takes the lore of ghost hunting and taming and turns it into a well organized secret society that takes care of pesky ghosts.

Emma is your average high school student who is going through some things at school and with her best friend when her parents decide to go antique hunting for an undetermined amount of time. The social services finds out she has been living pretty much alone and take her into custody.

A friend of Emma’s brother comes to take her before she goes into foster care and takes her to his museum house where the servants are ghosts. Freaked out and not knowing what her talents are Emma has a hard time fitting in at her new posh private school.

I loved the elements that Nichols put into the book and the way she used the lore of ghosts and other creepy things. This is a definite must read if you enjoy really fun paranormal with like-able well fleshed out characters.

If you liked Hearts at Stake or Hex Hall you will love Haunting Emma! Check out the blog to win your own copy of Deception, and my interview with Emma!

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