What if your mother was a criminal? What if her crime was magic? What if magic ran in the family? Bran Hambric was found alone in a locked bank vault when he was six years old. He doesn't have a clue how he got there, or any memory of his past. There's only one explanation: Magic. But magic is outlawed in the Great and Glorious City of Dunce. Eight years later, a twisted, hissing creature confronts Bran and his foster father, Sewey, on their rooftop. Sewey believes it's a gnome, but not Bran. (Sewey isn't the brightest Duncelander to being with.) Bran soon discovers that whatever leapt onto his roof is connected to the mother he never knew...and that Bran himself is the missing link in a plot so secret and evil that those behind it will stop at nothing to hunt him down. Armed with wands and weapons, Bran's enemies are about to attack - with all the power of a horrible curse and a terrible crime.
Newcomer Nation makes his debut with this whimsical addition to the "mag-ical orphan" genre, starring the epony--mous Bran Hambric, found at age six inside a locked bank vault in the magic-hating city of Dunce. Raised by the banker who found him, Bran leads a normal life until he's almost 14, at which point a series of events turn his existence upside down. At times quirky, at other times absurd, this story's similarities to Harry Potter (the discovery of magical abilities, the dark overlord opponent who seeks to transcend death, the "normal" but neglectful adoptive family that raises the hero) leave it hovering between entertaining and derivative. The idea of a city that outlaws magic, in a world filled with gnomes and mages, is a concept that's filled with potential. However, it suffers from a cutesy tone (though there are some dark moments) and supporting characters whose roles as comic relief border on parody. While it may appeal to those at the younger end of its target audience, more mature readers are less likely to be drawn into the story. Ages 9-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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August 01, 2010
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