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Friday, April 12, 2013

Emma and the Elementals, Book 1: Root Bound by Tanya Karen Gough

Hi guys!
Welcome back to the Friday edition of the place that aims to satisfy your bookish needs...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers; though my title definition alone, my "job" will never be done. (*fist pump*) ^_^

So, how was your week?  Get a lot accomplished work, reading, or life wise?  Here's hoping because the weekend is upon us...well, most of us, though little ole me has to work (*le sigh*), but I digress...and it's time to set those plans of relaxation and recreation you've been dreaming of into action.  With that in mind, I'd like to introduce you to a new friend of mine.  It's a book (go figure, right? *smirk*) aimed at children 10 and up but in my opinion great for anyone that enjoys Children's Fiction...and what's more, it's the start of a NEW series!  Can we say I'm excited?  Yep.  Sure am.  LOVE adding to my "future reads" list and if book one is any indication, it's definitely gonna be something to watch for.  Without further ado, allow me to introduce today's book of choice...

Emma and the Elementals, Book 1:

About to book....
Emma and her father are always on the move, travelling from place to place as her father’s work demands. Their new home, however, is different. There’s a frightening woman who lives down the hall: she bears an uncanny resemblance to a witch. A mysterious light comes from her apartment, and a small boy seems to be trapped inside.
School in this town is no happy place either, with an odd principal and a gang of girls who make tormenting Emma their special project. And strangest of all is the fact that there seem to be brownies - basement brownies, in the air vent in her bedroom.
Haunted by visions of her mother, Emma travels through the brownie burrow to the valley of Hades to visit with the goddess Ceres, following a series of clues that lead her across the sea of memory to the centre of the world.
There, on an inhospitable rock floating in a sea of steaming lava, Emma must find a way to release her mother from the sea of memory and restore magic to both the brownie burrow and the human world above.

Brownies and witches and family lost...oh my!  It's a mixed bag on the character cast list for certain but all your favorites are there, ready and willing to guide you through this topsy turvy (or perhaps that should read bottomsy turvy seeing as they ARE basement brownies) adventure.  The story line bounces between reality and dreams, landing squarely on the shoulders of the "somewhere in between".  Just when you think you know which way its going, POOF...something else changes to alter your path.  It was really quite GOOD!

Emma is a sweetheart!  So brave and strong despite her slight size (ignore what the brownies say, she IS
NOT a monster!) and with love that knows no bounds for those that endear themselves to her...which is pretty much everyone except the SCARY crew that she encounters on this her latest move.  I mean really, I knew there was something more than gravy and grave about the old woman in their new building...*-*...~shudders~.  She'd frighten a mouse away from the tastiest cheese platter on earth!  Her Dad is not one to forget either though his role in the story is more sideline than starring.  He's one of those parents that is actually trying to do the best he can for his daughter...and their strong relationship is one of the reasons that Emily is able to find her way back when things get shaky.  Wondering about her Mom?  I would be, had I not read the book...*ahem*.  The person "lost" I mentioned was her Mother but no one we love is ever completely gone, something Emily discovers along her journey.  Moving forward...

We can't forget the magically tinged cast members!  From basement brownies you want to hug (Truss!) to those you'd like to smack upside the head (Mat!), former sirens turned gossamer gown wearing friends to pterodactyl-like birds (George!) that can transport a handful of brownie sized individuals and then some...or thrash the daylights out of a gorgon that gets out of hand (hehe), there is someone that you'll find a friend within.  But if it ends up being the witch or the Fates, I might have to look the other way....*-*.  Now for a few more "loves"...

I loved the counterpart aspect between Over and Under beings; exploring how their other halves lived was ironic, curious and sometimes down right funny! (The stone gargoyle appropriate!) The blend of cultures and beliefs such as Roman and Greek gods/goddesses was interesting as well and showed how there's room for all when consideration for each other is given. The story takes curious twists and turns much like the roots that run beneath Emily's new home but they all lead back to one conclusion...a highly addictive story that will have readers of all ages smiling from the brownie banter (now that's banter, not batter), cringing from the Gorgeous Gang, fighting for those they love and in general...having a great time between the pages.

My only less-than-exuberant comment would be in regards to the cover.  It's not bad in the least and it does feature something that plays a BIG role in the story however after reading the book I can totally see this one more along the lines of this...

...okay, so its a bad drawing I know (don't hold it against me!), but it just seemed to jump from the pages to my minds eye.  It symbolized to me an even more important aspect of the work...the roots that all things have and the love, time, memories and more that go into their creation.  Some are healthy, some not so much...but we all have it in our power to influence the impression we leave in any given place or on any person we encounter, for better or worse.  Which one will you choose?  If I know you at all readers, I'm thinking the former.  ^_^

So, if you enjoy stories with a blend of reality and fantasy, filled with brownies sometimes think they know everything and evil witches out to make more than "little-girl-stew", this is definitely the book for you.  Emily will capture your heart as will her new brownie friends as you journey from Over to Under in a life altering quest to save pretty much everything from falling into the clutches of evil.  Trust me, you want to stay away from those clutches and with friends like just might accomplish it.  

Special thanks to author Tanya Karen Gough for the review copy.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this amazing new series as well as the author herself, be sure to stop by the official blog, like the Facebook page, or follow along on Twitter!  Book one in this planned FOUR book series (*adds to wish list*) is available now from Baba Yaga Press in both ebook and paper formats, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.  Can't find it in store?  No worries!  Here are a few links to get you started on your quest...Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Lulu, and Smashwords.

Until next time...happy reading!


Kimberly @ Turning the Pages said...

Root Bound sounds like a really good read! I like how unique it sounds :) Great review & thanks for introducing me to a new book!
- Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

What a bizarre yet fascinating story. I have never heard of it.


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

I love the sounds of all the magical beings and such. :) THank you.

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