Publisher's Note:  

Teacups: great for tea. Really sucky as places-to-live-out-the-rest-of-your-eternal-existence. Very little elbow room, and the internet connection is notoriously slow. Plus, they're a real pain in the butt to get out of, especially when you've gone non-corporeal.

When Tomas was six, someone—something—tried to drown him. And burn him to a crisp. Tomas survived, but whatever was trying to kill him freaked out his parents enough to convince them to move from Slovakia to the United States.

Now sixteen-year-old Tomas and his family are back in Slovakia, and that something still lurks somewhere. Nearby. Ready to drown him again and imprison his soul in a teacup.

Then there’s the fire víla, the water ghost, the pitchfork-happy city folk, and Death herself who are all after him.

All this sounds a bit comical, unless the one haunted by water ghosts and fire vílas or doing time in a cramped, internet-deprived teacup is you.

If Tomas wants to survive, he'll have to embrace the meaning behind the Slovak proverb, So smr?ou ešte nik zmluvu neurobil. With Death, nobody makes a pact.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Tu Books


by Bryce Moore

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Overall Review:  

Vodnik by Bryce Moore is a fun adventure story.  Those who enjoyed the Fablehaven series will probably like Vodnik. Magic and mystical creatures abound, but the reader will be delighted to be introduced to creatures and myths from a different part of the world.  Heavily influenced by Slovakian myths and folklore, Moore creates an entertaining story that keeps the reader interested. 


The story is told through a 16 year old boy and sometimes the teenage voice does not create the depth of emotion that the story warrants, but on whole the writing is well done.  Fantasy stories, even those based on existing folklore, have the advantage of freedom for the writer to create whatever world or creature they want.  Reading Vodnik is no different, but at times the back story was a little lacking and I wished for more details about this world and the creatures that inhabit it. However, it is apparent that this book is a start of a series and what seems to be a very good series.  Can't wait for more!

Content Analysis:  

Language/Profanity: 1 Religious exclamation; 6 Mild obscenities; 3 anatomical terms.


Violence/Gore: Fantasy violence including fight with water serpent, fire spirit, other magical creatures;  Destruction of property including car crash, burning buildings, and vandalism; Three fight scenes with street gang, including punching, kicking, and wrestling.  In one fight a member of the gang urinates on a character after beating him;  Few references to drowning victims, including detailed attacks ending in death also an accidental drowning; Few spooky scenes involving flashbacks that include being attacked and drowned in a river, being buried alive, and trapped in crypt.


Sex/Nudity:  Character uses a kiss to complete a spell; Character awakes naked in a hospital.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Racism; Terminal Illness; Death of Family Member; Communism.

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Reviewed By Matthew
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