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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

IN THE DEAD of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snowcovered streets. The chest can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent’s-head clasp taste blood. Centuries later, in an Oxford library, a boy touches a strange book and feels something pierce his finger. The volume is wordless, but fine veins run through its pages, and they seem to quiver, as if alive. Words begin to appear in the book—words only the boy can see.…

Endymion Spring

by Matthew Skelton

Overall Book Review:

Blake Winters is not happy to be spending some time in Oxford. Although his younger sister thrives in the book-filled academic environment, Blake feels awkward and out of place, and all he wants is to go home… until he discovers a mysterious book on a shelf in the Bodleian library—a book that will change his life forever. Endymion Spring is a love letter to books; not only is the story itself centered around the power of a particular magical book, but Matthew Skelton’s writing is rich with historical research and allusions to classic works of literature both famous and obscure. Although initially intrigued by the book’s premise, I had a bit of a difficult time getting into it, and the pace of the first half sometimes seemed to drag. I also would have liked more detail in many parts of the story; some characters and situations felt a little flat. Still, by the end, Endymion Spring had me on the edge of my seat—and caught up in the wonder of its dusty, magical world.

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

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: One mild obscenity; a few references to people swearing (with no words specified).

Violence/Gore: Blood is a theme throughout the story, and there are various artifacts (a chest, books, etc.) that can only be opened or activated with blood. A boy remembers a fight between his parents. A villain tussles with a boy, threatens him, and eventually hurts him badly (he makes a full recovery).

Sex/Nudity: There is a tiny bit of implied fliration on the part of an adult man and woman. A medieval man says he was kicked out of Oxford for having an affair. A medieval festival takes place and a brief reference is made to a character in costume behaving lewdly (nothing is explicit and it’s not ever made clear what kind of lewd behavior is being exhibited).

Mature Subject Matter:

Parental conflict, sibling conflict, greed.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink wine at a party; children are asked to take glasses of wine to adults at a party.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!