Copyright 2007, Book Surge
Root Karbunkulus Website
What led you to pick up this book? I requested the book to review for a July book tour and received two copies (one to give away) directly from the author.
Summarize the plot but don't give away the ending. Root Karbunkulus, an orphan from the world of Dre'Amm, has been raised on Earth by two women who claim to be her aunts in a half-orange, half-puce house where she is treated more like a slave than a "niece". When Root is invited to join in on a quest in the magical world of Dre'Amm, she jumps at the chance to leave her awful home. The children are divided into teams in order to go in search of the first item, the Miist of Kalliope. During their quest, they face dangerous creatures and frightening ordeals. Will they succeed in finding the Miist of Kalliope and live to face the next 5 challenges?
What did you like most about the book? I liked the creativity of the author. There's a huge cast of characters and creatures -- at times, almost overwhelming -- but very few of them gave me the sense that they were borrowed from other works.
What did you think of the characters? Root is the main character and I think she's a likable heroine. She's courageous and she has a good heart. The rest are quite a hodgepodge. Teammates Dwyn and Lian each typically have strengths and weaknesses that occasionally add tension. As teammates, they bring their own unique and useful skills to the table. My absolute favorite character is Argo Bumplekins. I never wanted his scenes to end. And, I loved his crazy spying vine, Betty.
Share a favorite scene from the book: No contest -- definitely the scene in which Root discovers the source of the ringing sound she's been hearing for hours and hours is a phone in the basement. The phone splits in half and shows the caller, Argo Bumplekins, in miniature. This is how the Dre'Amm telephone system works and I loved it. I want a phone like that.
Thumbs Up: The Questory of Root Karbunkulus is told in the standard fantasy/quest manner, with a wildly imaginative set of characters, settings, creatures and events. Fantasy is something I only occasionally read, in part because I tend to find strange names annoying. In this case, I rather liked her name choices although I thought there were a few too many characters. I'd say the book is above average on creativity. One unanswered question I had was "Why?", meaning "Why were children chosen for this quest?" The author says the reason that children of a certain age have been chosen for the quest will be explained in future installments of the 6-part series.
In general: I enjoyed the book, but I have a few minor complaints. The beginning seemed a little complex and adult for children (I thought it might be a bit confusing), but the book gradually became an easier read. I felt a little overwhelmed by the number of new characters and creatures that were introduced. However, the book is so vividly described that it's easy to visualize every character and setting. The book also seemed pretty well-edited until about page 100. From then on, I found numerous grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors. And, the final annoyance (which may be a personal taste issue) was the use of the word "kids" rather than "children" throughout the book. There was one short section during which a group of children were referred to as "children" . . . but then the author reverted back to the word "kids". I once had a teacher who pounded this into our little heads: "Kids are baby billy goats. Children are human." That lesson apparently stuck.
Read other reviews, here:
Next up: An interview with the author of Root Karbunkulus.
Totally unnecessary but interesting side note: The author is Canadian! I'm not going to list this book as one of my reads for the 2nd Canadian Reading Challenge, Eh? because I'd rather focus on books that are actually set in Canada. But, still . . . cool. Look for my excuse to use the word "toque" in the interview.
Ugh. Oh. Argh. The roofers are here. It sounds like the house is being attacked, like an earthquake on top of a storm on top of a bunch of hammering noises. The cat is decidedly displeased. Kitty is actually a little sick, so we were planning to take her to the vet, but she has hidden (surprise, surprise) and refuses to emerge. I keep hoping she'll come out, if only so we'll have an excuse to leave the house.*Update* - The roofers have left, our new turbines are rotating up a storm, and the cat has emerged, but a bit too late. Just after writing the paragraph above, the kiddo declared that he'd had enough banging for one day and was monstrously hungry (which is pretty much always the case). We dashed out for a bite to eat -- in two separate vehicles -- and then he branched off to work at the pool and I spent my afternoon with Anne, Marilla and Matthew on lovely Prince Edward Island but really in the local library, where the nearest person sitting in the window had his feet propped on a skateboard.
I roamed around in the library, a bit, and found that Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer was finally on the shelves. Wahoo! I read 3 chapters of that, as well, and then checked it out.
Hubby strictly forbade me from photographing the roofers on the off chance that they might find my presence distracting, darn it. So, to keep this post from looking entirely too dull, I'll share a photo I re-photographed from my father's first photo album. Thank goodness he wrote on the photo or I'd never have been able to find him. This is my father returning from the Philippines on the U.S.S. President Adams at the end of WWII (barely visible at the back, but isn't the photo great?). He had an entire series of photos, apparently taken by a professional as the ship arrived at the dock.
Off to finish Anne of Green Gables with a box of tissues nearby. Smiles all around!