BOOK REVIEW: The Emerald Atlas  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Title: The Emerald Atlas

Author: John Stephens

Publisher: Random House

RRP: $24.95

ISBN: 9780857530196

Release Date: April 2011


The first thrilling book in the most exciting children's fantasy series since Harry Potter and His Dark Materials.


The first thrilling book in the most exciting children's fantasy series since Harry Potter and His Dark Materials.

They were taken from their beds one frozen night, when the world was covered in snow. The silhouette of a tall, thin man has haunted Kate ever since.

Ten years on, Kate, Michael and Emma have grown up in a string of miserable orphanages, and all memories of their parents have faded to a blur. Arriving at Cambridge Falls, where the rolling fog distorts their sense of time and the town is eerily silent, the children quickly realise there is something different about this place – and Kate feels sure she has seen the dark, crooked house before.

Exploring the house, they discover an old, empty leather book. The moment they touch it, an ancient magical prophecy is set irrevocably in motion, and the children are thrown into a dangerous alternate reality of dark enchantments, terrifying monsters, noble dwarves and entire cities buried beneath the earth. Only they can prevent the terrible event that will ruin Cambridge Falls – and stop the world from falling into complete devastation.


After 10 years of being bounced from one orphanage to the next, Kate, Michael, and Emma have seen it all. At least they thought they had before they are sent to their latest orphanage. There they find themselves the only children in the big, rambling mansion, and they also discover a mysterious blank book. By chance, one of the children drops an old photograph onto a blank page in the book, and the children suddenly find themselves back in time at the scene of the picture.

One night three children were awakened by their parents and sent away; this began Kate, Emma and Michael being sent from one orphanage to another for 10 years. Uppermost in their minds through the years is their desire to find their mother and father again.

When they are sent to Cambridge Falls (a hidden, magical island), they find a strange green book. When a photograph is dropped on a page, they suddenly find themselves transported back in time where The Countess is holding the village children hostage while their parents are forced to look for The Emerald Atlas.

Kate, Emma and Michael find out that their strange book is The Emerald Atlas; the problem is that the book disappears and they must find it again to return to their own time. In the search for it, they are separated, captured, transported, meet the wizard, Dr. Pym, and, to Michael’s joy, meet a tribe of dwarfs.

The Emerald Atlas is an entertaining blend of fantasy and time travel; it is full of interesting characters and adventures. It is a very good fantasy for middle grade children and is also enjoyable for adults who enjoy epic fantasies. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to see what happens next to Kate, Emma and Michael

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 10:47 PM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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