Sunday, 10 April 2011

Bran Hambric - The Farfield Curse

Author: Kaleb Nation
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Pages: 430
Series: 1st book in the Bran Hambric series
Series Order:
1. Bran Hambric - The Farfield Curse (2009)
2. Bran Hambric - The Specter Key (2010)
First Line: "The night was cold and dead and so was Clarence's heart."

Synopsis: At the age of 6 Bran Hambric was found alone inside a locked bank vault in the city of Dunce, a town where all magic is considered illegal. For the past 8 years Bran has been living with the quirky Wilomas family and has no memory of his first 6 years of life. One night when Brad is 14 years old he is confronted by a deformed creature who speaks of Bran's past and attempts to kidnap him. Bran learns that he is in the middle of an evil magical plot that was started years before by his own mother and it's up to him to put a stop to it.

My Thoughts: I saw this book in the Young Adults section of the library and picked it up for my 9 and 11 year old boys to read. I thought the synopsis was intriguing and figured I might read it after the boys were finished with it. Well, my 9 year old read the prologue and didn't want to read any more and my 11 year old was well into his 5th reading of the Percy Jackson series so he took a pass.

Personally, I didn't love the book ... at all. It was uninspired and so very slow. Initially I thought I'd like the book because it had a very Harry Potter-esque feel to it. But there's similarity and then there's blatant copying. As many of you know I adore the Harry Potter series. I think it was exceptionally well thought out, well written and evokes the readers' imaginations with vivid descriptions and mulit-dimensional characters. This book? Not ... even ... close.

"The Farfield Curse" was so similar to the HP series it was almost laughable. Let's just say that if I was J.K Rowling I'd have lawyers on the phone. Here are just a few of the HP similarities:
- main character is a boy who never realised that he was magical
- this boy was raised by a surrogate family who hates all magic and who don't like him
- the physical description of the 'evil guy' was a dead on description of HP's Voldemort
- the mother loses her life while protecting her child from evil
- the banker's children are spoiled rotten like Dudley Dursley
- the evil guy has parts of his soul hidden so that he can come back to life (hello Voldemort!)
- the bad guy and the boy have a telepathic connection

My biggest beef about this book was that it took half of the book for the storyline to build up enough momentum ... and even then it wasn't a big 'can't put the book down' moment. The silliness of Bran's surrogate family was annoying and unbelievable. Sewey (the surrogate father/banker) was ridiculous with his gnome issues and felt a Uncle Vernon Dursley (HP) knock-off. I'm not even sure why his wife (the germophobe) was even in the book. Her role was non-existent to the storyline and her medications for various illnesses was just silly and felt like page filler.

For the first part of the book the author kept my interest with little cliff hangers but in the last half of the book, I admit, that I had to force myself to finish the book. I didn't feel a connection with the main character and never got a sense of how he felt about what was happening to him. The reader was told that Bran was sad but we never saw Bran being sad. The secondary characters (like the gnome Polland and Adi) were very one-dimensional.

If you haven't guessed by now I wouldn't recommend this book. If you're looking for amazing supernatural reads stick with Harry Potter and Percy Jackson - both series I highly recommend.

My Rating: 1.5/5 stars


angie @ the cellar door stories said...

thanks SO much for stopping by my blog and leaving some comment love and becoming a follower!! i really appreciate it....and I LOVE that you have sample bathroom counters in your wallet!!! :)

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Glad to know I'm not alone in the whole 'bring your colours with you' home decor thing, Angie. ;) Thanks for coming by and checking out my blog as well. :)

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