Title: Gabriel Finley and the Lord of Air and Darkness
Author: George Hagen
Series: Gabriel Finley, Book 2
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Hardcover: 290 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Gabriel Finley is longing to find his mother, who vanished without a trace when he was just a baby. Along with Gabriel’s raven, Paladin–with whom he has a magical bond that enables them to become one creature and FLY!–and his three friends, he ventures back to the ruined underground city of Aviopolis to free her from the rune in which she has been imprisoned. But Aviopolis is home to Corax, the Lord of Air and Darkness, who is also Gabriel’s uncle. And before Tabitha Finley is released, Gabriel must answer a riddle…or else be imprisoned for eternity within a rune himself.
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Gabriel Finley and the Lord of Air and Darkness is a cute adventure story that focuses on Gabriel Finley, a boy who belongs to a line of people who have been known to become magically bonded to ravens. His uncle, however, used that power for evil and Gabriel now has to fight against him in order to save his long-lost mother and
This was a fast and easy read that focuses on friendship and family. Gabriel and his friends continually get themselves into trouble when trying to be independent and solve problems themselves, but they always have each other’s backs and each has his or her own strengths. I love how close and supportive they all are of each other, yet still have a few minor disagreements; I feel like it perfectly encapsulates having a best friend group. It’s also great how supportive and trusting the adults are; Gabriel and co. aren’t running around by themselves because of absentee parents, but because they have parents who trust them to make responsible choices, which is a nice change of pace for storytelling.
The story itself is exciting and has lots of twists and turns, which makes for an enthralling, page-turning experience. I could see reluctant readers being sucked into a book like this — lots of action and adventure. I haven’t read the first book, but still found it fairly easy to follow along (the first book is summarized quite well within the story). One of my favorite parts is how magic into everyday items throughout the story: stoves, writing desks, cages, etc. I enjoyed how this seems to take place in an every day world, but it’s all imbued with magic. This book also has fun with riddles, which are the key to magic in this fantasy world that Hagen has created; one of Gabriel’s friends makes a hobby of studying riddles so that she’ll be prepared when she needs them.
Definitely get this for the fantasy lover in your life. While it’s been compared to Harry Potter by some, I get more of a Underland Chronicles (by Suzanne Collins) feel to it — just not as dark.