Monday, October 23, 2017

Middle Grade Monday: (arc review) The Adventurers Guild by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos

The Adventurers Guild by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos. 320 p. Disney Press, October, 2017. 9781484788011. (arc courtesy of Books, Bytes and Beyond)

Middle Grade Monday features The Adventurers Guild by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos. Centuries before, monsters attacked the world and Freestone was one of the few surviving cities. Since then, the residents and the city have been under the protection of magical wards that keep the monsters out. The Mages Guild is responsible for the protection of the city and that's the guild that Zed, a half-elf, half-human, wants to be chosen for in the upcoming Guildculling. His best friend, Brock, expects to be chosen for the Merchants Guild, continuing a family tradition. After each were claimed by the guild of their choice, Zed's world was turned upside down when the dangerous, Adventurers Guild claimed him. Brock, impulsively joins Zed and the two plus, two others barely survive their initiation night. The Adventurers Guild is the authors' debut and the beginning of a series. The authors are best friends and Dungeons and Dragons fans. 

The above blurb was put on the morning announcements as well as my web pages at my school. They, by necessity need to be short. I'd like to talk about it a bit more here.

I first learned of this book when I received an email from Trish at Books, Bytes and Beyond*, asking if I'd be interested in hosting the authors in November. Truthfully, I wasn't that eager. Getting permission for those drop-in authors-on-tour assemblies is tricky. Plus, I feel terrible when book sales are weak. It is very hard to get middle school students to take those flyers home! And, many of them are content to borrow the book from the library. But, interest was there on the part of the LA teachers, and permission was obtained so I received the arc to read so I could book talk the book. 

Well, I read the book in one big gulp! I read a fair amount of fantasy and after a while, as enjoyable as they are, they kind of blur into the same book. This one was funny, fast-paced and had fantastic world building. The third-person POV switches between Zed and Brock. These two are instantly endearing. Zed is earnest, Brock is sassy. They are best friends in the truest sense. The secondary characters are all well-drawn. So are the monsters, or Dangers that are waiting to prey on Freestone and its citizens. 

There was plenty of humor as well as adventure and suspense. I found myself chuckling frequently at the banter and smart dialogue. The book does not end in a cliff-hanger; but Freestone is not yet safe, leaving readers satisfied but also eager for the next installment. 

Unfortunately for us, a scheduling glitch forced us to cancel the visit. I am so disappointed. I was really looking forward to hearing from the authors about their creative process.

Give The Adventurers Guild to your fantasy fans, especially those who love The Septimus Heap series. You might also try it with dormant readers or those who enjoy a lot of action in their reading. I know the book will be popular here at TMS!

*If you live in the Bergen County area and want personal service with your book ordering, call Books, Bytes and Beyond. Ditto if you are hosting an author. Trish will work with you - advise on titles, ordering, etc.

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