The Serpent's Ring (Relics of Mysticus- Book One) by H.B. Bolton
ebook and paperback
Published July 2012 by H.B. Bolton
Evan and Claire Jones are typical teenagers, forced to go with their parents to yet another boring museum ... that is, until something extraordinary happens to make their day a little more than interesting. After following a strange little creature into a closed exhibit, Evan and his older sister, Claire, discover the Serpent’s Ring, one of the magical relics formed from the shattered Mysticus Orb. Purely by accident, they have awakened its powers and opened a portal to Sagaas, land of ancient gods.
Before the siblings can comprehend what has happened, the Serpent’s Ring is wrenched from Evan’s hand by an enormous bird and flown back to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea. Evan and Claire, accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, must retrieve the Serpent’s Ring before Aegir uses its immense powers to flood all the lands on Earth.
For each age group I read I tend to look for and expect certain things. With middle grade I want characters that stand out somehow. With snark or humor, or incredible courage. In this book I found that in Evan. That stand out quality, I mean. He doesn't have the snark so much (maybe a little) but he has humor and incredible courage. And Claire has this ability to just roll with the punches and think super fast. She's sort of nonchalant all through the crazy adventure, but she's super smart, figuring things out so they can survive intact and alive.
Another thing I love in middle grade is a really good adventure. And H.B. Bolton went all out on creativity for this adventure. It's a fantasy adventure when Evan and Claire stumble into this alternate 'world' where they encounter many different sorts of creatures while in their quest to find the Serpent's Ring before Aigir destroys the world. They are pursued by creatures and helped by a other creatures and we see everything from imps, to giants to mermaid like people, and so much in between.
This is a really fast read, not long in length at all, but it's also constant action. From the moment the book starts we are thrust into this world where Evan and Claire must constantly be on their toes, battling one thing after another just to survive. I found it very easy to cruise through the book without ever growing bored. I think that middle grade readers will eat this book up because I know I would have loved it as a kid!
And just because I know people tend to be hesitant about reading indie and self published books, this book is actually by award winning author Barbara Brooke. (Pen names can be so confusing.)
Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.