Tuesday, March 29, 2016


By D. M. Andrews
Copyright 2012 D. M. Andrews

This is a middle grade story with magic and mythic elements.

It begins like this: “A badly painted garden gnome with a look of surprise upon its face sat atop a bright red toadstool. In its hand it held a fishing rod, the hook of which hung unmoving in the windless Hertfordshire air several inches above a small pond’s still surface. The gnome’s eyes seemed fixed on the other side of the garden where a greenhouse sat in the shade of a crab apple tree. Every other pane of glass had been painted lime green so as to create a checkerboard effect. Thomas stood on a large wooden box in the loft, his eye pressed against the hole in the roof as he stared down through a broken tile.”

The author, D. M. Andrews, is a skilled story teller. This novel is the first of a series of stories. It was hard for me to connect with the main character because of the detachment of the story teller. The mythic and magical elements of the story were confusing and took me out of the story. They were not woven into the story’s whole properly.

The device of an orphan going off to school is common to middle grade literature, but it should be handled in an unusual way to draw us into the adventure. The other characters were not realistically drawn. The dialogue was not age appropriate. The magical elements were very imaginative. It is too bad that the sum of the parts did not make a suitable whole.

I give it three stars out of a possible five.

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