Wednesday, February 1, 2012

MG Book Review: Truth Teller, by Kurt Chambers

General Information
Publisher:  UK Children's Publishing
Year of publication:  2012
# of chapters:  14
# of pages:  (e-book)
Genre:  Fantasy
Plot summary:  (from Smashwords)
How could a modern day girl like Charlotte ever envisage that magic really exists? Even with her own vivid imagination, the place for other realms belonged in a child’s fairy tale. Or so she thought, until she stumbled across a hidden curio shop and an even stranger shopkeeper. He gives her a gift that resembles an antique snow dome, but this is not an ordinary globe. The world Charlotte has always known disappears as she’s spirited away into a mystical land.

This is the beginning of a lifelong friendship that changes Charlotte’s life forever. Discovered by a young elf alone in the forest, she embarks on a journey in search of a group of travelling Entertainers. She encounters heart-stopping dangers and real life monsters, but a far greater threat shadows her every move. Even the strength and skill of her new found companions cannot protect her against a ruthless druid assassin. But in this realm, Charlotte is not the vulnerable little girl she thought she was.

Other books in the series (not released yet):  
#2:  The Wrath of Siren
#3:  Favian's Law

Positive Points
When I read this book for the first time on my online critique group's forum, my first thought was, Why is this book not published yet?  It has everything a bestseller should have:  engaging plot with surprising twists, cliffhangers at the end of almost every chapter, endearing characters I missed when I stopped reading, vivid settings, genuine emotions, and good values, such as friendship and telling the truth, woven into the story in a natural way.  I got tired of waiting for an agent or a publisher to see its value and printed my own copy.  I'm so happy this book is finally available for everyone else to read!

This novel is about a friendship between Charlotte, a ten-year-old girl, and Elderfield, a teenage elf. Their friendship transcends race, gender, age, and even realms.  The bond between them is so strong, so pure, so beautiful.  Now that's my kind of story.

The writing style is excellent.  This book taught me how to eliminate most dialogue tags in my own novel by replacing them with action or description, which is a lot more pleasant to read than "he said" or "she said".  A good balance between description, dialogue and action makes the story flow well and kept me interested from beginning to end.

The story is easy for children to read and understand and interesting enough for adults, like me, who like to read MG books.  It has all the elements of a fantasy book without being heavy on world building and descriptions.

Negative Points
I have to find at least one thing to say here.  The book has multiple POVs, which can be frowned upon by publishers who often prefer a single POV.  But in this case, it works well.  The sections are clearly delimited and each has a single POV. The book would lose a lot of its depth by being told in a single POV. It's interesting to learn more about Dagan, the assassin, for example, by having a glimpse of his world through his own viewpoint.

What makes this book unique
The characters are English, and they talk with a British accent.  The book has many English expressions, which add a flavor to the story. I learned a little about the English culture through this book. When Charlotte's mom asks her to "get her skates on", she means for her to hurry up, not to actually put her Rollerblades on.  Oh, and a jumper is a sweater, not a sleeveless dress.

Overall Impression
This book reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, a young girl finding herself in another realm and trying to find her way back home.  It also reminded me of The Lord of the Rings because of the fantasy elements, but I found it so much simpler to read.  I don't like working hard when I read, trying to remember a lot of characters and settings.

This book is a winner in every way. My thirteen-year-old son agrees.  He read it twice over the last few years, and started reading it a third time on my Kindle now that it's been released. Must be good!

My Rating:

Since this review is part of the author's blog tour, he's offering a free Truth Teller e-book to a winner among whoever shares this post on Facebook or Twitter!  Simply leave a comment below, including your e-mail address where to send the e-book if you win.  To follow the rest of the blog tour, please visit Kurt Chamber's blog.

Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you:

Amazon UKClick here to sample or buy
Amazon USClick here to sample or buy
Smashwords: Click here to sample or buy
Goodreads: Click here to sample or buy
Shelfari: Click here to sample or buy


Emailman said...

WOW! Thanks you so much, Annie, for this amazing review! *beam* This is my first ever book review! I hope they're all as good as this one. :)

This makes me so happy that at least one of my readers understood what I tried to inject into my story. Thank you!


Kate Larkindale said...

Sounds like something my older boy might like to read! Must get me a copy... Oh, but I don't have an e-reader. :(

Emailman said...

You can get it in html version and read it on the computer, Kate. I will try and get it in print as soon as I can, I promise :)

Anastasia V. Pergakis said...

Super fabulous review! I need to get my review written up too - I keep forgetting! Shame on me I know! Do you forgive me Kurt? :) Love ya!

Emailman said...

hahaha!! I didn't know you was going to do a review for me! So yeah, cause I forgive you hehe!! Awesome! I just added a review column on my blog. I'd love to add you to it :)

Annie McMahon said...

I did your first book review, Kurt? What an honor! More to come! Right, Anastasia? You're next! :)

And Kate, if your son likes elves and trolls, castles, scary beasts, and a little magic, he would LOVE this book.

Anonymous said...

Awesome review... now I want to read the book again... Fantastic:)

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks for stopping by, Tania!

Emailman said...

haha!! Thanks Tania :)

Ralene said...

You know, the negative point wasn't really a negative point. I don't think it counted. :P

But, having read TT myself, I know it's awesome. Don't include me in the giveaway b/c I already have it. Just wanted to congratulate my friend on a fantastic first review. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie, I'm a new follower to your site from Twitter! I just wanted to say what an awesome job you did with your review! I enjoyed the fact it's broken up into to clean, digestible sections I can easily reference. Great job! Kudos! :)

Emailman said...

Yay! No negative points! I can live with that haha!!

Awww, thanks Ralene :)

Annie McMahon said...

Ralene!! Nice to see you here! :) I seriously couldn't find anything negative to say.

Welcome to my blog, Jack! I'm glad you like my review.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Jack is right. Your review is reader-friendly, breaking it down in pleasant sections. It makes me want to read the book! I tried to follow but sometimes Blogger hates me! :-)

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, Roland! You really should read it. :)

Brenda Sills said...

Annie! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! Yay!

I wanted to comment here yesterday when I read your marvelous review for Kurt, but after I commented on Kurt's blog I got distracted with making dinner and such! :)

You have such a wonderful blog! I love how it looks and feels and everything. I'm so glad I found you!

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, Brenda! Nice meeting you! :)

cleemckenzie said...

Here's wishing Kurt the very best of luck with his books. Thanks for the review.

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Lee!

Emailman said...

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read Annie's wonderful review :) and for your kind words.

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