posted Aug 19, 2016, 4:34 PM by SCHS Lib

Summary from Goodreads: 
Joshua’s life is on the line, as he attempts to navigate through the magical world of Forestium to find the truth about his father. He and his companions will need to use all their cunning to stay alive and avoid the dark forces of the Goat. 

Will he find the magical orbs and open the Portallas, a magical gateway to other worlds, before he’s killed?
Joshua sets out to learn the truth about his father. Along the way, he finds friends, enemies, adventure, romance and himself.

My thoughts:
First, I left the cover nice and big for a reason. Look at it! LOOK. AT. IT! See the detail in the art? Beautiful! It doesn't stop there. From the beginning of chapter art pieces, the map, and even the section dividers, everything coordinates well and brings you into the world Christopher Morgan has created.

Now, onward to the actual writing itself. For Americans, it is a bit of an adjustment reading in the appropriate British English. The author is thoughtful enough to include a note regarding this, so the reader is prepped for the mysteries that I had in my mind. Starting off with a bang helped sustain me through the "getting to know you" phase with the characters and their world. Morgan keeps it interesting, but it is even better knowing that there is going to be a nice payoff in the end. Of course, this is merely the first in a new series. 

The writing is clear without bogging the reader down with unnecessary events or lengthy descriptions that don't add to the experience. It was easy to follow without talking down to the readers. My 11 year old is receiving this book next as a prequel to fantasy greats such as Lord of the Rings. Forestium is a great way to introduce any reader to well-written fantasy. Reluctant readers will enjoy the action and spacing between lines. 

As an adult who has read plenty of novels, this is the first book that I've been comfortable saying is a great beginner fantasy - regardless of age or life experience. Well worth any time and money you invest.