“A Once Upon A Time story that will enchant all book-lovers from ages nine to ninety. This is the sort of story that us old-hand bookworms used to enjoy under the bedcovers by the light of a torch; it will enthral young new-timers and keep them glued to their e-readers. The concept is brilliant, the writing is superb, and the characters are real – well of course they are! Whether we are readers or writers (or both!), we all know that, like stepping through the back of a wardrobe opening a book transports us into that very real world of Imagination, where belief is suspended and fantastic things happen... Prepare to be transported!
In Janis Pegrum Smith's talented gift for story-telling, Roald Dahl’s magical tales, J.K. Rowling's imagination and Phillip Pullman’s believable alternative existences have met a very serious rival.
If you are stuck for an imaginative gift for adults or teenage readers, give them a copy of The Book Ark – it is destined to become a long-lasting favourite classic to treasure!
I have only one complaint... as an author I wish I had thought of the idea first.
It's hard to write a review for 'The Book Ark' without spoiling it or giving away the story because if you come to it (as I did) with no real idea about what it's about or where it's going to take you then (like me) I am sure you will be hooked quite quickly and won't want to put it down! You can't judge this book by the cover, but it's a rip-roaring adventure story that transcends time and all manner of genres, examines the themes of old vs. new (Digital vs.Traditional), good and evil, the concepts of isolation and belonging, the joy of books reading and writing and all the excitement and magic that they bring.
As an avid reader (I devour at least one novel a week) I found myself completely immersed in this book and the adventure, which in turn gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. It works on many levels (and I've handed my copy to my 10 year old son who I know will enjoy it as much as I did, but in a different way) and is a well-written and well crafted tale that will have you laughing out loud on the train, enjoying the absurdities and ingenuity of the story as well as identifying with Josh - our hero and desperate for the next instalment. I suspect that it will become a modern classic and I would heartily recommend it to anyone between the ages of 9 and 109 who is looking for an intelligent and well written story about writing, books, pirates, mysticism and magic as well as the joys of being an everyday Librarian!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and in all honesty I am no book worm, it is just so well written. Considering I had no idea on the story line before beginning this book I was well and truely submerged into the tale during the first chapter and there was never was there a dull moment in the story. Every chapter was well worded and enjoyable. I definitely recommend this book to anyone of any age! A charming book about family, books, reading, magic and fantasy.
A difficult book to categorise being aimed at older children as well as adults, ‘The Book Ark’ is a wildly imaginative novel and a delightful read. The story is set in a mildly magical, if dystopian, version of the world we inhabit but also in a universe comprised of all the works of fiction ever written. In this multiverse books form a portal between the spheres. Janis Pegrum Smith has managed to combine an allegory about what we should value and are in danger of losing with a highly entertaining plot. This is a book haunted by fiction where the ghosts are the characters created by the imagination of authors. The narrative concerns the quest of a marginalised and solitary nineteen year old bibliophile, Josh, to find his missing grandfather after he inherits his grandfather’s home, the Book Ark, after its owner’s disappearance. It can be read on several levels and works on all of them. To say more would ruin the experience but it is safe to mention that the ending comes as a complete surprise, wrong footing the readers. The ending does however infer that the story will continue. I look forward to the next episode in this magical love affair with books, their inner lives and the ideas and values they engender.
I really enjoyed this highly imaginative and well-planned adventure novel about a parallel universe in which all books are real, librarians call the shots, and authors are immortalised. There's also a touching theme about a lonely boy's search for his missing grandfather, who owns the eponymous Book Ark, which is the stepping stone into this fantasy world.
This is a memorable and engaging novel, which librarians, authors and avid readers everywhere will want to pretend is true. My only qualms about it were the ambivalence of who it's pitched at - it would have great child appeal were it not for the fact that the hero is 19 years - and the missed opportunity to feature a picture of The Book Ark on the cover, which would surely draw in many more readers, and get this book the attention and fanbase that it really deserves. It ought to become a classic, and I'm pleased to see that there are many sequels planned. I for one will be snapping those up as they come out.
Disclosure: I received a free copy from the author in return for an honest review.