Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 304 pages
Release Date: March 18, 2008
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Wingfeather Saga
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3/5 stars
“Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog Nugget. Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, their crippled sister Leeli are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice and pursue the Igibys who hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.”
I was really excited to read this book. It looked like it was going to be a fun and unique adventure fantasy read. It started out that way; I really liked the beginning of the story but then it lost me along the way. It became boring and predictable.
The first part of this book was very fun and looked like it was going to be a very tongue in cheek sort of fantasy adventure. However, it started to loose me midway through when the kids never left their hometown. There was pretty much no adventure in a book that looked like it was building to something fantastic.
Initially the books looks like it’s going to be about Janner going on a great adventure…it’s not. It ends up being more about Janner’s grandfather holding a grudge and learning to forgive and about the Jewels of Anniera.
Additionally the book was so completely predictable that I just couldn’t believe it. I figured out right away the mystery behind the Jewels of Anniera and was incredibly disappointed to be right. The “twist” at the end is just something that has been used as a plot device in soooo many middle grade novels. It felt absolutely tired and I was incredibly disappointed.
I went into this book with big hopes and they were dashed part way through. The book looked so unique and ended up being boring and predictable.
Peterson puts footnotes throughout to expand on the world he’s created. That’s a creative way to expand on the world but has been done many times before (Philip Reeve does it in some of his books and I know there are many others). I am personally not a fan of this either. I think it distracts from the story too much; your attention is constantly jerked away from the story by some boring and miscellaneous footnote.
Overall this was an okay book. I enjoyed the beginning but though the second half was predictable and boring. I think it might have more appeal to middle grade readers who haven’t read as many of these types of books as I have. Part of my issue was that I expected great things going into this book and it just didn’t deliver. I won’t be continuing with the series.