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Parents' Guide to

The Novice: Summoner, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Teens train with demons for battle in exciting series start.

The Novice: Summoner, Book 1 Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say (3 ):

If you like Cassandra Clare's demons without the relationship drama, plus Tolkien's world of orcs, dwarves, and elves, this series may be your new favorite. Especially if you wish Hogwarts were less herbology and charms and more dueling and battle strategy, and instead of an owl that delivers your mail, your animal would claw out eyes and set fire to people.

THE NOVICE warms readers up to this battle-ready Summoner series quite well, though once the hero Fletcher finds his way into Vocans Academy and the lessons begin, readers will get a bit lost in the details. They're all interesting, but it's easy to lose sight of the main story when you're caught up in power numbers for demons like it's a video game. Both the budding relationships between Fletcher and his elf and dwarf allies, and even his mentor Arcturus, could have used more steady emphasis as well. The relationships don't build evenly, and the tension leading up to the final test isn't there -- you turn the page and suddenly it's test day. Now that this cool, complex world is established, here's hoping promising novice author Taran Matharu can work more diligently on clear storytelling. All the pieces are here for a great series.

Book Details

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