Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review Xavier: St. Griswold's College for Abandoned Boys by E. M. Cooper

From Goodreads:
In the first book of the Xavier series, Xavier Jones, an ordinary thirteen-year-old boy is abandoned at St Griswold College deep within the mysterious Mourn Forest. As the world changes outside the school walls, evil brews at St Griswold. Xavier discovers the school and its inhabitants have strange customs and dark secrets. Everything he knows and believes about the world shifts.

He befriends Ethan and Gabe, an eccentric new arrival. Through them he discovers humour, hope and courage-and the first stirrings of his abilities. In a magical world teeming with angels, demons, shape shifters and the Darklaw, the boys meet Beth, a young seer from Ambrosia. Using their abilities and devices, the teenagers must discover who they can trust among those they meet including the ethereal Boundary Keeper, a vain messenger angel and a magical watchmaker. Together the young friends journey across a country infiltrated by sinister forces in the hope of saving the children of Griswold. They witness the terrifying First Strike, a celestial battle between angelic and demonic armies, and Xavier learns of his destiny and a frightening prediction.


My Take:
A pleasant surprise! I'm not quite finished, but I'm enjoying this so far. E. M. Cooper does a great job setting the mood in the first chapter. There is mystery and a sense of foreboding because you know something bad is happening, but you don't know what it is.

This book and Griswold College feels a little like Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children, but not nearly as nice a place to be. There's no sense of family or real protection there, but it has the same "otherworldly" feel.

Xavier is sort of a lost puppy type boy in the beginning. He wanders the hall and does what he's supposed to while hoping his parents will come back to get him. He's not super social, but he's a good kid. Things start to get interesting when Gabe appears out of nowhere claiming to be an angel sent to help Xavier. But is he really an angel? He doesn't remember things very well before he appeared and he's having to learn everything as he goes. Even more interesting is the fact he thinks Xavier might be something more than human as well.

There are voices and other spooky things happening around St. Griswold College. I'm excited to keep reading to find out what happened to Xavier's parents and what he really is.

The writing is clean and easy to enjoy.

I'm giving this book a 4 and will update if needed when I reach the end.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

1 comment:

  1. What age is this for? I might have to recommend it to a relative.

    ReplyDelete

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