‘Arlo Finch and the Valley of Fire’
By John August
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Publish Date: 2018
Series: Book #1 of the Arlo Finch Series
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon Book Depository Booktopia Audible Dymocks QBD
Arlo Finch is a newcomer to Pine Mountain, Colorado, a tiny town of mystery and magic, but he’s already attracted the attention of dark and ancient forces. At first he thinks these increasingly strange and frightening occurrences are just part of being in Rangers, the mountain scouting troop where he learns how to harness the wild magic seeping in from the mysterious Long Woods. But soon Arlo finds himself at the centre of a dangerous adventure, where he faces obstacles that test the foundations of the Ranger’s Vow: Loyalty, Bravery, Kindness, and Truth.
I hadn’t heard much about this book. I saw ‘A Dash of Ash’ unbox it in an Owl Crate Junior and as soon as she read the synopsis I knew I wanted to read it. I jumped online (publications usually take longer to hit Australian stores) and ordered it. That video came out not two weeks ago and I’m already done.
It was a great story, a fantastic middle grade fantasy. I loved the fantasy elements mixed into a town called ‘Pine Mountain’. It is fantastically written with thought it every character.
I instantly loved Arlo Finch. From his introduction he seemed a kind, honest and brave character. I love characters like this in middle grade. I found him very three dimensional and holding many of the important values that it is important for children of that age to be exposed to.
The story flowed well with no abrupt changes in where the story was going and the writing never felt clunky or rushed. It also had very interesting magical creatures. Ones called the ‘Whisps’ gave me total Zelda vibes!
I am already ready for the second book ‘Arlo Finch in the Lake of the Moon’ which is in my Wishlist ready for me to order in February 2019 (so long to wait!!)
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 8/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10