This is one of those Youth/Teen adventure series in the vein of Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, Alcatraz, and Ranger’s Apprentice. You know the type. There are kind of a dime-a-dozen, so the good ones really need to standout or they just get swamped. This one is right on the edge.
Title: The Forbidden Stone
Series: The Copernicus; Book 1
Author: Tony Abbott
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
ROTS Setting: CU, present day, astronomy
Synopsis: It all began when four friends-Wade, Lily, Darrel, and Becca-received a strange, coded email from Wade’s uncle Henry shortly before the old man’s sudden death. They set off for Germany to attend the funeral with Wade’s father, Roald, and discover that Uncle Henry left them yet another baffling message that they suspect is the key to figuring out how and why he died. The message leads to a clue, and the more clues they discover, the farther they travel down a treacherous path toward an ancient, guarded secret. Soon they are in a breathless race across the globe, running for their lives as a dangerous shadow organization chases them around every corner. Their only hope of saving themselves-and the world that they know-is to find twelve magical relics from a hidden past that will unlock the Copernicus Legacy.
Recommendation: A decent read, and good for younger readers.
My first impression was that this would have a solo MC but was surprised to find it be an ensemble with four equal POV characters. This is one of the points that make this series stand-out. I can’t think of many in this genre that does this and then on top of that each of the characters had a distinct and unique voice with their own specialty to contribute to the adventure.
Wade, who I thought was to be the MC, loves astronomy and the history of the science involving it. He’s sort of the defacto leader, but it’s generally a group effort.
Darrel, Wade’s stepbrother, he thinks with his stomach and is more of a typical teenage boy.
Lily, their cousin, is a connected teen and quite adept at finding things on the internet.
Becca, Lily’s brainy friend, loves to read and is a wonder with languages.
The plot is also reasonably unique as well. I found it fitting for both the characters and the target audience. They weren’t acting like superheroes but more like smart kids and that was refreshing. As for the series, it looked very promising with several books clearly planned, but unfortunately it seems to have been brought to a quick end at book 4.
My biggest issues with the book are mostly that it’s a bit slow with a lot of talking and explaining things. It’s the nature of the book with an almost Da Vinci Code feel. It also seemed to lack that spark of something really special.
In summary it’s a good book, a very good book, but it isn’t a great or amazing book. It would be well worth your time to read. However, I’m uncertain if I’ll go through the effort of tracking down the rest of the series given what I’ve heard about how the series ends. (Rushed.)