Note: This is the first in a 10 book Middle Reader series. I don’t believe I will review each book of the series, but I will do a full review for this first book, and I will do a combined review of the entire series once I’m finished!
Plot: This book takes place in a made-up world where there are creatures and beings unlike the world around us. There are all kinds of goblins, trolls, elves and totally fantastical creatures by many ridiculous and scary names. This book starts us off introducing us to Twig, a woodtroll who has never fit in. He is tall and thin and does not have the same aptitudes of the short and squat woodtrolls around him. When it is revealed to him by his mother that he is not her blood son, that she found him at the base of her tree, Twig is sent away on a journey that will change the course of his life. He is supposed to go to a family member’s home, but instead, being thirteen and easily swayed by the treachery of the Deepwoods. There he meets slaughterers, banderbears, goblins and creatures he has no names for all leading up to one final destination: the sky pirates.
Review: Because of the cover, I knew what sort of story I was walking into and I was not disappointed. It was fun and vivid, with the graphics drawn by Chris Riddell bringing to life this intense world created for a children’s series. It had much more world-building than I expected, especially for 1) a kid’s series and 2) the first book in a kid’s series. I was only a quarter through when I realized it reminded me of a mixture of Lord of the Rings and The Spiderwick Chronicles.
The main character is adorable and lovable if not a bit gullible, but if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t get into the adventures that he gets into! The action is non-stop and, like I said, the graphics are amazing and really bring to life the story. Even as an adult, I had a fun time reading this and am happily waiting to read the rest of the series. My boyfriend has this series and told me it is the series that got him into reading when he was younger. Because of this I was obviously stoked to read it, and I am so glad that I did. I would recommend this to really anyone…an adult who wants to take a step back into their childhood and have some adventures, a young person who loves reading and fantasy, a young person who doesn’t like reading and needs a good series to push them over the edge…it really has it all. It’s got consequences for actions and choices, and a main character who is finding himself and never strays from his morals, and a slew of characters who will entertain with each page turn.