Publisher's Note:  

The town of Eden Grove has a legend: In the center of a pine forest there is an aspen grove, and in the center of the aspen grove is an ancient, magnificent tree. A tree that grants wishes.

Mayberry and Marshall have heard the stories about the Wishing Tree, but they know nothing like that could really exist near their dreary town. Misunderstood and restless, the teenagers wish for a lot of things, including being on another planet altogether. Somewhere with magic and adventure—someplace where they can be heroes.

And then the unlikeliest thing happens: On a hike through the forest, they find the Wishing Tree. The pair make their wish, fall asleep . . . and wake up on Nith, a world that is exactly what they asked for. The alien landscape is beautiful, but it’s also full of dangerous and fantastic creatures, and almost without exception, the creatures are hungry. Soon Mayberry and Marshall learn two very important facts about their wish: First, that magic comes at a very steep cost; second, that they can only be heroes if they can survive. The journey that follows will test the limits of their courage and strength . . . and change them in ways they haven’t begun to imagine.

This epic work brings fantasy to life, first by inviting readers into another world, then by using cutting-edge augmented reality technology to bring the world alive in interactive 3D.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Penguin Group

Between Worlds

by Skip Brittenham

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Overall Review:  

Come to Nith.  A place where your pet may have two heads.  A place where magical beasts and humans have powers to control elements.  A place where you can cross a whole field in a couple of leaps and bounds.  A place where you just might get eaten by a cow.

Between Worlds is the story of two teenagers who decide to explore forbidden woods in search of a tree that has magical powers.  When they find the tree, they are transported to a world where they get to be heroes and run into all sorts of perilous situations.  In the end they find a power within themselves that they never knew they had, which helps them in the real world to defeat the bullies that have been plaguing their lives.

This book is highly imaginative.  Brittenham is amazing in his descriptive narrative.  I had no problem envisioning exactly what the creatures looked like and the world in which they reside.  The magical beasts are unique, creative, and even have a bit of comedy to them.  While there is peril and magic used in the book, I would liken it to the level of Harry Potter.  Damage and death ensue, but it isn’t graphic in nature; the focus is more on the magic then the end results.

This book also has an augmented reality app that accompanies it.  I was able to try it on a limited basis as my advance reader copy did not have all the graphics to make it fully functional.  The app is free and is fantastic.  It is clear that a great deal of time was put into bringing the magical creatures to life through the app.

I think this is a great read for the younger age groups.  It moves quickly and the 237-page length is just right for that younger segment that isn’t ready for the tomes of some of the fantasy novels.  A highly imaginative read that readers will enjoy to the last page.

Review of an Advance Reader's Copy

Content Analysis:  

Language:  4 religious exclamations; 5 mild obscenities; 2 scatological words; 2 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  Beast uses tail to swap human upside head; human uses magic to make basketballs fly into other humans; beast threatens to kill humans; story told of how girl drowns; human scratched with talons of beast; human sustains bumps and bruises after fall; magical creature uses magic to injure and kill other magical beast (crushes with rock); grass slices humans skin with blood seen; humans wage battle with magical creature and destroy temple in process; human elbows another in the chest; magical creature whips human; humans use magic to set an animal on fire; magical creatures eat another (twice); magical creature brands humans (two page description of burning into skin using magic); magical creature inflicts pain on humans using brands and magic spell (twice); step stones turn into magical creatures that humans must fight using magic (spells that move water and wind, repel beasts); four page magical duel between humans and magic beasts; eight page battle where magical creatures engage in hand to hand combat (elements spells, broken bones, creatures described as dead with no detail as to how died).

Sex/Nudity:  Teens hold hands (three times), hug (four times), and kiss (three times); reference to “hooking up”; teen has arm around another’s waist (twice); shoulder massage given between teens (clothed).

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of a child, computer hacking.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Magical creature smokes (through ears).

Reviewed By Beckie
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