This was an interesting book that I actually got from Facebook. A friend of mine posted the trailer for the movie that’s coming out, so I figured what the heck, I should try reading the book first. (It’s my general policy to read the book before I see the movie, as all book lovers know the book is always better than the movie.) Well, I can honestly say I was pleased with it.
The book tells the story of Jacob, a boy who’s just seen his grandfather get murdered by some three tongued monster. Or he thinks he did? Maybe it was just a pack of dogs? Jacob travels to Wales, where his grandfather grew up, in an attempt to dispel the fantasy of the stories his grandfather told him as a child. After all, his grandfather was a Jew who lived through World War II. It makes sense for him to create some white lies about his past, right?
As it turns out, everything his grandfather said was true. There really were kids with peculiar abilities like super strength, invisibility and the ability to control fire. And they’re still alive now. Jacob even has his own peculiar ability, one that will help keep everyone else alive.
The story is a great coming of age story, with Jacob learning what is real and what is fiction, who to trust and who to stay loyal to. It’s a solid young adult novel with some great action and mystery. While Jacob isn’t the strongest protagonist I’ve ever read (he kind of gets swept along with everyone else) he does have some great internal conflict that redeems him in the end.
I’m definitely interested to see the movie, although it looks like they changed Emma from the fire-wielding hottie she’s supposed to be to be more like Olive, who is able to float and control the air. It should be a good flick to watch. And I’ll definitely be reading the second novel, as soon as my wife finishes it.
This novel gets a 3/5. I’ll be moving on to Salvatore’s Streams of Silver next, the second book in the Icewind Dale Trilogy.
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