Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

I got an advanced copy of The Emerald Atlas in the mail the other day. It's a young adult fantasy novel about three orphans who find a magic book.

My feelings on this novel are somewhat mixed. On the one hand, I enjoyed reading the book. The plot was reasonably exciting and fairly fast paced once it got moving. The premise was bit shaky in spots; in ancient times wizards made three super powerful magical books, any one of which could grant near god-like powers, but somehow their city was destroyed by Alexander the Great, and the books were lost. I know if I had those three books, it would take a lot more than Alexander the Great to stop me.

The main problem with the book is the language. I've read plenty of books written for teens and even children. For many of them, I wouldn't know they were written for younger people if it didn't say so in the book.  This is not one of those books. This is one of those books where the language is dumbed down, sometimes to an almost condescending level.

This isn't a bad book, but it's not all that great either. I might be tempted to pick up the rest of the series, but the author really needs to learn not to talk down to his readers.