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Jack Staples and the Ring of Time

Review

Jack Staples and the Ring of Time

Jack and Alexia's lives are turned upside down when they learn they are the Children of Prophesy. While the rest of the world lives with invisible scales over their eyes, clouding them from the world as it truly is, Alexia and Jack were born without scales. According to the prophesy, they will both save the world and destroy it, but nobody knows the specifics. Which one saves the world? Which one destroys it?

After terrifying and fantastic beasts attack their small Irish town, Alexia and Jack, along with Jack's friend Arthur, join the Awakened, a group whose own scales have fallen off. The Awakened must protect the children at all costs from the evil Assassin, who wants to control the world. Mrs. Dumphry, the students' very old teacher, is a member of the Awakened. Along with her former pupil, Wild, Mrs. Dumphry saves the children from the beasts and takes them to an underground city full of others who have been awakened. There, the children meet the Council, including the otherworldly Elion, who explain just how important Jack and Alexia truly are. But when the Assassin attacks the city, Jack and Alexia must learn to trust their own abilities and judgments to save the day.

This is the first book in this series, and I hope the next one offers just as much excitement

There are a lot of fresh ideas in this book. The notion that people have scales over their eyes and cannot see the truth is both terrifying and intriguing. Certainly not something I've come across too often in fantasy. Also, Jack and Alexia possess gifts that are interesting and unique to their characters. Jack is whisked back and forth through time with only the sound of ringing bells to warn him. Alexia, the former tightrope walker, is an incredibly skilled climber, scaling tree after tree. She's not so bad with a slingshot, either.

Alexia stood out to me as a strong character. Her story begins with some fantasy clichés like her parents are killed, she refuses to wear dresses and she's a raggedy orphan. However, she proves herself to be plucky and hard to pin down. When Mrs. Dumphry takes the children to the underground city, Alexia refuses to stop asking questions about their situation. She doesn't hold her tongue, and while it doesn't always endear her to the adults of the Council, it certainly endears her to the reader.

The book moves very quickly from scene to scene, and it can be tough at first to orient yourself in the novel's world. It also shifts the point of view from Jack to Alexia to Arthur and back again, which can be challenging to follow at the beginning, especially as each new character is introduced. Eventually, it's easy to keep up, and the pace leaves you a little breathless toward the end, with so many things happening at once.

This is the first book in this series, and I hope the next one offers just as much excitementas well as some more details about the Awakened, the Assassin, and particularly, Mrs. Dumphry's mysterious past.

Reviewed by Rebecca Czochor on August 20, 2014

Jack Staples and the Ring of Time
written by Joel N. Clark and Mark Batterson

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2014
  • Genres: Fantasy, Supernatural
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook
  • ISBN-10: 0781411076
  • ISBN-13: 9780781411073