The Book Club Blog

Books for any occasion and other life stuff

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens a review

on February 4, 2013

This is my second book for children that I have read this year and am adding it in for my Kidlit Read and Review Challenge over at Lost in books.


This is a first novel of a children’s fantasy series called ‘The Books of Beginning’ and aimed at 8 – 12 year olds. I guess I must have a 12 year old self in this thirty year old body somewhere as I loved this book! I have been going through a reading slump and just COULD NOT get into any book that I picked up and I have about 5 next to my bed, which are half read (MUST finish them at some point) and when I found this at the library – I often read children’s books when I have too much going on inside my head- and I picked it up on the Friday evening and was finished it by Sunday morning. It is readable, full of interesting characters, likable character and the world between worlds which I have always been fond of.

So, what is it about you may be wondering, let me tell you…

Kate, Emma and Michael have been passed from orphanage to orphanage for 10 years but still believe that their parents are alive and will find them someday. Finally they are shipped off to another orphanage up in the mountains and what feels like in the middle of nowhere with some rather strange characters to contend with.

They find a book, through a doorway which wasn’t there before and there starts the story of two worlds and how they may not feel remarkable in this one, but in the other, they are remarkable and have great destinies which they are not even aware off.

Throughout the story more and more information is revealed, with a host of characters which really bring the story alive. The descriptions of the worlds really draw you in and beg the reader to ‘read just one more page’.

What I like about this book is that it really is fantasy and in this first book there is no real ‘death. No body dies and I know that is a little unrealistic, but I really liked that aspect. There is a second book – The Fire Chronicle – which I plan to get my hands on as soon as I can and carry on reading about Kate, Emma and Michael. And I will let you know when I do!

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2 Responses to “The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens a review”

  1. This sounds like a fun book to get swept into! Nice review!

  2. […] This is the second in the Books of the Beginning series, the first one being The Emerald Atlas which I read last year and really enjoyed. It is a children’s fantasy novel and highly readable! The book follows orphan siblings Kate, Emma and Micheal  who, after a series of unsuccessful orphanage dwellings, get transferred to the mansion of Dr Pym where they find a magical book which allows them to travel through time. The Fire Chronicles follows on after this book whereby they need to find the second book of beginnings before the Dire Magnus does. The story is compelling and readable with enough magic and reality to make it real. I loved it and look forward to the third in the trilogy. You can read my review on The Emerald Atlas here […]

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