Friday, January 4, 2013

Read Anything Good Lately? - The Familiars

So I have been trying to catch up on some reading lately, so I have
decided to introduce a new section to the blog, Read Anything Good Lately? I read quite a bit and I am especially fond of Fantasy and Sci/fi. I also read a lot of Children's and YA novels so if you were expecting reviews of the latest and greatest in more mature literature sorry to disappoint. For the very first installment I give you, the Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson.

Around Thanksgiving I was excited to have my family stay with me. This included my Dad's girlfriend Louisa and her daughter, Danielle and husband Brian. While talking Brian mentioned that his brother wrote a kids book so of course my hears perked up. So I was excited to see that we had it at my library!

The Familiars takes place in the magical world of Vastia. Young witches and wizards are taught magical abilities along with an animal companion known as a familiar. When Aldwyn a typical fish thieving back alley cat accidentally gets chosen as a young boys familiar he is thrusts on an adventure he is unprepared for. Aldwyn meets up with two other familiars, sparrow Skylar and a tree frog named Gilbert. Together they have to go on a quest to save their loyals (their human companions) that have been kidnapped by the corrupt queen of Vastia, Loranella.

The Familiars is a quick read but is jam packed with adventure. The book does a good job appealing to kids, its an easy read and the content, although suspenseful at times is not scary. Although the content is geared toward a younger set it, it doesn't skimp out on the fantasy and epic novel tropes we have come to expect, including humor, side quests and of course and open ending. The Familiars does take a new spin on the magically fantasy book, the main characters are the animal companions! The supporting characters end up becoming those given great power and tremendous responsibility.

The adventures of the Familiars continue in the Secret of the Crown and Circle of Heros. Production on an animated movie version of the Familiars has begun. The film's release is expected in 2014.

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