Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Book Review - The Map to Adventure

The Map to Adventure
Author: Rebecca Taylor
ISBN: 978-1502882240
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (20 Oct 2014)

From the back:

When Amelia and Max find a tattered map in an old book in the library, their lives will be changed forever. Embark on an epic fantasy adventure treasure hunt through a land of mystery and suspense filled with fantasy creatures and an adventure quest the two children will never forget. For the two unusual children, Amelia and Max, who hang out in the library when everyone else is playing in the sunshine outside, the adventure and mystery begins when Amelia finds a dusty old book about pirates that just happens to contain a map to some secret, hidden treasure – and it just so happens the trail starts right there in the library. When they find the old bookcase marked with the sign of the Oak Tree, the children’s fantasy comes to life, and they find themselves facing mystery and suspense in the forest of enchantment. With the help of an owl named Oliver and many more fantasy creatures, the pair begin their adventure quest, never once turning aside from the treasure hunt despite the danger that dogs their footsteps.

Through the Forest of Enchantment and the bleak Fire Mountains to the border of a great freshwater lake they trek, and discover an underwater cave that leads them to a bay where mermaids and murderous pirates roam. Now, the adventure and mystery of the treasure map is not the only problem they must overcome, but will their determination be enough? And what about this prophecy the mermaids spoke of, the one concerning Amelia and her title of ‘chosen one’?

A children’s fantasy adventure like no other, ‘The Map to Adventure’ will lead you on a magical journey through the realms of the imagination and leave you wanting more.

My Review:

I was asked if I could review this book and given a copy of it by the author in return for an honest review. I do really enjoy reading children's fiction, mostly the ones that everyone has read like Harry Potter, Inkheart etc and I love them but I haven't read many children's books of late and I have certainly never written a review of them. The review part is where I struggle a little as I don't think you can review a children's book in the same way you can an adult fiction or a young adult but I will certainly try my best so please bear with me.

This is actually quite a short book being only 116 pages long I am not sure as to what age range this book is aimed at which again makes this a little tricky to review. I do think that the shortness of the book has both pros and cons. For me the pro would be that children of a younger age may find this easier to read as the book wouldn't feel quite so daunting. For older children and as was the case for me, I read through this really quickly and was left wanting a lot lot more.

I think this is a lovely story with a great idea, lovely characters and on the whole a fantastic concept. This is Rebecca's first novel at age 23. In part this book does show that this is her first novel but I think that it also shows the foundations of a great writer. As I said the book has a lovely story line to it but I very much felt at times that there should have been more embellishment, more description and Max and Amelia whizzed through each section a little too easily for my liking, I would have liked them to spend a little longer, done more things, explore more, met more people, had more adventures in each part of the World they visited, instead they just seemed to walk through each World to the next. The ending was really interesting and different, not what I expected at all. I don't want to give the ending away as that would spoil it. I liked the ending but I did feel like that the author could have gone into a little more indepth and to me that wasn't the ending, it was the beginning. Maybe there is another book in the works? I don't know but there certainly could be...I want to know more about that treasure they find, more about the circumstances, the who, the what, the why etc. without giving it away, it is not your typical chest of coins type of treasure!

The book has a great grounding and basis it just needs a bit more content for my liking. As I said reviewing a children's book from an adult point of view is tricky, maybe a child would think totally differently. For me it needs a bit more meat on the bones. Rebecca is good at the description she just needs to take it a bit further. I would really like to see her re-work this book. Keep it as it is maybe for a younger audience as it is very easy to read but for older children or children with a higher reading capacity it would be great to see a meatier version of the book. I don't think the story needs to change just more of it as I have said previously.

The only thing I didn't like and I have to be honest here otherwise it is not an honest review, is the font used in the book. I found it annoying and tricky to read and would prefer a more traditional font such as times new roman but again kiddies might not mind and may like it.

So all in all I did genuinely like the story (I just want more of it) and I would buy this for the little people in my life as I am sure they would like it too. I hope Rebecca writes more and I am looking forward to seeing what they are! If you or your children have read this book I would love to know what you thought.

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