Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cabinet of Earths, a review

Check it out!
From Goodreads:  On their first day in Paris, Maya and her little brother, James, find themselves caught up in some very old magic. Houses with bronze salamanders for door handles, statues that look too much like Maya's own worried face, a man wearing sunglasses to hide his radiant purple eyes . . . nothing is what it seems. And what does all that magic want from Maya?

With the help of a friendly boy named Valko, Maya discovers surprises hidden in her family tree. And now the shimmering glass Cabinet of Earths, at the heart of all these secrets, has chosen Maya to be its new Keeper. 

As she untangles the ties between the Salamander House, the purple-eyed man, and the Cabinet of Earths, Maya realizes that her own brother may be in terrible danger. To save him, Maya must take on the magical underworld of Paris . . . before it is too late.

My interest in this novel first started when I read an interview of Anne Nesbet at Literary Rambles.  Natalie and Casey, I just have to interrupt for a moment and scream from the mountaintop how much you both ROCK!  Okay, so I mention this for two purposes.  One, to point out how making an appearance at blogs can work.  I don't read much in the MG level but Anne's interview was fun and the description of this novel intrigued me so much I wanted to give it a try.

The second reason I mention the interview is because of some of the tidbits Anne shared that added to my already-germinating intrigue in the book.  She mentioned the following about her own experience and inspiration for this novel: "When we moved to France for a year, we ended up living in an apartment that had a beautiful glass cabinet in the corner, and in that cabinet were all of these mysterious jars and bottles full of sand. I found out later that our landlady had always had a particular love for deserts, and brought back desert sand as a souvenir from every trip she went on, but of course before I heard that explanation, I had spent many hours staring at those glinting bottles and wondering, wondering, wondering...."

I mean, seriously, how cool is that?  So this got the gears in my brain really tick-tocking and I had to read this book.

I enjoyed it thoroughly!  Maya, James and Valko made a wonderful trio of differing personalities that just fit perfectly together.  The phantas-mically witty elements woven throughout the story kept me turning the pages.  An aunt is introduced in a way that I couldn't begin to describe.  Anne does a phenom job of doing it though, and yes, I'm sounding a tad bit fangirl lol!!

Let's just say I would certainly recommend this novel, especially for MG readers or parents/grandparents looking for something unique and adventurous to share with the kiddos.  It will keep their imagination going, for sure.

So, what would you do if you reached for a salamander shaped door handle and the salamander winked at you?

24 comments:

  1. Thanks for the shout out Angela. I really enjoyed this book too. And I loved how the idea came to Anne from the cabinet in her apartment in France. How cool!

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    1. The shout out is beyond deserved. Literary Rambles is like a major blog to check out and I love lurking and commenting whenever I can.

      I was so glad I read this interview. It really helped push this novel up my TBR list.

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  2. I'd SCREAM!!!!
    But when I finished screaming, I'd carry on.. of course!!!!

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    1. LOL!!! I have a bad feeling a few bleeped words would escape my lips then I'd probably turn away shaking my head that the sun must of done something to me lol!!!

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  3. Angela,
    Your blog rocks! I have signed up to get it by email so I won't miss any "AB wisdom".
    -Sandra

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  4. LOL, considering the number of salamanders we had as 'pets' I think I'd wait for it to talk. I always wonder what's going through an animal's head.

    I don't read a lot of MG but I have a summer to fill and this sounds right up #2's alley. Of course, I'll have to read it too :) Thanks for the review Angela!

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    1. You are too cool, Raelyn. I hope you enjoy it. Doing some more checking around for MG books for my Chipmunk as well.

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  5. That is a beautiful cover and the story sounds way fun!

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  6. Winking salamandas - I'd figure I was in Florida. Story looks good, thanks for the review.

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    1. You're welcome LD. Florida, huh? Hmmm...

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  7. This sounds really good, Angela! I normally read PBs and YA, but I may have to climb out of my usual niches and give this one a try! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. My pleasure, Susanna. This novel was a nice surprise. Glad I read it.

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  8. This sounds great! There are so many cool MG books out there, and I would surely miss out on many more than I already do if it weren't for people featuring them on blogs. Thanks :)

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  9. Oh, I've seen this book around and it does sound intriguing. I love that anecdote about the cabinet with jars of desert sand! What a great tidbit. Think I'll keep an eye out for this one. Thanks for the review!

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    1. I wondered how the author could center a story around glasses of sand. But having read it, I had to tip my hat to her.

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  10. Sounds like a fun read! I would most definitely scream or worse if a salamander door knob winked at me. O_O

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    1. LOL!! It was definitely a fun read. Hoping to read it with my Chipmunk soon.

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  11. I'd probably let out a girlie eep of surprise :)
    I haven't read any MG books, but I love the story of the bottles and the sand. Very cool.

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    1. Sometimes it's just really cool learning the inspirations behind some stories.

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  12. My boys might like this story as a read aloud. I'm always looking for books for them. I'm so glad you featured this, Angela!

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  13. I loved that story about the desert sand collected in bottles. Now that's a hobby!

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