Monday, March 12, 2012

MG Book Review: The Door to Far-Myst, by Mike DiCerto

(Rupert Starbright, # 1 of a new series)

General Information
Publisher:  Zumaya Publications
Year of publication:  2011
# of chapters:  16
# of pages:  192
Genre:  Fantasy
Plot summary: (from publisher's website)

Rupert Dullz isn't very happy. His grandmother's coffus is getting worse, school is boring and there's nothing to do on his days off but rake up endless piles of leaves. Everything in Graysland is, well, gray, and every day is just like the one before it, and the one before that.

That is, until a strangely dressed man named Pie O'Sky swoops out of nowhere in his multicolored bagoon and offers a special reward to whoever can open his mysterious door. When Rupert succeeds, he's thrilled when Pie O'Sky carries him beyond it to the brilliantly colored land of Far-Myst. Adventure calls, and Rupert discovers a wonderful world full of something he's never heard of before--imagination.

But Far-Myst is in danger, and it may be that only Rupert has the power to save it. Is he the one whose imagination is powerful enough to stop the evil that is destroying the beautiful world beyond the door?

Next book in the series:  Not yet released

Positive Points
Mike DiCerto's writing style fascinated me from the very first page.  The imagery and descriptions are funny and interesting, even surprising at times.  Before finishing the first chapter, I had already decided it was a book I wanted to read.  It made me laugh out loud several times.  My kids were starting to wonder what was wrong with me.

My interest decreased slightly around the middle, but I still enjoyed the whole book.  The plot was fresh and interesting, and the setting very unique.  It reminded me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Alice in Wonderland, a magical world where all kinds of unusual things happen.

This story is about the main character using his imagination and the power of his mind to overcome the obstacles he faces. Fear interferes (no pun intended) with his power to imagine his way out of tricky situations.  The theme is woven into the story in a natural, non-preachy way, which is awesome. I always like books that are not only entertaining to read, but that also have a deeper theme.  Well done.

Negative Points
I was expecting this book to be a stand-alone story, even if it's meant to be part of a series, but it ends in the middle of the story, in a place where I least expected to see the dreaded words: "To Be Continued..." All books I've read that were part of a MG series had a beginning, a middle and an end. Well, except one of the last books in A Series of Unfortunate Events, but in general, they all have a beginning, a middle, and a clear ending. I found it disappointing to have to wait until the next book comes out to find out what happens next.

I noticed several grammar errors, which I mentioned to the author in a separate e-mail.  I expect a published book to be error-free.

What makes this book unique
Everything! The settings, the characters, the voice, the theme... This book was unique and fresh in so many ways! Looking forward to reading book #2, which is coming out this month.

Overall Impression
This story would make great as a movie.  I can picture the scenes clearly in my mind, in vivid colors.  Mike DiCerto applied the "Write what you know" saying very well.  He does have a great imagination and is definitely qualified to write a book around this theme.

My Rating:

Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you:
     (paperback)                (kindle)


Barbara Watson said...

I haven't heard of this book (or the coming series). It is different for MG not to have an ending to the book even though it's part of a series.

Alleged Author said...

This does sound like a very unique book. :)

Anonymous said...

I always love your reviews Annie... and this is no exception:)

Ohh I just tagged you on my blog...:) Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great review Annie! BTW - Kindle/Nook edition is on sale for $2.99 until Book 2 comes out (THE SECRET OF MY-MYST)!- Mike DiCerto

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, Barbara and Alleged Author!

Ooh, Tania! I just read your blog and now I'm glad you tagged me. Looks like a fun post to do. Thank you! I'll do it on my next post.

Good to know, Mike! Looking forward to reading book 2! :)

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