I actually read a middle grade book. I know, I'll give you a minute to recover. For some reason, middle grade just does not appeal to me. I haven't had a lot of great experiences with current middle grade reads. The classics, of course, appeal to me, but the contemporary middle grade fiction just doesn't do it for me. I picked this one up because it had comparisons to Narnia, and I was in the mood for a light fantasy. Here's the publisher description:
Called “A new Narnia for the tween set” by the New York Times and perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials series, The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.Writing
These three siblings 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.
Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey through time 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.
I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of Stephens' writing. The description from the publisher draws a comparison to Narnia, but I really think the author has done a great job of creating his own unique fantasy world. For a middle grade read, I think the character development is also done well, and I fell in love with the setting.
Again, I was impressed. If this series was finished, I would definitely keep going with it. Unfortunately, it seems as if the second book ends with a major cliffhanger and there is no title or publication date for the third. Once I see that there's at least a planned ending to the series, I'll definitely keep reading.
The narrator did a fine job. Nothing negative to say, but no raves either.
I recommend giving it a try if you're a fan of middle grade or young adult fantasy. The relationship between the three siblings is so touching and I think the author has really got an original story line going.