Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson

Genre:  Children/Fantasy/Middle Grade
Publisher:  Harper Collins  
Publication Date:  7th September 2010 
ISBN:  9780061961083
Stand alone or series: Series?
Pages:  360 pages 
Book Received from:  Bought
First Lines: It all started with Aldwyn's whiskers beginning to tingle - the way they always did when he got hungry.


Running fast to save his life, Aldwyn ducks into an unusual pet store.  Moments later Jack, a young wizard in training, comes in to choose a magical animal to be his familiar.  Aldwyn's always been clever.  But magical? Jack thinks so - and Aldwyn is happy to play along.
He just has to convince the other familiars - the know-it-all blue jay Skylar and the friendly tree frog Gilbert - that he's the powerful cat he claims to be.
Then the unthinkable happens.  Jack and two other young wizards are captured by the evil queen of Vastia.
On a thrilling quest to save their loyals, the familiars face dangerous foes, unearth a shocking centuries-old secret, and discover a destiny that will change Vastia forever.  Their magical adventure - an irresistible blend of real heart, edge-of-your-seat action, and laugh-out-loud humour - is an unforgettable celebration of fantasy and friendship.

My Thoughts:
I had seen The Familiars on one of the other book blogs quite a while ago and absolutely loved the cover!  And even though it look like it was aimed at around middle grade I desperately wanted to get my hands on it.

The story is told by Aldwyn an alley cat in Bridgetower who happens to stop in at a fishmonger's place one too many times.  Aldwyn, on the run ducks into a pet shop to hide in plain sight and that's where his story really begins.

Even though I'm 26 years old I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  Aldwyn, Gilbert and Skylar make the odd group up but are willing to watch each others backs to help save their loyals and embark on an almost impossible adventure to do so.

While this is not your airy fairy kind of story where nothing bad happens, the authors have done a brilliant job of stating matter of factly what happens, and then moving on.  For example, 'Aldwyn could hear his scream as he fell to a most certain death.  This was enough to snap Aldwyn and Skylar out of the ....'  Well you see what I mean.

Fave Line:  "No, we were a small family. There were just 62 of us." lol" Page 162

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