By E.J. Patten
Genre MG Supernatural Adventure
Recommended by Me
First sentence Phineas T. Pimiscule was not what you'd call an "attractive" man.
Sky and his uncle Phineas have always been close. His uncle has taught him all about puzzles and traps and monsters that roam the earth. Sky thought it was all a game; a distraction from the pain of moving from town to town. But on the eve of his twelfth birthday, with his uncle suddenly missing, he's about to learn the truth, including the truth about the mark on his hand.
The biggest reason I wanted to read this book, I'll be honest, is that the author is local, and after meeting him at several different events I found him highly amusing. I figured if he was that amusing his book would be, and hopefully adventurous too. I mean, a book about a boy monster hunter who fights monsters with weapons made out of trash. Sounds exciting right? I was not disappointed. This one had me giggling from page one; from the first paragraph, even. It's incredibly witty amidst the mystery and action and I thoroughly enjoyed that. There's nothing like reading through an action scene, all tense and nervous, only to burst out laughing at some character's remark. Love it. I also was awed at the similes and metaphors. Sure, there might have been a few too many but every single one had me thinking how very clever the author was! I can't think up a good simile to save my life! I was impressed. And one last thing that I loved. John Rocco, the artist behind the covers of the Percy Jackson series, did the cover art for this one as well. There were awesome pictures to go with each chapter that were so fun to look at and added a fun touch to the whole book.
This is, I believe, marketed as a MG book and I'm not a HUGE fan of MG books. I like them and appreciate them but there is a simpleness to them that always grates on my nerves. I don't mean a lack of vocabulary or even a lack of "grown up" situations. I mean the telling, the repetition, the characters inner dialogue. It's all for good reason. Kids can sometimes need things spelled out for them, that's fine, it's just something that starts to bother you as you get older. Or maybe that's just me. *shrugs* I also was bothered by the length. Five hundred pages is an awfully long book for a kid to read...heck, most adults would consider that too long. Still, I've heard several people say their kids loved this one and I can easily see it becoming the next Fablehaven or Percy Jackson. It definitely has kid appeal.
Yea or Nay?
For the wittiness and adventure alone I'd say yes.
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And I just had to add the authors bio from the back flap because it made me giggle too.
In April 1974, a beautiful baby boy was born at a small hospital in Mesa, Arizona. E. J. Patten ("Eric James") was in the next crib over. The first story he ever wrote involved a strange ad, a Laundromat, and a bowl of chili; thankfully, it was never published. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts, and a Masters in Business Administration from Brigham Young University. He currently resides with his wife and three children in Utah.