There's a reason I stray outside of my normal reading genres on occasion. By doing so, I find gems like The Unseen Chronicles of Amelia Black by A. G. R. Moore. This book was brought to my attention by a friend of the author, and I said I'd be happy to read and review it. Young Adult/Children's fantasy isn't something I normally read, as my own kids are well past that age. But Moore put together a delightful story that should be appealing for kids, and added characters that made it a fun read for this adult.
Amelia Black is a well-to-do little girl, living in a large mansion with the family butler, Dawson. Her parents were often off on adventures, but their last one ended tragically as they went missing. Amelia was crushed by their loss, and her life was a grey existence with little purpose or excitement. All that comes to an end one night when a wise-cracking pixie (*not* a fairy) named Sid makes an appearance in her bedroom, and he transports Amelia and Dawson to an audience with the King of the Unseen Light. It's there that she sees things beyond anything she could ever imagine, and finds she has special powers *because* of her imagination. But the Unseen world is in crisis, and only someone with Amelia's skills can prevent the Unseen Darkness from taking over. Furthermore, she might also find the answer as to what happened to her parents. So with many questions and far fewer answers, she heads off on her quest, accompanied by Sid, Dawson, two robots (Towser and Boris), a professor named Sullivan, and a Wolpertinger named Gargh (which is really a quite useful word). At the end awaits evil powers that will stop at nothing to eliminate Amelia and take over the Kingdom forever.
I'll admit I really thought I'd be reviewing this from a somewhat detached perspective, trying to put myself into the shoes of the "target audience" in order to appreciate it. But once Sid made his early appearance in the book, I was hooked. The dialogue between the characters is snappy and consistent with their roles, and I found myself reading "just one more chapter" until I finished the book. Although the PDF file says 238 pages, the text is double-spaced with a few well-done illustrations scattered throughout. This would be a perfect book for a teacher to read to her class, a parent to read to a child past the age of 5'ish, or an adult who just wants to escape into a cute fantasy for an afternoon.
Moore is writing a continuation to The Unseen Chronicles, and I'll be honest... I really want to read it. : Just because I'm 50 doesn't mean I've grown up completely. This was definitely worth reading, and I hope Moore goes on to do many more adventures such as these.
Obtained From: Author