3 out of 4 stars
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What do you get when you have a bear, a number of goblins, a seemingly ordinary kid, and an evil-plotting mage? You get an exciting adventure in B.D. Suever’s middle grade fantasy, Grimoricon.
Snippy and disrespectful Ethan is used to getting his way. When he opens up Grimoricon, a mysterious book from an antique shop, something out of this world happens. Ethan is abruptly ripped from his familiar Californian home and roughly dropped into the magical and dangerous world of Terah.
This twelve-year-old meets huntress Nera and her bear, Naveni. Together, the trio learn about Ethan’s true role in this unfamiliar land and the darkness that Terah holds. Will he be courageous enough to not only save his friends, but to open the doorway back home?
The mix of genres and themes were excellently explored. Grimoricon can easily fall into the adventure, action, fantasy, and middle grade genres. All of which are ones that I enjoy immensely. Themes of courage, friendship, self-esteem, fear, respect, discipline, grief, and second chances were woven seamlessly throughout the storyline.
Told in the third-person omniscient point-of-view, the author uses this viewpoint to his advantage. Transitioning from one character’s perspective to another was done fluidly. Due to the smooth writing, it was easy to become lost in the world of Terah.
Characters were presented very well. Ethan grew the most from the beginning of the novel to the end. There were also great strong female role models, who balanced Ethan’s naive personality well. It was difficult to understand if there were diverse characters, but this did not affect the general storyline.
When looking at the plot, Suever never missed a beat. There was action, intrigue, mystery, humor, and great lessons to be learned. The lessons of being respectful and patient were ones that Ethan explored the most. Due to Grimoricon being a fun and entertaining read, exploring these two lessons may go a long way for middle grade readers.
As a warning, there were some scenes that featured death and torture. Neither were excessively described, but a child who has experienced death might feel upset when someone passes away and another character expresses grief.
Throughout the text, there were some minor errors. These mainly included missing commas, a missing apostrophe, and missing hyphens. Were it not for reading this novel as a review book and looking for potential errors, I would not have noticed them.
If it wasn't for the errors, then I would have happily given Grimoricon a 4 out of 4 stars. However, as there were some errors, I am giving it a 3 out of 4 stars. For those who enjoy middle grade fantasy stories featuring a protagonist who is three-dimensional and demonstrates personal growth will most likely enjoy Grimoricon.
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