After reading the entire 'Harry Potter' series for the seventh time, I kept my eye out for a new fantasy series. I wanted one that would sweep me away into a world of magic and fantasy, yet had it's toes in the 'real' world. I discovered and loved 'The Magicians' by Lev Grossman, a cross between Harry Potter and 'Less Than Zero', in my humble opinion.
So, when 'Advent' by James Treadwell landed on my desk, I was very eager to partake once again in the world of magic.
It's rare when I find that I cannot get 'into' a story from the very beginning. I had high hopes for this one. Although it begins with the legend of Faust and Cassandra, once I started reading the chapters set in present day, I was a bit...puzzled.
The story does not take off quickly. But when you hit the third part of the story, you can't put it down. The intensity increases so quickly that you are ready for the second in the series.
It begins in 1537, when Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age, hurries toward a ship during a gathering snowstorm. In his hands is a box containing a mirror safeguarding a part of his soul and a small ring holding all of the magic in the world. His former lover, magical herself, follows him, begging him not to do what he intends. Together, these simple objects comprise a most terrible magic. Then in London, in our present day, fifteen-year-old Gavin is sent by his parents to visit his Aunt Gwen who lives in the countryside. But when he arrives, driven from the train station by a local professor, his aunt is gone. He eventually discovers Pendurra, a place housing those who are like him; who see things, too. For most of his life, Gavin has been visited by a specter called Miss Grey, who foretells the end of the world. Gavin is the only one who sees her, and for that, he is labelled 'crazy'. She tells him that magic exists, and it is up to him to return to his inheritance and conquer that which would destroy our world.
I loved the characters in this story; it's very apparent that the author does, too. But the story plodded along, almost making me skip pages. But, as I said, once I hit a certain point, I couldn't put it down. I'm loyal to the Faust legend. As for Cassandra, I still feel horrible for the curse laid upon her and her eventual downfall.
I certainly hope that the second book in this series starts off well.
This old world could use a little magic...but at a faster pace.
'Advent' will be released on July 3, 2012 by Simon & Schuster