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a fine piece of storytelling Choice Magazine a captivating children's fantasy adventure S Magazine, The Sunday Express Gripping iVillage.co.uk a pacy adventure Book Witch nail-biting, exciting read Woman's Way The central conceit - that certain people, known as Animare, are able to bring to life any picture they draw - is interesting and explored well, and the main characters, Matt and Emily Calder and their hearing-impaired friend Zach, are appealing and given convincing dialogue. The plot, meanwhile, sees sinister forces aligning to exploit the children's powers to open up a netherworld full of demons and there's a good use of lesser-known beasts from myth and fable. Financial Times an exciting page-turner...awash with devils and demons, set against an atmospheric backdrop Scottish Sunday Post a superbly exciting story Newbury Weekly News a world that is sure to capture children's imaginations The Ulster Star a fascinating premise for a story... The potential is huge and there is plenty of scope for more gripping adventures Parents in Touch a sincerely, skillfully written adventure story with an old-school feel and page-turning energy Doctor Who News fantastically mysterious... Books which transcend age like Hollow Earth are rare - we highly recommend it! www.thebookclub.co.uk Hollow Earth isn't just any book. It may be the Next Big Thing in young adult literature Popmatters.com a brilliant read... keeps the reader on edge and hungry for the next page Millport.com A page-turning supernatural thriller with an educational side, with well researched detail into real paintings by famous artists Julia Eccleshare, LoveReading
In the first novel from actor John Barrowman (best known for his lead role in Torchwood) and his sister, readers meet 12-year-old Matt and Em Calder, telepathic twins who can make the pictures they draw come magically alive. For centuries, "Animares" like the twins (among them Vincent van Gogh) have been governed by the Council of Guardians, which controls and guides their abilities, "Because an Animare may be a danger to others or themselves." Matt and Em, however, are the result of a previously unheard of marriage between an Animare and a Guardian, and the limits of their powers are unknown. The twins' art magic is ingeniously portrayed, and the Scottish setting is nicely handled as a corrupt member of the Council and the evil secret society known as Hollow Earth pursue the children. The novel's action sequences, which repeatedly require characters to whip out sketchbooks and pencils at dire moments, can be cumbersome, though, and while the twins are entertaining protagonists, other characters come across as cartoonish. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 5-10-Em and Matt Calder, 12, inherited the attributes of their Guardian father, Malcolm, and their Animare mother, Sandie. This unprecedented combination puts them in danger from those who want to extinguish their powers and those who want to exploit them for evil ends. When the twins begin to reveal their Animare ability to turn their artistic imaginings into real-world manifestations, they flee with Sandie to an island off the Scottish coast. There their paternal grandfather, Renard, a powerful Guardian, can offer some protection and explanations of the Animare and Guardian attributes and responsibilities. However, no one explains what happened to Malcolm or what is in the satchel Sandie keeps with her. After she disappears and Renard is severely injured, the siblings use their powers to animate their way out of dangerous encounters. Aided by a deaf teenager with lip-reading ability and technological know-how, they thwart those who want to use the twins to open the door to Hollow Earth, a place where all evil creatures are trapped for eternity. A parallel story set in the Middle Ages reveals how an Animare monk illuminating manuscripts saved the island's inhabitants from Viking invaders. Both past and present victories over dark forces rely on the intervention of a peryton, a fantastical creature. At the conclusion, readers can pause for breath from the plot's heart-pounding pace. Added to the elements of history and myth are references to paintings by artists such as Van Gogh and descriptions of the island. These topics should supply readers with plenty to explore while they wait eagerly for the next installment.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.