As you know, I've been slurping down books. And my latest find that I can't stop talking about is The Familiars. Seriously, if you lament the end of Harry Potter, you need to check out this series. I hooked my daughter Lauren on them and we continue to debate which is our favorite familiar. I, of course, am Team Aldwyn, but Lauren is Team Gilbert. I also contacted the authors Adam Epstein and Andrew Jacobson and they were gracious to do an interview.
The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
Other books in the series:
The Hook: When the ruthless Paksahara curses Vastia and all human magic disappears, Aldwyn, the telekinetic cat, Skylar, the illusionist blue jay, and Gilbert the divining tree frog must find the Crown of the Snow Leopard before Paksahara raises an army of zombie animals to destroy Vastia.
Why I love this book and the series: Action and humor. Both books are a roller coaster of excitement and danger. The familiars weave in and out of trouble from the first to last page. These books are a great pick for reluctant readers because of their creativity and non-stop action. Plus, the animals are funny and I found myself laughing out loud in both books. Epstein and Jacobson use humor in tense scenes which relieves the tension and makes them fabulous for middle graders of all ages. The series is great for boys but girls will love it too. Seriously, if you need a great series after your child finishes Harry Potter, this is it.
Secrets of the Crown stands alone but I would recommend reading the first book just because you'll have a better understanding of the familiars, their origins, and their loyals. Secrets of the Crown takes off from the first page and doesn't stop, I whipped through it in a day and it only took Lauren three (apparently, she has to go to school).
Lauren's opinion: I really like the familiars. I love the adventures they go on and I think it would be really cool to have a familiar. [Mom, can I be a witch for halloween and can we get a tree frog familiar for me?] Gilbert is my favorite because he's really funny. I like Skylar because she's a girl and really smart but I just like Gilbert better. I can't wait for the third book.
My Interview with Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
If you could be a familiar, what would you be and what would you want as your power?
I think I'd be a hamster and my power would be the ability to stuff anything into my mouth...kinda like Mary Poppins' bag. I need a bag like that in my life. Plus hamsters sleep a lot, and I need more sleep.