Review Blog

Nov 29 2017

The amulet of Athlone by R. E. Devine

cover image

Chronicles of Jack McCool. Bauer, 2017. ISBN 9781742459202
(Age: 8-12) Jack McCool is having a bad day at school with his art teacher (the aptly named Miss Medusa, who seems to have a few anger management issues of her own) and a bully named Oscar. Things don't seem to get any better when he returns home, so Jack decides to escape to the attic where he discovers an amulet and is transported back in time to the camp site of the legendary warrior, Finn McCool.
Finn embraces Jack's appearance as proof of an ancient legend, which will help free his mother from a cruel spell and defeat an evil king.
The amulet is missing its six precious, enchanted stones and Jack must retrieve them all to break the curse.
R. E. Devine has intertwined the story of Finn McCool into her novel. Finn is a mythical hunter warrior and tales of his deeds are part of Irish folklore.
She has already written the first four books in this six-part series and I assume each book will be dedicated to the retrieval of one of the magical stones to be returned to the amulet.
These books will appeal to lovers of fantasy and the cover illustration of a determined Jack in full ancient garb is eye catching.
R. E. Devine has stated that she wanted to create a "rollicking adventure" that had humour and appealed to reluctant readers or those with ADHD and there is certainly a lot of quick paced action in the story and much less description of the setting or the characters.
This book is suited to students in the 8 to 12 age bracket.
Jane Moore

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