The last thing Barclay Thorne ever wanted was an adventure.– GoodReads
Did you ever read a book that just restored your faith in books? This was kind of like that for me. I took forever to get to it but when I finally sat down and read it, I was so glad it did. It gave me such a nostalgia throw back. This was the sort of adventure that I loved as a kid.
Foody gives us this protagonist who doesn’t want to be a main character really. He would like to continue his apprenticeship with the local mushroom farmer, to never venture into the forest, and to blend in completely.
Unfortunately for Barclay, that’s not an option. Adventure and trouble follow him until it gets to a point where he’s not able to stay in the town anymore. He has to set out and go seek his adventure whether he wants to or not. Our reluctant hero is taken to a new town with almost no rules compared to his old one full of them, and he sees what a life with magic really means; the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all.
The inner-struggle of Barclay not wanting to enjoy his new found life and the desire to go home and just be normal are very real. This is done in such a perfect middle grade voice, I can easily see so many children loving it because it would be easily relatable. The timing is set up well, Foody is introducing this new series, she doesn’t do all the things in one book but she is setting up for adventures and magic for books to come and still we get a great preview of all of that in this first book.
The magic system is unique but also reminds me of Pokemon and that’s just awesome. There’s magical creatures you can bond with and sense of lawlessness that’s such a great parallel to the town that Barclay comes from.
There are some great side characters and I think we’ll see more of them which just makes it that much better. They’re fully fleshed out, and honestly you know them just as well as Barclay. We have a found family and magical creatures all for an amazing middle-grade read!
4/5 cups of coffee from me, the spawn and I will be reading this together now! Thanks so much to GoodReads and the Publisher for an ARC in exchange for my honest review!