Thursday, February 16, 2012

Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton

Matthew Skelton has put together a fun children's tale about a young boy and his sister discovering an ancient and magical book - one that contains vast knowledge. Endymion Spring is set mostly at modern-day Oxford, England, with the story occasionally jumping back to the time and place of Johannes Gutenberg, the creator of the movable-type printing press.

Blake and his sister Duck are in Oxford with their mother while she does some research. They have left their father back in North America and the kids have this anxious question throughout the book concerning their parents long-term relationship: Are they going to get a divorce? This added tension to the overall story as Duck and Blake Winters try to unravel this mystery surrounding a scrap of book that has landed in their hands.

Blake has to contend with a speechless homeless man full of answers, an animated origami dragon made from mysterious paper, a book that refuses to open except by the innocent, and an ancient, malevolent book-collecting society. Plus his nosey sister, Duck.

But once they join forces, and IQs, the mists start to clear and the danger increases.

I listened to audio version performed by Richard Easton. He used his voice quite well for the action scenes, catching the adrenaline of the moment.

+++: The flashback scenes to the 1400s were my favorite bits of the book. The mystery itself was well laid out. Enjoyed the references to Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti.

---: The book was a bit predictable - but it is a children's book. The voice actor for the audiobook was enthusiastic throughout the book - which sometimes left me feeling like he had been near-shouting for the hour-long car ride.

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