Quick Take: Three children discover their magical history and must defeat an evil sorceress, righting a world gone wrong.
Why I Picked It: The dust jacket copy amused me; then I read the author was one of the writers for Gilmore Girls, which I adored.
My Thoughts: Three not-quite-orphans, Kate, Michael & Emma, were left at an orphanage 10 years ago. The children believe their parents are alive and coming back for them, so they refused to be called orphans. They are sent to an orphanage in upstate New York; it’s a strange old house where they appear to be the only children. Here they come to discover more about their parents, the Books of Beginning, and how they each fit into the mythology of these books.
It’s an interesting premise, but for many reasons I was unimpressed with the novel. First, I didn’t particularly care about the children. There was never any doubt whether or not good would triumph over evil (sorry if that’s a spoiler for you), the tale wasn’t as funny as the jacket copy led me to believe, and as too often happens with time travel plots, the timelines became far too mixed up and illogical. I recognize that I’m not the target audience for this book, and perhaps if you’re 10, you won’t be as concerned as I was with whether or not all this time travel makes sense.
This is the first in a series. There are three Books of Beginning (I think?) and each child is connected to one. Katherine, the eldest, is the one connected to the atlas featured in this tale. I have no desire to read more in this series, which is why I downgraded to a C+.