Author: James Treadwell
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Release Date: February 2, 2012
Reviewed by: Jasmyn
"A drowning, a magician's curse, and a centuries-old secret. "1537. A man hurries through city streets in a gathering snowstorm, clutching a box in one hand. He is Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age. The box he carries contains a mirror safeguarding a portion of his soul and a small ring containing all the magic in the world. Together, they comprise something unimaginably dangerous.
London, the present day. Fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes is boarding a train to the countryside to live with his aunt. His school and his parents can't cope with him and the things he sees, things they tell him don't really exist. At Pendurra, Gavin finds people who are like him, who see things too. They all make the same strange claim: magic exists, it's leaking back into our world, and it's bringing something terrible with it.
First in an astonishingly imaginative fantasy trilogy, "Advent "describes how magic was lost to humanity, and how a fifteen-year-old boy discovers that its return is his inheritance. It begins in a world recognizably our own, and ends an extraordinarily long way from where it started--somewhere much bigger, stranger, and richer.
The story opens with the tale of a magician and how he captured and lost magic. We revisit his story in segments (in reverse) throughout the story. While he plays an important part in the tale, the story doesn't concentrate on this strange figure. Instead we follow Gavin Stokes - a strange little boy that sees strange things. One of theses strange things is a woman he names Mrs. Gray. When Gavin is sent to stay with his aunt at an old, old estate called Pendurra while his parents are on vacation, this Mrs. Gray is the catalyst to a whole new life for Gavin.
There is a lot going on in this story and you really need to sit down and read it either all at once or in large chunks or you may miss some important connection. Several different pantheons seem to collide when magic begins to stir again at Pendurra. The descriptions of these creatures and people are fantastic. The scenes really come to life and the world is incredibly well developed. These are all things that I absolutely love in a fantasy or paranormal story. As a character, Gavin is not necessarily likable at the beginning but as he learns to trust in the things only he can see he and embraces his destiny he becomes a great hero and lovable character. Most of the characters are written in a way that they fit there roles perfectly, but I'm still not sure what Horace's place is going to be in the grand scheme of things. He seems to play more of his role in book two perhaps.
The downside of this book is that it is written very well - almost too well and too much detail for most young adult readers. I fear that many would give up on the story before it got the point that it really gets started.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*