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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