Monday, January 27, 2014

ARC Review: The Forbidden Stone (The Copernicus Legacy #1)

Monday, January 27, 2014
Title: The Forbidden Stone (The Copernicus Legacy #1)
Author: Tony Abbott
Genre/s: Middle Grade, Action-Adventure, Fantasy
Released Date: January 7, 2014
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Rick Riordan meets Dan Brown in this exhilarating and adventurous new tween series from beloved and bestselling author Tony Abbott.

The Copernicus Legacy has everything middle-grade readers love-an international adventure, a compelling friendship story, and a mission that draws on history and astronomy. Readers who loved Percy Jackson will be eager to follow our heroes on this six-book, six-novella journey and excited to enter a sweepstakes to participate in a real-life scavenger hunt hosted by Tony Abbott that lets the reader become part of the story.

It all began when four friends-Wade, Lily, Darrel, and Becca-received a strange, coded email from Wade's uncle Henry shortly before the old man's sudden death. They set off for Germany to attend the funeral with Wade's father, Roald, and discover that Uncle Henry left them yet another baffling message that they suspect is the key to figuring out how and why he died.

The message leads to a clue, and the more clues they discover, the farther they travel down a treacherous path toward an ancient, guarded secret. Soon they are in a breathless race across the globe, running for their lives as a dangerous shadow organization chases them around every corner. Their only hope of saving themselves-and the world that they know-is to find twelve magical relics from a hidden past that will unlock the Copernicus Legacy.

My Thoughts:

From astronomy to geography, to time travelling and world history, the first book in Tony Abbott's newest middle grade series, The Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone, has it all. It's like National Treasure kids edition and in book format. It is an exhilarating fast-paced and globe-trotting adventure with lots of puzzle-solving, intense escape scenes and treasure hunting that all ages will surely love.

Wade, Darrell, Lily and Becca's plans for spring break doesn't include travelling to four countries, running away from bad guys, solving puzzles and collecting 12 parts of an ancient instrument. But ever since they found Uncle Henry's coded message, all their plans has changed. Now, with the use of their smartphone and their knowlegde about astronomy and foreign language, they have to find and protect the 12 relics from Copernicus' invention before an organization of international bad guys gets it and change the balance of the universe.

"The sky is where mathematics and magic become one."

I finished The Forbidden Stone in one sitting and that is a huge compliment, by the way, because I don't do that quite often. I think, if there is a checklist of qualities of a good middle grade novel, this book will checked almost all of it if not everything. It just sucked me in the moment I started reading it. 

All the main characters were funny, charming and relatable. Wade, is an astronomy nerd (like me) who's great with numbers and word puzzles. Darrell is Wade's funny and always hungry stepbrother, who's a tennis pro and is great with music (or so he thinks). Lily is Wade's girly cousin who is very tech-savvy. And last, but not the least, Becca, Lily's friend and Wade's crush, is a well-read girl who knows, at least, four different languages. I love how this four kids interact with each other - Wade and Darrell's brother bond, Darrell and Lily's cat and dog relationship; Wade and Becca's blossoming puppy love. It feels so natural and I think a lot of kids will relate and identify with them.

The pacing was good, the suspense was great, the mystery was awesome, and the plot was well-researched. I was really impressed with how much information about history this book has and how well it was written. The historical facts were seamlessly woven into the story without bombarding me with information unlike other books.

Overall, The Forbidden Stone is a great start to The Copernicus Legacy series and I will definitely look forward to the next books to come. I would recommend this to everyone especially to all the middle grade kids who likes adventure, mystery, astronomy and history.

My Rating

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. (Thanks, HarperCollins!)
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