Review: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

Title: The Emerald Atlas
Author: John Stephens
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
Series: Books of Beginning #1
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: Random Buzzers
Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.

Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.

Until now.

Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem.  And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.
For a while now, I've been hearing about how this book is going to be the next big thing in kid's lit. Upon hearing claims such as this, I never know whether to get really excited or to dismiss it as marketing. In this case, I remained neutral until I could find out for myself. Just to let y'all know, it's okay to get excited about this one.

The characters in this book are so, so, so good. These characters each have personalities of their own, strengths of their own, faults of their own. The younger two children bicker like nobody's business and I had to smile every time they did because they were so honest. Kate, Michael, and Emma are realistic and lovable and entertaining. And it doesn't stop with them. All of the characters, villains and allies, are incredibly well done.

The plot has all sorts of fun stuff, including but not limited to: narrow escapes, exploration, battles, time travel, and explosions. The pacing is quick, with ups and downs and turns to keep the reader interested in what is happening. Events happen pretty quickly, but the plot is not rushed because of it.

This is a great book. The writing, characterization, humor, and story are all good. Plus, who can resist a story about books? The children must find and bring together three books of power, called The Books of Beginning. Books about books! I love it.


  1. Its funny because I saw this book today for the very first time in someones IMM post. I marked it to read on my Goodreads account. Now, I was checking other IMM's and commenting on them when I stumbled upon your review. This really sounds awesome. I'm glad you liked it so much. You've really created some excitement for me to get this book and read it now more than later! Thanks!

  2. This one is the best since the Harry Potter Series. It is fresh, and the characters are totally 3 dimensional. It is easy to put yourself in the story as any one of them. I couldn't put it down. I hope the next one in the series is coming out soon.


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