Thursday, October 13, 2016

ARC Review: The Emerald Tablet by Dan Jolley

The Emerald Tablet
Author: Dan Jolley
Series: Five Elements (Book 1)
Publication: HarperCollins (October 18, 2016)

Description: Five elements. Four friends. One city—and its sinister shadow. This epic new middle grade series is filled with awesome elemental powers, nightmarish creatures, and nonstop adventure that will thrill fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Rick Riordan, and Brandon Mull.

When Gabe Conway and his friends find a strange old map in his uncle’s office and follow it to a crumbling secret chamber beneath San Francisco, they think they’re just having one last adventure before Gabe moves away.

They don’t expect to end up bound to the magic of the elements, or to set off a chain of events that none of them can explain. But they’re about to get more of an adventure than they bargained for.

For the last century, a power-hungry cult has been plotting to merge our world with a twisted parallel realm. Gabe’s bloodline holds the key to the barrier between the worlds—and now it’s up to Gabe, his friends, and their new elemental powers to save San Francisco from utter destruction.

My Thoughts: The setting is San Francisco. Four middle grade friends are having an adventure following the map they "borrowed" from Gabe's Uncle Steve to a underground location where they are planning a friendship ritual. Unbeknownst to the rest, one the the kids, Brett Hernandez, is being guided by someone who has come to him in his dreams and is playing on the guilt he feels about the death of his older brother.

The friendship ritual in the underground cavern endows the four kids with elemental powers. Gabe has some power over fire. Kaz has power over earth. Lily has power over air and Brett has power over water. When they return home they find that Gabe's house has been ransacked and his Uncle Steve is missing. They follow clues to a woman currently in a psychiatric facility who might be able to answer their many questions.

The kids find themselves in a battle to keep the world of magic from the world they know. They are battling fanatics who want to unite the world despite the massive destruction that will cause. The story was filled with battles with creatures out of nightmare. The story also has each of the kids finding out just what they can and should do despite the temptation of their new powers.

This is the first of a series and the ending nicely sets up the next adventure. Middle graders will enjoy this exciting story.

Favorite Quote:
Fatigue washed over  Gabe. He found himself wishing he could go back to the way things were just yesterday. Before the world went completely nuts. Blissful ignorance. Can't appreciate it till you've lost it, I guess.
I got this eARC through Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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