Official Review: Wheel of Katarnum by James Calliotte

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Latest Review: Wheel of Katarnum by James Calliotte
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Official Review: Wheel of Katarnum by James Calliotte

Post by Kia »

[Following is an official review of "Wheel of Katarnum" by James Calliotte.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Wheel of Katarnum by Jam Calliotte is a fantastic story about growing up, facing your fears and realizing that not everything is as it seems. Geared primarily towards preteens, I believe this novel is a great read for anyone age 8 or older.

Rob Hawkins has had a hard time adjusting since his father’s disappearance. How can a person simply vanish into thin air? But when Rob discovers that his father is being held captive in another universe known as Katarnum, he knows that it will take all his bravery and skill to rescue him. Along the way he gets help from a Gate Elf, a talking donkey, and his best friend Sam. Rob and Sam are able to learn a little magic before they journey to Katarnum, but will it be enough to keep them safe and rescue Rob’s dad? And how will Rob's Native American heritage help him discover the truth?

Calliotte has done an incredible job creating the perfect mix of fairy tale and adult fantasy. The concepts are intriguing without being overly complicated. The story has a lot of detail and yet never seems to drag. And the characters are absolutely wonderful! My personal favourite is Bobbelonius Cauliflower III (or Bobbel, for short), a talking donkey with quite a keen intellect.

Aside from the fantastic plot, the thing I like the most about this book is that both of the main characters are people of colour, and that one is a strong, confident female. Rob is part Native American and is described as having long, straight black hair and bright green eyes. And Sam is an African-American girl with the skills and intellect to back up her confidence. I firmly believe that there needs to be more representation of both people of colour and strong females in literature; and especially in books geared towards children and young adults. I also really enjoyed that the plot had very little to do with the colour of the character's skin, as is often the case when showcasing people of colour in books.

I often find character development to be lacking in stories geared towards preteens, but that was certainly not the case here. The characters have strong, distinct personalities and it is a delight to notice the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) changes in them throughout the book. I really like that most of the characters have layers and are not completely “good” or “evil” as is often the case in stories such as these.

I did find several small errors in the print, but they did not distract from my ability to enjoy the book. There are also several instances of borderline profanity, mostly the repeated use of the word “jackass” in reference to Bobbel. Overall, I rate Wheel of Katarnum 4 out of 4 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys light adventure stories; especially preteens and teenagers. Other than the few grammar mistakes, I have nothing negative to say about this book. I look forward to reading the next installment.

Wheel of Katarnum
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Ooh a talking donkey named Bobbel with a keen intellect?! He sounds like a true delight. And any boy who’d discovered his father was being held captive in another universe would need all the enchanted help he could get. It’s nice that the author chose to incorporate people of color throughout the characterizations, I too think this attribute is lacking in the majority of new releases. I really enjoyed your unique review!
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Post by Topsey »

This seems like a fantastic book. The fact that it has strong female characters and people of colour at the foundations of the story rather than as an add-on is refreshing. Thank you for your fantastic review.
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Post by Joseph_ngaruiya »

After reading your review, I had to add this book to my bookshelves: it will serve as a surprise for my nephews. Thank you.
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Post by kljrox »

Interesting characters in a fairytale/fantasy are elements that I enjoy. Sounds like a lovely book for young people as well as older. Thanks for a wonderful review.
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Post by Chinelookeke »

This is a book to keep preteens busy. Interesting and with this review I would not mind reading this book because I love fantasy books.
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Post by Harty Muli »

I like the character of the talking donkey. It reminds me of Balam's donkey in the Bible. Nice review. thanks.
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Post by CookBook+ »

Wheel of Katarnum, reading it sounds like the characters are learning about one another how where you are coming or going everyone has a adventure.
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Post by Phin_chen »

I loved Wheel of Katarnum! It's so intriguing and exciting, and at the same time also really funny - I laughed out loud at Bobble a few times! Especially while in Katarnum my mind could really imagine this whole fascinating world and it's inhabitants and creatures! I'm also a huge fan of the diversity being portrayed in a book for young teens! It's super important! 10/10 would recommend and will definitely read again..or maybe a sequel ?! ;)
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Post by Priyanka2304 »

The concept is unusual in its own way. Thanks for the review.
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Post by mellowshan0505 »

:techie-studyinggray: This book sounds interesting and great to read. It seems that the author gives exciting experience while writing. It gives us impression that when everything goes wrongs there's a will to do something good and something great. It doesn't depends on the age but for the motivation and the courage to do it.
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