Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog Tour/ARC Review: The Book of Wonders

The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards, 2012. 416 pages. Published by HarperCollins. Source: Won/and for GCR ARC Tour.
Magic, Djinn, Ogres, and Sorcerers. Thirteen-year-old Zardi loves to hear stories about fantastical beings, long banned from the kingdom of Arribitha. But anyone caught whispering of their powers will feel the rage of the sultan—a terrifying usurper who, even with his eyes closed, can see all.

When her own beloved sister is captured by the evil ruler, Zardi knows that she must go to any lengths to rescue her. Along with her best friend, Ridhan—a silver-haired, violet-eyed boy of mysterious origins—and an unlikely crew of sailors led by the infamous Captain Sinbad, Zardi ventures forth into strange and wondrous territory with a seemingly impossible mission: to bring magic back to Arribitha and defeat the sultan once and for all.
First Sentence (ARC):
"I heard the noise first.-"
Y'all have no idea how excited I was when I won an ARC of The Book of Wonders during the Marvelous MG Readathon and I must say that I couldn't put it down.

How could one not be enchanted by a fantasy adventure that features Sinbad. I know I could not resist the pull of the narrative of the book and the promise of adventuer that seemed to be hinted at from the very beginning. I liked how Ms. Richard's brought Sinbad int o the story and made him more than just a passing character.

I've always liked best the adventure stories where the main character sets out on their journey in a quest to save either their family or their people. And the The Book of Wonders is one that can be added to the list. I also really liked how their was an even balance of action and adventure, while still maintaining the perspective of what the book was really about-one girl trying to find her place and save those that she loves.
I thought this book was incredibly well done, from the characters to the general flow of the story and plot line.

Zardi, actually kind of reminded me of...well, me. What I liked about her was that while she was both stubborn and impatient it did not come across as an annoying trait. More like one who was born in the wrong time and place for their personality. I liked her all the more because seemed to be always moving forward with what she needed to do and rarely looked back on the mistakes that she made, but instead tried to learn fro them.
As for Rhidan, I found him to be interesting because so much of his past and future is a mystery. I also cannot help but like the best friend characters that get pulled into their friend's adventure, while also having their own journey to make.
Man, was the sultan some kind of crazy. I was not prepared in the least for the type of villainy that the sultan brought to the table in The Book of Wonders. Although, I do freely admit that I liked that he was so dastardly because it was all the sweeter when he got his comeuppances.
I really must say a couple things about the legendary Sinbad, okay, more like one thing. Sinbad from The Book of Wonders at times reminded me of the Dread Pirate Roberts from the Princess Bride. If you have seen the moving then you most likely love Sinbad's character in this book.
What I really enjoyed about The Book of Wonders would have to be the story that Ms. Richard's wove and the characters that she had created. Let's just say that I started it on a whim and before I even realized it I was one-hundred pages shy of finishing it because her writing just draws you in and makes you need to know what will happen next.

While I found The Book of Wonders to be one of the best middle grade books I've read I do have one itsy-bitsy complaint...the end. Even though I liked how it wrapped up the main storyline for the first book it has left me pining for the second book and the answers to certain questions that were left unanswered, like, Rhidan's past. I really want to know more about him and where he came from and just the general mystique of his people.

Final Verdict: The Book of Wonders a true adventure story, filled with action and a fantastic protagonist.

The Book of Wonders earns 4.5 out of 5 pineapples.


  1. Yay on loving it! This is one of my to reads. Thinking I need to just buy it!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and glad I had the ARC to pass on!


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