XAVIER, ST. GRISWOLD COLLEGE FOR ABANDONED BOYS, by E.M. COOPER, Book One, Self-Published

26130645

OVERVIEW:

In the first book of the Xavier fantasy series, a 13-year-old boy’s life is pitched into turmoil after his parents abandon him at St Griswold College deep within the Mourn Forest. What secrets have Xavier Jones’ parents hidden from him? Why is the principal, Ms Ratchet so eager to unearth them? Alone and afraid, Xavier hates his parents for what they have done yet desperately longs for them. The ruthless teachers and strange boys tell him, ‘They don’t come back… You just have to accept it. We all have.’

While the world changes outside the school walls, evil brews at St Griswold. Xavier discovers the school and its inhabitants have strange customs and dark secrets – and then there are the voices. Everything he knows and believes about the world shifts.

He befriends Ethan, a long term student and Gabe, an eccentric new arrival. Through them he discovers humour, hope and courage – and the first stirrings of his abilities. In a magical world teeming with angels, demons, shape shifters and the Darklaw, the boys meet Beth, a young seer from Ambrosia. First impressions count for nothing. Using their abilities and devices, they must discover who they can trust among those they meet including the ethereal Boundary Keeper, a vain messenger angel and a magical watchmaker. Together the teenagers journey across a country infiltrated by sinister forces in the hope of saving the children of Griswold. On this journey, they witness the terrifying first strike, a celestial battle between angelic and demonic armies. And Xavier learns of his destiny and a frightening prediction.
This is an alternate cover edition. The ASIN is B00R9ZBDX2

MY BOOK REVIEW:

e-book format

First and foremost, it would have been so much better if I had been sent a physical copy of this book instead of trying to read and enjoy as an e-book.  But, that’s just my personal preference.  With the busy/hectic life that I lead, I found myself constantly losing my place when I was forced to leave my reading to deal with business  elsewhere…

Anyhoooo…

Let’s begin.

The best part about this story was how realistic the author made these 13 year old boys seem–full of flaws and quirks…  I loved each personality and how they grew and developed as the story progressed. There was a steady flow of tension, initial conflict and ongoing challenges that kept the pace moving smoothly and with purpose.  Plot development was well written, with plenty of twists and turns (some I could see coming) that kept the writing interesting enough to keep me engaged in the story to the end.  The author’s voice is clear and precise although a bit repetitive at times and wandering at others.

There was a bit of a “Harry Potter” vibe, and perhaps even Lemony Snicket’s, “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” but not enough to claim this story was too much of a copy of either.  I think readers who like either or both of those series will thoroughly enjoy this one.

The theme of good vs. evil is transparent, and the setting is drawn for the reader in such a way that it’s easy to visualize the environment that the brilliant characters have been placed in.  This fantasy has all the building blocks in place for a continued series and it will be very interesting to see where the author will go with these characters next.

I can’t stress enough how wonderfully developed the characters are in this novel (not just the good guys either), and how enjoyable their originality was to see.  Quite intriguing with mystery, suspense, thrill rides and exploitations that will draw the reader in and keep them hooked.

Well done!

I gave this ebook:

5-star

 

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