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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Ideas Excitingly Written
I picked this book up in a second hand bookshop. I don't remember seeing it on a display anywhere before, which is odd considering how good it is. This is one of those young adult adventures that could be enjoyed by people older (and indeed, younger) than its intended readership.

Endymion Spring is a mute assistant to the great Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of...
Published on 28 Sept. 2009 by Sir Furboy

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Good start...
This book reads like the halves of two promising books: The 15th century story is more gripping but unfinished and sketchy; Blake's story in present day Oxford is closer to a complete story, however, loosely weaved with perhaps too many characters who are shadows of themselves.

Should the book be divided into volumes I and II with more of both the two stories,...
Published on 9 Jan. 2009 by E. Chao


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Ideas Excitingly Written, 28 Sept. 2009
By 
Sir Furboy (Aberystwyth, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Endymion Spring (Paperback)
I picked this book up in a second hand bookshop. I don't remember seeing it on a display anywhere before, which is odd considering how good it is. This is one of those young adult adventures that could be enjoyed by people older (and indeed, younger) than its intended readership.

Endymion Spring is a mute assistant to the great Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the movable type printing press (although the notes in the book give some additional background to that claim). However Gutenberg goes into business with Johann Fust, who has something more diabolical in mind - and thus causes a chain of events that leads to Oxford. Here there are two American children, Blake and Duck, visiting with their mother who is involved in research of the Faust of literature. When a strange book bites Blake in the library, events unfold that span the centuries and lead to a wonderful, mysterious and sometimes terrifying adventure.

This book is fast paced, with good prose and dialogue and a story that had me hooked more or less from the start. It is a book about books, which is always a good one for hooking avid readers. But it is also a book about a boy who is not so keen on books. Maybe that part of teh story does not quite work - but you do feel that Blake is pretty much your average 12 year old, albeit stuck in an odd academic background that he resents.

I liked the interplay in the family. Duck is the annoying perfect little sister. But she is also Blake's friend, and it becomes clear that they love each other despite their normal sibling rivalries. The adults also are not just piece players in this book, but have their own unfolding story.

But ultimately this book is about the mystery: who was Endymion Spring? And what was his legacy?

This is a book I would be happy to recommend to young adults and adults alike. A satisfyingly spooky read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hope springs eternal, 18 April 2006
This review is from: Endymion Spring (Hardcover)
I picked up an uncorrected proof copy of this title in a local charity shop, interested to see what it was about after reading the hype inscribed on the back cover.

This is one of those rare books written for children that can be read and enjoyed by an adult over the course of a couple of afternoons. And enjoyable couple of afternoons they are.

The book takes two stories and follows them. One in present day as a mysterious book of blank pages is discovered, the second way back in 1453 which tells the tale of a mute boy named Endymion Spring.

I will not give anything else away, but this is a very good book, full of mystery and intrigue from page one. Anyone that wants an enjoyable read should put their hand in their pocket now and cough up the cover price. You won't be dissappointed.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good start..., 9 Jan. 2009
By 
E. Chao - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Endymion Spring (Paperback)
This book reads like the halves of two promising books: The 15th century story is more gripping but unfinished and sketchy; Blake's story in present day Oxford is closer to a complete story, however, loosely weaved with perhaps too many characters who are shadows of themselves.

Should the book be divided into volumes I and II with more of both the two stories, it would make better reading.

Some of the descriptive passages (esp. those about the quality of the magical paper) are not so clear on first reading, which seems to indicate an older audience, while the story line is believable for a much younger one.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endymion spring, 19 Mar. 2006
By 
Aaron Gibb (worcester, England.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Endymion Spring (Hardcover)
This book is stunning. It grips from the start. It's great the way it switches between past to present. it keeps the story going. I would recomend this book to anyone (10+ gets a bit harder for anyone under that, riddles etc). I know mather personaly and feel very priveliged to do so.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the rubbishing, 3 May 2006
By 
This review is from: Endymion Spring (Hardcover)
Hm. I feel the reviewer below who gave this one star and a rubbishing is being savagely unjust. Poorly written? I don’t know, perhaps it is indeed poor writing in some parallel universe where Clive Cussler is Tolstoy and everything is upside down in relation to this one. Don’t take me at my word, don’t take “A reader” at his. Pick the book up in a store, leaf through it, read several passages and decide for yourself. As for hype, if I didn’t know the author, I wouldn’t know this book existed. Even it the middle of *Oxford* no bookshop that I noticed even put it on special display, let alone had an author event. I had to specifically look for it in the exact place I figured it would be, and even so I almost missed it.

Oh, Oxford University is being described, who knows why? Might it perhaps not be because that is where half the story takes place? There’s too much detail? No, there’s as much detail as is needed for credible and interesting descriptions of where, how, who and why. From that review, one would think the book is crammed with throwaway trivia. “Random Name (1802-1891)“ for example, is there because that precise inscription is what the character sees (and it gets important later on). It is not the kind of detail that looks out of place or jarring. The prose “reads like an academic essay”?… [mirthless laughter] Oh, if only academic essays were like that; perhaps I would have emerged from my own Oxford ordeal with rather more sanity than I did.

The first one hundred pages introduce us to both stories, the other one taking place (mostly) in Mainz in the 15the century, and the two eventually come together. The two stories are picked up in turn throughout the book, not divided between two halves. “Only one major plot point,” the mysterious blank book, is what the narrative is about. How many plots should one book have?

“Adults talking to children as academics to one another”… OK, this criticism I actually completely agree with. Such dialogue bothered me when I was reading it. Then again, I would not put it past some Oxford academics to converse like that with children, hamsters or lampposts, so it’s not such an improbability after all, and it makes up only a small portion of the dialogue. I also agree that Blake seems surprisingly literate for a kid that doesn’t like to read, and it irked me that his sister is portrayed rather unsympathetically. There are other bits I would have preferred to have been done differently, but this is Matthew’s story. And it’s a pretty good one. It’s not an Earth-shattering masterpiece, but by God it’s certainly not a one-star heap of rubbish. Nor would I ever in a billion years use the words “boring” or “dry” to describe it, or its author. It's well worth the money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Endymion Spring, 8 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Endymion Spring (Paperback)
A book that envelopes you and takes you into prerenaissance Europe while providing an engaging parallel 21st Century tale.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Read!, 21 Jan. 2007
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Endymion Spring (Hardcover)
This book reminded me in some ways of Shadow of the Wind. Also, it has aspects of LOTR; in this case it's a book that holds the key to everything. I loved the references to Goblin Market which is my long time favourite poem. The way the history of printing was brought into the story line without becoming stuffy was ingenious. The descriptions of libraries and bookstores evoked some wonderful imagery, and I could have wept when Blake (the main character) loses the book that he wanted to buy for his mum. I was gripped from the very first pages and hope I'm right in thinking that there is a sequel to come. If you are a lover of myths and legends, suspense, dark secrets, ancient books and good v evil, then this book is a must have for you. Written for 10 year olds but definitely not to be missed out on by adults!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The originality is stifled by the flat writing, 22 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Endymion Spring (Paperback)
For a book with such original ideas in it, the execution is peculiarly flat. Skelton seems more interested in setting up location and places than he is in building up character or sustaining plot tension and the novel really suffers for it. Some sections are plainly overwritten and I feel that the book would have benefitted from a good pruning, aimed at refocusing on the two main characters and their story, rather than the story of the people around them. Puffin is to be commended for the inventiveness of the layout to the book - using different coloured pages for the different segments and experimenting with different fonts, although as an older reader with poor eyesight, I'd have liked the gothic script to be a little more legible as I found those bits difficult to read.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two wonderful stories in one, 27 April 2006
By 
Minax (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Endymion Spring (Hardcover)
This book is gripping, moving, utterly original and altogether marvelous. Skelton's prose is a joy to read, and there are many nicely quirky turns of phrase. Such as:

"'How... cute.' She chose the word rather like a candy, which she bit."

One of the most striking achievements of Endymion Spring is the skill with which Skelton has created a different tone and feel for his two interleaved narratives. The breadth of his background knowledge is clearly evident in the plotline set in medieval Mainz, and helps to lend a solidity and conviction to the vivid, rather dreamlike story of the young printer's devil Endymion.

The young protagonists of the modern day story, Blake and Duck, are both wonderful creations, and the interactions between them are absolutely spot on. The precocious Duck is a particularly loveable mixture of the maddening and the vulnerable, but it is a refreshing touch that her older brother Blake, the 'reluctant reader', becomes the hero of this tale about the book of books. In a world where adults frequently make judgments about what material may be 'harmful' for children to read, it is also a nice twist to have guardianship of this most dangerous of books placed the hands of a child since the adult world cannot be trusted with it.

Many scenes linger in the mind, but I shall not describe them in too much detail for fear of spoiling the enjoyment of other readers. Let us just say I was particularly struck by the fleeting appearance of a very unusual dragon, the ominous jollity of the 'Day of the Dead' and the escalating menace of the scenes near the end in which Blake and Duck approach their goal...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good and bad, 27 Aug. 2007
By 
Wyvernfriend (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Endymion Spring (Paperback)
The story of an American child in the libraries of Oxford finding a mysterious book that bites and then starts telling him things, is a brilliant premise. Throughout the book it showed promise and then fell flat. There never really seemed to be a serious sense of menace or fear in the story and it just never made me yearn for more.

The author has promise and the way the book is laid out is brilliant. The chapters in the past have a grey edge that makes them stand out but the font used elsewhere is hard to make out in places. The reproduction of some pages from other books is interesting but jars when the text of the page is repeated.

An interesting story that could have been great but ended up being a bit meh.
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Endymion Spring
Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton (Paperback - 1 Feb. 2007)
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