My husband is so awesome to support my reading addiction! Whenever there is an author doing a book signing at our local Costco he will peruse the book, talk to the author, and if it looks like something that would interest me he gets the book signed and buys it for me. Way cooler than getting flowers! Though flowers are always nice as well.
Uncovering Cobbogoth was one of these Costco discoveries, so my book has a fun note and signature from the author, Hannah L. Clark.
Here is the summary of the book from Goodreads:
“Norah Lukens needs to uncover the truth about the fabled lost city of Cobbogoth. After her archaeologist uncle’s murder, Norah is asked to translate his old research journal for evidence and discovers that his murder was a cover-up for something far more sinister.
When she turns to neighbor and only friend James Riley for help, she realizes that not only is their bitter-sweet past haunting her every step, but James is keeping dangerous secrets. Can Norah discover what they are before its too late to share her own?”
And Here is what I thought about the book. (It was cool to see that the author actually “liked” my review on Goodreads too.)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was hooked pretty much immediately. Within the first chapter I definitely wanted to unravel the mysteries that were being introduced. I appreciated the unique story world. This didn’t feel like recycled version of current popular books (though I did have some flashes to Twilight with the romance.) The action sequences were well-written. I was tense and reading quickly to hear what would happen next. The descriptions evoked emotion, but were not so graphic as to completely gross me out.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the book and couldn’t wait to find out what would happen, there were some “wrinkles” that could have been better ironed out. I thought that about halfway through the pacing and order of the plot development became rushed. There was a lot of “telling” to reveal information, and there were some questions brought out that didn’t get explained at all. As the main character is being given important information she asks a clarifying questions and the other characters simply say, “It’s a long story,” or “I’ll explain later,” but then they don’t. Very unsatisfying as a reader. Either don’t bring up those questions at all if they can’t or won’t be explained or else explain them. If they will be explained in a sequel then don’t bring up the question until the sequel.
There were other questions that I asked as a reader that were never brought up which made it more difficult for me to understand the laws and workings of this reality the author has created for her story. I enjoyed the details that were included to make this fantasy world fit into our own; however, there were enough details missing that I wasn’t completely pulled in. I couldn’t fully accept the fantasy because I didn’t have enough context for how this could possibly happen in our world without the “normal folk” knowing about it.
In general I felt that the revelation of information was disorganized. There was too much given here and too little given there. It was hard to file it all away when it wasn’t really pertinent to the events at hand, and then other times it was confusing and difficult to accept the events because I didn’t know enough or have enough background information.
All in all I give it 3 stars. Despite some disorganization the writing style was enjoyable and the unique idea is refreshing. I definitely will get my hands on the sequels when they are available, and I will probably read this one again before that. It was enjoyable enough for a second read, and I would want the remind myself about the rules of the Cobbogothian world to be sure I would know what was going on in the sequels.
Age Recommendation: 14 and older and possibly even as young as 12 would enjoy this book. The language is easy to read, but not dumbed down either.
Appropriateness: Some action sequences may bother very sensitive readers, but I didn’t find them overly graphic. Just exciting. Otherwise nothing else that I would warn about. The characters are likable and respectable people.
Other Book Recommendations: If you like this one I would recommend the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series as well as the related series Heroes of Olympus both by Rick Riordan. You may also like his Kane Chronicles series but I didn’t get into it as much. All of these are children/teen books but I found them funny and exciting. You may also enjoy The Sea of Trolls and The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm both by Nancy Farmer. I would also recommend Fablehaven and The Beyonders by Brandon Mull.