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Zachary Pill, Of Monsters and Magic (The Zachary Pill series - book 1 in the wizard dragon epic fantasy) by [Gill, Amanda, Tim Greaton]
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Zachary Pill, Of Monsters and Magic (The Zachary Pill series - book 1 in the wizard dragon epic fantasy) Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 185 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1584 KB
  • Print Length: 185 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Focus House Publishing (5 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00760XIX8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,245,396 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
There are lots of books out there that feature a kid who's different who finds out he has magical abilities and then learns he is being hunted by a villain and has to figure out how to survive, fight back, and save some family member. I'm good with that.

Here's what I ask - The magical world has to be coherent but not overly complicated. The magical world has to have at least some clever and imaginative unique aspects, but it shouldn't be so busy, precious or twee that the world building and the scene setting overwhelm the story. For middle graders I like a straightforward threat and quest and adventure, not some twisted or creepy psychological thriller. If you're with me so far, rest assured that this book meets all of those requirements.

But of course, since you're going to spend some time reading the book I at least also want some agreeable companions, a few thrills, some suspense, and a few chuckles. Again, if anything, that is this book's strongest suit. Our hero Zach is smart and independent but also confused and vulnerable. He's a decent kid in a tough spot who's putting things together as best he can. Fine. As this book develops, (it's the first of three), he gathers a posse of friends and allies, and encounters some enemeies. He runs across a lot of supporting characters. The friends have been well thought out, complement Zach's strengths and weaknesses, and add a lot to the story themselves. The villains are more stock, but that's O.K.. The secondary characters really shine, and there are at least a half-dozen who are interesting enough, funny enough, or just odd enough to deserve much more page time.

All of this is good. The pacing is brisk but not headlong. Descriptions are adequate but not excessive.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am sure that there are plenty of people who have children and keep secrets from them but I can't believe that this is the case when someone is out to kill your entire family. This is only of the annoying aspects of this book. Obviously this book is written for younger people but in my experience that doesn't mean uncritical minds. Even my 6 year old would question how a loving mother could just abandon her child and wonder why a powerful wizard would fail to tell their son anything, especially when lack of knowledge could then cause huge problems and by this I mean the opening premise of the book.

There are many good things about this story. The characterisation is well done and the energy and excitement are constant but the lack of internal logic is at the best distracting and at times made me want to shout at the author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x928d2708) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9549cbe8) out of 5 stars Excitement for everyone!!! :-D 9 Nov. 2012
By Vonda Norwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Thank you, Tim! I was in a big grumpy mood before reading "Zachary Pill". My frown quickly turned to a grin and then big happy smile!!! This is a fun-fun adventure story and wonderful series!!!

Conflicts, mystery, peer and family issues mixed with magical fears and hopes with promise of survival and conquering.. makes for an exciting adventure - no matter your age!!! I'd recommend this series to anyone who wants to have a fantastic time!!!

And yes, I would definitely read more from this author, he knows how to give a reader a supremely exciting time!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9549cc00) out of 5 stars It's like a second childhood for this great grandmother 13 May 2012
By GNanaB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm a great grandmother and reading a fantasy book is totally out of character for me, but my grandson insisted that I should read this and that I would like it. I'm shocked but pleased to say he was absolutely right.

In this day and age of bullying, it's not surprising to learn that a boy with natural green hair would be bullied, and Zachary Pill is that boy. I immediately felt bad for him, because his mother abandoned him and his father several years earlier, and he sees his father as a non-confrontational wimp. But that all changes when Zachary gets badly beaten up at school and needs to be transported to the hospital. Suddenly, his father becomes assertive as he rushes Zachary all the way from Boston to Chicago where his son can be cared for in a truly bizarre clinic. Doctor Gefarg turns out to be especially mean and apparently doesn't care for Zachary or his father, but Nurse Nightshade is just the opposite and is quite nice. At this point, the story takes unbelievable twists and turns starting with bats attacking their Boston apartment and Zachary being forced to move to New Hampshire with a filthy hoarder woman called Madame Kloochie.

I could go on and on about the creativity and sheer fun of this story, but suffice it to that as wacky as the characters are (and there are a lot of them) they all seem like real people, not characters on a page. I was surprised how much I enjoyed and related to nearly everyone Zachary meets in his new neighborhood. Robin, the girl next door, and Bret, the sickly boy across the street, are especially nice, and even Gerald, the Wacky old man who is always on his roof next door, is great. And when Gerald fell off his roof, that was a hilarious scene. What surprised me the most was how at first you think Madame Kloochie is mean, but soon you come to realize the things she does to Zachary actually give him confidence and probably even help him to unlock some survival skills. Unfortunately, as Zachary learns more about his family's magical past, he seems to get into deeper trouble.

Without giving away too much, if you want a story that zooms along and makes you see and feel everything with the characters along the way, then this is a book you really need to try. This is one great grandmother who is hooked on this series and this author.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94a78054) out of 5 stars Well Plotted, Brisk, Suspenseful, Imaginative and Surprisingly Funny 12 Mar. 2016
By Pop Bop - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are lots of books out there that feature a kid who's different who finds out he has magical abilities and then learns he is being hunted by a villain and has to figure out how to survive, fight back, and save some family member. I'm good with that.

Here's what I ask - The magical world has to be coherent but not overly complicated. The magical world has to have at least some clever and imaginative unique aspects, but it shouldn't be so busy, precious or twee that the world building and the scene setting overwhelm the story. For middle graders I like a straightforward threat and quest and adventure, not some twisted or creepy psychological thriller. If you're with me so far, rest assured that this book meets all of those requirements.

But of course, since you're going to spend some time reading the book I at least also want some agreeable companions, a few thrills, some suspense, and a few chuckles. Again, if anything, that is this book's strongest suit. Our hero Zach is smart and independent but also confused and vulnerable. He's a decent kid in a tough spot who's putting things together as best he can. Fine. As this book develops, (it's the first of three), he gathers a posse of friends and allies, and encounters some enemeies. He runs across a lot of supporting characters. The friends have been well thought out, complement Zach's strengths and weaknesses, and add a lot to the story themselves. The villains are more stock, but that's O.K.. The secondary characters really shine, and there are at least a half-dozen who are interesting enough, funny enough, or just odd enough to deserve much more page time.

All of this is good. The pacing is brisk but not headlong. Descriptions are adequate but not excessive. The hero has to be confused but not the reader, and the author does an excellent job of keeping the reader up to speed and in the know on what's going on without throwing down loads of exposition. There are some very funny set pieces, a lot of snappy dialogue, a few surprisingly touching moments and some actually suspenseful action bits.

So, I count this as a happy find for a younger reader just getting into this style of magical adventure, and a nice addition to the shelf. (Please note that I found this book a while ago while browsing Amazon Kindle freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94a78078) out of 5 stars Bats! ...and Madame Koochie 26 Dec. 2012
By CJ Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantasy--and in particular, young adult fantasy--isn't my favorite genre. But Tim Greaton's characters were just fun to get to know. He has a talent for characterization, something I know is very difficult to do right. Madame Koochie is a hoot!

In a matter of hours, young Zachary Pill finds his life shattered. Everything he knows to be a fact may not be so. His weakling of a father may be the strongest being on earth--and beyond! His love for plants may be more than a simple interest in horticulture. And bats! Vicious and nasty flying bats attack him for seemingly no reason. But perhaps these sorts of things often happen to kids with naturally green hair.

Let's just call the book an imagination overload and a good time was had by all. If you are looking for lighthearted fantasy fun, check out Zachary Pill and his strange family. No bad language, "adult" situations, or graphic violence.

This installment gets you into the world and introduces you to the Pill family. If you find you like it, there are other books in the series. You can buy the three books in an omnibus trilogy set for less than buying the other two individually. (That is what I'm about to do.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94a78408) out of 5 stars zippy teen fiction 26 Mar. 2013
By Barbara Raguso - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book, I was amused by the characters. But I felt the book was too short. It seemed to end in the middle of everything.
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