Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
David Michael Slater
know how at the dreaded age of thirteen, we all go a little
"flooey?" We go from depressions to anger in a second
flat. Our parents are no longer the people we love, they're the
"old codgers" who just don't remember what it was like to
be a kid? Oh yeah...you know what I mean. Well...if you
think YOU had it tough, you will be amazed at the ancient mystery
full of horrifying creatures and strange languages that are thrust
upon the main characters of this Young Adult page-turner.
Dexter and Daphna Wax are twins. Today is their thirteen birthday, and what a birthday it will be. Their father is returning home after a summer-long treasure hunt where he went across the globe to search for books. Yes, their father is an Indiana Jones, type, who scouts for ancient books across the land. Oddly enough, when he arrives back home the day before his kids' birthday, Milton Wax (AKA Dad) carries with him a thin, metal book that seems to have been put through every major catastrophic weather-pattern a book could go through. It is very, very old, and the odd words seem to float across the pages...moving; mysterious lines of type that change right in front of a person's eyes.
Daphna is so happy that her father has returned. She's spent her whole summer hanging out in the ABC (Antiquarian Book Center) that was opened inside an old, abandoned warehouse in her small town. Every book on its millions of shelves are books relating to magic. Everything from how to decipher talismans and amulets, to ancient books of spells, and biographies of the greatest witches and wizards who ever lived. Now, don't think of this as a new Harry Potter. This bookstore is filled with the type of creepiness that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up on end. Daphna rushes her father over to the bookstore to see why she enjoys the place so much. While there, Dad hopes to sell his new, strange book for a good price.
As they enter the store, they are met with Emmett - a tall, gaunt, haggared looking boy whose eyes are as red as the Devil's. He is constantly in the store crouched over a huge book that lays on the front counter, and Daphna wishes she could find out what, in that ledger, is so interesting to the strange looking and surly young man. Soon, they are whisked into the center of the store and sit down with a creepy old man called Rash whose eyes are ghost white and cloudy; a blind man who will do anything to see through someone elses' eyes.
This story is so fast-paced and thrilling that you will hang on every word. Not to mention, you won't be able to wait for Volume II to see how the story continues. There are 'Pops' in town - the popular kids who like to use the ones who want more than anything to be a part of the group; the Seven Dwarves at the Rest Home in town that Daphna reads to who have a secret past that intermingles with her own future; a group of hostile boys who want nothing more than to scare Dex to his very core; and a housekeeper/assistant named Latty who knows far more than the twins can possibly imagine about this strange puzzle from the past, and how it relates to their deceased mother who turns out to have been thousands of years old when she died.
I was so giddy about this story that I want more than anything to tell every plot twist...it's that good! However, it's so good that I want you to experience the excitement for yourself. I want you to sit in the candle-lit cubby hole with Rash and figure out why he's chanting and why a blind man can see words on a page. I want you to hear about The First Tongue; where it came from and what it's used for. And I want you to follow Emmet into the Clearing after Dex and find out why his eyes are blood-red (no...he's not a vampire. Nothing in this book is what you will believe it to be.)
Also, side note, the author is absolutely wonderful with words. If you read my reviews, you know that my favorite smell is "new book." I love the fact that I'm opening a new adventure and diving in with every ounce of my imagination with the writer. In this book, the author lets me know that Daphna's favorite smell is "old book smell." His young character loves the nose-tingling scent of old books that smell of "worn leather and threadbare cloth...crinkled pages stained by countless fingers...the smell of Time...the smell of people's lives" make her feel alive. I loved that. I also loved the fact that Dex has no sense of direction (and the reason why) as he walks aimlessly through the town. He never worries about getting lost because "you can't miss what you don't aim for." These are the lines of a true writer and one I am now a great admirer of.
So, I will end this "five-star" review with what was my absolutely favorite line. Daphna loves books and she thinks at one point how, "you could learn absolutely anything in the world if you'd just had the right words in the right order." Well, guys and gals, this writer DEFINITELY had the right words in the right order! You should be very jealous of me right now. I'm off to read Volume II. You go out and buy Volume I, you won't be disappointed.
Until Next Time,