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review 2016-05-30 18:22
The Secrets of Droon: The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet
The Secrets of Droon, Volume 1 - Tony Abbott

Seems similar to the Magic Tree House books. I've only read one, but I'd guess the series is the kids returning to Droon over and over helping solve problems in the land (though maybe there's occasional crossover from Droon into this world?). Nothing really stood out to me as being really interesting or original in this first book, but the eight-year-old likes them.

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text 2015-01-12 01:47
[Cover Characteristic] Sand


This Week's Characteristic: Sand

Cover Characteristic is a weekly meme hosted by Sugar & Snark.

 


 

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review 2014-02-20 02:50
The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (The Secrets of Droon, #1) by Tony Abbott
The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet - Tony Abbott,Tim Jessell

Unlike most of the other children's books and series I've been reviewing recently, I never read The Secrets of Droon as a child; as a matter of fact, I'd never heard of the series until a few years ago. But I'm glad I finally got around to checking it out; if The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet is any indication, it's going to be quite the fun, creative series.

So far, the story seems to revolve around your typical fantasy and kidlit cliches: the boy-girl-boy trio of heroic children, the Faux Action Girl who's really little more than a Damsel in Distress, the good wizard who doesn't actually seem to help much, and the evil Lord Scaryname who commands both powerful magic and hordes of monsters. On the other hand, it offers glimpses of some far more fascinating elements.

For one thing, the world-building is quite interesting. It's the kind of creative that I'm rather inclined to simply call "wacky". One of the characters is a "spider troll"--that is, he's a giant tarantula with a human head--while the gang's transportation is a six-legged bison named Appa six-legged camel named Leep. There's a definite sense of whimsy to the world-building that I like; it's throwing your typical fantasy elements--doors to other realms, flying carpets, invisibility cloaks--in with mix-and-match critters and a setting that isn't just your typical knockoff Medieval Europe.

 

But by far the most interesting thing about the Doon series at this point is that it seems to run on some kind of Law of Equal Exchange. As the wizard explains it, "For every object left [in Droon], a thing from Droon will appear in [the kids'] world." Nothing seems to come of this in The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet, but I'm excited to see what Abbott does with it in later books.

I'm not quite comfortable yet recommending this series to any particular audience--for all I know, it could completely change course over the next few books--but I'll definitely be reading more. It's certainly piqued my interest.

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review 2014-01-08 07:52
Book Review: The Forbidden Stone
The Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone - Tony Abbott

After reading two uninspiring MG books for the last couple of weeks, I thought that The Forbidden Stone would be no better especially that the blurb said, “Rick Riordan meets Dan Brown in this exhilarating and adventurous new tween series from beloved and bestselling author Tony Abbott.” And you know what usually happens when a book is marketed as “the next blah blah” or “this book is a cross between PJO and the DaVinci Code.” The latter made things more complicated because I happen to love Rick Riordan and Dan Brown’s works and I really hate to be disappointed. Fortunately, this book delivered. It may not be as brilliant as the Robert Langdon or the PJO series, it managed to hold on its own.

 

The story of The Forbidden Stone began when Wade and Darell received a strange coded message from their enigmatic uncle, Henry. After deciphering the message, weird things are suddenly happening and before they knew it, Wade, Darell, Roald (their father), Lily (their cousin) and Becca were already drag into a 500 year old guarded secret that might just be the undoing of the world. And they must hurry to ensure that the said secret–which has already claimed lives–will remain one forever.

 

I love that this book lived up to its blurb. Though the characters still need some polishing, I can’t deny the fact that they’re adorable. Wade and Darell are stepbrothers but they’re really close which is kind of rare in books these days because most authors would follow the other path wherein they pit step siblings against each other. Then we also have the two girls who were not the so-so heroines and actually contributed to solve and protect the mystery of The Forbidden Stone. Even the antagonists were believable and kudos to Tony Abbott for making the main villain a female.

 

The other thing that really made this book stood out from the rest is that both parents of the MCs are alive. And Wade and Darell’s father is even accompanying them in their adventure. Get that, pals? No missing parents and you get to see one of the parents playing a significant role in the whole story. And the relationship between the characters was really cute despite the fact that it still requires more growth and dynamicity. But I guess, the author really intended to do that so there’s plenty of space to elaborate the character relationships in the next 5 books.

 

The Forbidden Stone’s plot also stayed true to its premise. If you love Astronomy and unearthing its hidden secrets then this is the perfect book for you. But if you don’t, you will still love this because it has a lot of humor, fast paced with a lot of action, mind boggling puzzles and you get to travel from Texas-Germany-Paris-Rome-Guam hunting centuries old relics and understanding the movements of the stars. Plus, the author didn’t resort to info dumping when he explained the sci-fi elements of this book. Instead, he slowly walked me through this astronomy business giving me time to process all the new things that were thrown my way. Reading The Forbidden Stone was refreshing because the plot was intricately made which is phenomenal for an MG book. I mean, let’s face it, a lot of MG (except PJO and HP) and YA books are very simplistic and very predictable nowadays that it’s just so hard to be engrossed in a story anymore. But this one has managed to free itself from those books with haphazardly woven plots. It goes to show that Tony really did his assignment well.

 

My only issue with this book is that almost every chapter is told from a different character’s POV. I just wished that because this is the first book in a series, the author should have focused in telling the story from Wade or Darell’s POV first then gradually expand in the next sequels. That way, the readers have more time in getting to know the MCs really well and eventually rooting for them unconditionally. With the way this book is narrated, potential fans would end up confused about the the characters that they should root for.

 

To conclude, I’d certainly be on the lookout for the release of The Forbidden Stone’s sequel. The wait might be long but I know that it would be worth it. So if you’re looking for another series to follow, then don’t hesitate to pick up this one. The sci-fi elements, the travel around the world, the mystery of The Forbidden Stone and the characters will have you reeling with awesome.

 

***An ARC of this book was freely provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Katherine Tegen Books & Harper Collins!***

Source: thoughtsandpens.com/2014/01/08/book-review-the-forbidden-stone
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review 2014-01-05 00:00
Kringle
Kringle - Tony Abbott Kringle is a young orphan whose friend and guardian is taken away by goblins one night while protecting him. He vows to find her and sets off on a journey that involves elves, Romans, and pirates. Along the way, he grows up and becomes the man known around the world as Santa Claus.

I went into this book with high hopes and was, sadly, let down. What I was hoping for was an enchanting holiday read with its focus on Santa Claus, but what I got was an epic fantasy adventure featuring a boy who seemed only to have the name ‘Kringle’ in common with Santa Claus.

Kringle starts off well enough, with the feeling an unknown narrator is actually sitting in front of you and telling you the story. They tell of Kringle, how he was born, why he was named Kringle, and give you the sense that he is going to do something to save the world from the goblins. Unfortunately, that’s when it gets difficult to see Kringle as the same jolly man who delivers toys to children every Christmas despite Tony Abbott’s best efforts.

As a fantasy adventure, Kringle is a pretty good story. There’s magic, goblins kidnapping children, pirates ready to invade, and elves who try to foil the goblins’ plans and save as many children as possible. Kringle himself is endearing in his own way, having been sheltered for all of his life, brimming with curiosity, and having a habit of talking to himself – aloud.

You can read the rest of my review at my blog: http://readerlymusings.com/2014/01/25/book-review-kringle-by-tony-abbott/
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