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The Emerald Atlas:The Books of Beginning 1 Hardcover – 14 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Childrens (14 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857530186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857530189
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 458,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

With more than a nod to J K Rowling and C S Lewis, there are orphans, wicked witches, dwarves and dark magic aplenty in Random House's major new fantasy series, which is getting a big global launch. (Fiona Noble The Bookseller 2011-01-28)

The Emerald Atlas is a magical roller-coaster of a read as three siblings discover an old leather book that unlocks a powerful prophecy and enables them to move through time and different worlds. (Vanessa Lewis The Bookseller 2011-01-28)

...Bologna's most talked about book. First in a trilogy from US screenwriter John Stephens, it is jam packed with fantasy staples such as dwarves, wizards, orphans and prophecies, and will be backed with a major marketing campaign. (Fiona Noble The Bookseller 2011-01-28)

Ambitious, entertaining, magical and whimsical, this marks a strong beginning to a new trilogy,

invoking just a little Harry Potter and Series of Unfortunate Events along the way.

(Realms of Fantasy magazine, USA 2011-02-28)

It's bright and energetic and has some exciting set pieces. (Patrick Ness The Guardian 2011-05-14)

Book Description

The first thrilling book in the most exciting children's fantasy series since Harry Potter. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Purkiss VINE VOICE on 11 April 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
... but I wasn't. This is one of those books which really illustrates the folly of trying to cross over between children and adults. An adult reader who picks it up will probably sigh - so many of the elements are familiar. A lonely orphan boy with glasses that keep getting into trouble (check: Harry Potter), and two other orphans (check: the Baudelaires from Lemony Snicket) one a responsible older sister (check: Violet Baudelaire) with a feisty younger sister (check: Sunny Baudelaire), some dwarfs (check: Tolkien), an older wizard figure (check: Dumbledore, Gandalf), a mean sorceress (check: Narnia) and the pressing need to save the world (just about everything). Pace the blurb on the back, I can't see much of Philip Pullman here, except the time travel between quantum worlds. The writing is workmanlike, and the only jarring element is perhaps the rather primary-school urge to use speech modifiers - and I'm with Elmore Leonard on this one. (Don't use speech modifiers, he admonished gravely.) It ends on a cliffhanger, and so does every chapter, just as books like How To Write a Bestseller instruct. The unusual element is the eponymous magic book, which seems to refer back to the emerald tablet of Hermes Trismegistus.

So much for my sour, crabbed, middle-aged views, which you should now forget, because what is much more important is that the eleven-year-old could hardly be physically parted from the book until she had finished it. She now writes:

This book gets more and more exciting, every page has another revelation. I only have one bad thing to say about this book which is that it has a few too many speech modifications and adverbs for my liking. [She's channelling me here, I fear.] However I love this book and I think it ends in a very interesting way.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. J. Jones on 22 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While this book certainly has not the depth of Pullman or Lewis, nor the engaging characters of Rowling, it is certainly entertaining and a good read. Siblings Kate, Michael and Emma are abandoned by their parents in mysterious circumstances and spend their formative years in a series of orphanages. However, when they arrive in the mystical town of Cambridge Falls to live with the eccentric Dr Pym things suddenly start to happen. Finding an old book in the odd house in which they now live, Kate realises there is something strange about it and that other people are interested in finding it. A series of adventures ensue, involving time travel, dwarves and witchcraft, bringing the children up against the evil forces of the Countess and her elusive Master.

The pace is rapid and the action nailbiting, vividly told with all the discomforts of the dangerous quest on which they embark. The characters are well rounded and the language is appropriate for the age group to which it is aimed. It ends well, tying up enough loose ends to satisfy yet leaving enough leads into the next book, and has a nice balance between right and wrong. Very promising.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Wilson TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The publishers blurb states that The Emerald Atlas is the next Harry Potter however I think that this book stands out on it's own. If I did have to compare the book/author to any others then yes I could find similarities between them and the likes of C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, Philip Pullman's Golden Compass/Northern Lights and of course Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events however I think that could be said about any book in the same genre and does not give the book/author the credit they deserve. Would I recommend this book? Answer: A definite YES.

I don't want to go into the book in too much detail and ruin it for anyone so will keep it brief.... The book is about three siblings, Kate 14, Michael 12 and Emma 11 who since they were little have been passed between orphanage to orphanage until they end up at Dr Stanislaus Pym's house in Cambridge Falls. It is here that the adventure begins for the children involving a strange book, the people of Cambridge Falls, a witch called Countess Tatiana Serena Alexandra Ruskin, Morum Cadi (Deathless Warriors) otherwise known as Screechers, Gabriel Kitigna Tessouat of the Anishinaabe and Dwarves to name just a few.

It was non stop magical time travelling action from start to finish and has everything you could ask for from a book of this genre. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and quite honestly could not put it down. The author (John Stephens) has wrote a book that will not only appeal to the children's/teen market but I think will also appeal to the adult's among us who still enjoy reading this genre of books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kulsuma at sunshine and stardust on 11 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens seemed like it would be great from the blurb and the cover, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. There was no need to worry however, as I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe it to be an extraordinary fantasy adventure that middle-grade children will especially love.

It starts off as Kate, a four year old girl, is shaken awake in the middle of the night by her mother who tells her to look after her two younger siblings, Michael and Emma. She also tells her she loves them and that they will all be together again one day.

Fast forward ten years and Kate, Michael and Emma are on their way to the latest in a string of orphanages. The orphanage is in the puzzling town of Cambridge Falls and is run by the strange Dr Pym. When the children find a mysterious and magical book, they set off a chain of dangerous events into motion as their time-travelling rewrites the pages of history.

The Emerald Atlas was action-packed, suspenseful and humorous. I loved following Kate, Michael and Emma as they went from one danger to another; from finding friends and allies to standoffs with their deadly enemy; The Countess. I felt like I was really there with them because Stephens' descriptions were so fantastically vivid. I especially loved his descriptions of the creatures in the book as they were eloquent and thus I was able to imagine it clearly.

Kate was the one with the most responsibility on her shoulders. She was constantly watching out for her siblings, out of love and in remembrance of the promise she made to her mother. Michael loved reading, learning facts and had an obsession over dwarves. Emma always tried to act the bravest, but she was also the youngest and thus, at times, only had a brave face on.
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