Today is the one year anniversary of the publication of this book, so I thought it only fit to post the review today. Besides, I haven’t written a book review in a long time.
About the Book
Title: Countryside #1: The Book of the Wise
Author: J.T. Cope IV
Source: Review copy
Publication Date: December 2nd, 2013
Blurb: You have a power within you, one that is within everyone…It s the same power that fills that building, that keeps that tree alive…and the same power that has attracted your attention…I know it s all a bit strange to you, but I assure you it is quite real…
Eleven-year-old Luke Rayburn has never seen a skyline without skyscrapers or fallen asleep to anything but the sound of traffic. But his life is about to change in ways he never imagined.When his father leaves for a year of military service, Luke and the rest of his family move into their grandparents home in the remote town of Countryside, a place like no other. There, Luke will be drawn into a centuries-old quest for an almost-forgotten book whose secrets will determine the fate of the world. He will have to reach deep to discover the power within him as he battles the forces of darkness and an alliance of sinister men who seek to destroy any who get in their way.
The first thing that really popped out at me about this book was the prologue. So may prologues can be boring and filled with boring back story that the reader really does not need. Fortunately, this prologue was fresh and exciting. It pulled me right in and raised so many questions throughout my mind, which made the story all the more suspenseful.
Speaking of suspenseful, it’s the story’s middle name. Throughout the story the author gives just enough information that the reader knows what’s going on, but he also holds back to raise questions in the reader’s mind. I found myself wondering about so many things while I was reading and that just caused me to keep on turning the pages to find out exactly what was going on in Countryside. There was always an unanswered question, which made the story so much more entertaining.
Another aspect that I really enjoyed about the book was the unpredictable ending. I’ve read so many books with predictable endings that seem like they were meant to be unpredictable but really aren’t. This book had a mix of both a predictable part of the ending and an unpredictable part of the ending. Just as I thought that I had predicted the ending and my prediction was verified, another shocker completely turned the whole story around. And then came another shocker. I can’t tell you much, but I’ll say that it involves how Luke finds the Book of the Wise, and I never saw it coming.
The final aspect that I thought really made this book unique was the realistic relationships that Luke had with his family. The dialogue between him and his family members rang true and I found that I could connect to many of the trials and tribulations within his family. Unfortunately, the friendship aspect of this book was not as realistic. I felt that Luke and Jon David hated each other for no inherent reason and that their name calling was cliche and unrealistic. Whenever an instance of this came up, I became detached from an otherwise immersive story.
Overall, this book was suspenseful, unpredictable and had realistic family relationships. The unrealistic hatred between Luke and Jon David detracted from the book, but it was still an enjoyable read. I recommend this to MG readers who want to read a book that is like a mix between The Chronicles of Narnia and LOTR.
**I got this book for free in exchange for my honest review.**
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Did it also remind you of The Chronicles of Narnia and LOTR? What other books have you read that have interesting prologues?