Jake is an orphan living on the streets of London during the reign of Queen Victoria. After his twelfth birthday he suddenly gains magical abilities, and strange men show up and try to kill him. It turns out that the men were sent by his uncle who killed Jake’s parents and stole his title and fortune. Now, Jake not only has to struggle to survive the next few days but must also learn to control his new abilities, all the while reclaiming his birthright.
One thing I liked about this book is that the children in the story really behave like children and not like miniature adults. They’re stubborn, rash, outspoken, occasionally insensitive, and will break the rules for a bag of candy. That being said, they’re also warmhearted, loyal, and great fun to be with. I also liked the descriptions of places like the market in London. They’re very vivid and convey a sense of the time without taking over whole chapters. The story is rich in detail about magic and mystical creatures, but the focus of the story is definitely on the action which is non-stop and makes the book quite unputdownable. The only thing which bothered me is that the storyline hinges quite strongly on some big coincidences. I don’t mind when some small coincidences occur, but the story looks contrived if the resolution of the whole book depends on them.
The reading level of this book is about the same as in the books about Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, or Artemis Fowl. And if you enjoyed any of these, then you’ll probably enjoy this one, too.
NY Times & USA Today bestselling author E.G. Foley presents The Gryphon Chronicles, an exciting new series of historical fantasy adventures that's as much fun for grownups as it is for kids. Strange new talents... Jake is a scrappy orphaned pickpocket living by his wits on the streets of Victorian London. Lately he's started seeing ghosts, and discovers he can move solid objects with his mind! He has no idea why. Next thing he knows, a Sinister Gentleman and his minions come hunting him. On the run for his life, Jake is plunged headlong into a mysterious world full of magic and deadly peril. A world that holds the secret to who he really is: the long-lost heir of an aristocratic family - with magical powers! But with treacherous enemies closing in, it will take all of his wily street instincts and the help of his friends - both human and magical - to solve the mystery of what happened to his parents and defeat the foes who never wanted the Lost Heir of Griffon to be found...
Okay so this is a childrens' book :D The part of me that never grew up loves fairytales, and this, as the cover text says, was as much for children as for adults, so there... I absolutely loved it - mix Harry Potter and The Belgariad, put it all into the Victorian Era, and voilà, you have a story that I am sure a lot of children and adults like myself will love. Plot, language, style - everything comes together just the right way. Add to that a pinch of humour, and lovable characters, and you can't go wrong. I loved this and will definitely get the sequel to this. Happy sigh - this seems to be a series, so I will have things to read for a bit. I will also check on the authors' other books.