★ "Echoes of other popular fantasy series, from Harry Potter to the Narnia books, are easily found, but debut author Stephens has created a new and appealing read that will
leave readers looking forward to the next volumes in this projected trilogy.
—School Library Journal, starred
"This fast-paced, fully imagined fantasy is by turns frightening and funny, and the siblings are well-crafted and empathetic heroes. Highly enjoyable, it should find many readers."
"[A] page-turning first novel by John Stephens
Readers will want to continue on this journey with Kate, Michael and Emma, and will hope that characters such as Gabriel and Granny Peet
will continue along with them.
—Jennifer M. Brown, Shelf Awareness
"Fast-paced and engaging, with plenty of action, humor, and secrets propelling the plot. . . . Themes of family and responsibility . . . will easily resonate with young readers."
"Stephens creates an American version of a complex fantastical world akin to the Harry Potter and Narnia books; an imaginative and enjoyable read."
—The Horn Book Magazine
"A rollicking fantasy filled with shiver-inspiring evil creatures and quiet heroes. The feisty sisters and the intellectual brother will win the hearts of readers of all ages."
—Library Media Connection
"Rich with wonder and personality, The Emerald Atlas is a terrific read. I wholeheartedly recommend it, and look forward to more."
—Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fablehaven and Beyonders
"The novels high energy and humor lightens the tone while still honoring the heartfelt quest for family. The ending
paves the way well for the second book in this promising trilogy."
—The Washington Post
"A tightly paced, engaging yarn"
—New York Times Book Review
"John Stephens has built a world that performs the first literary task of the fantasy genre [magic] beautifully."
—Los Angeles Times
"A gem . . . [f]ast-paced and funny . . . the story soars with its well-drawn characters and intricate plotting."
"Filled with magic, adventure and mystery, this is an adventure the whole family can enjoy, much like the ever-popular Narnia series."
"[A] well-realized fictional world, where magical fantasy intersects with real life. Fans of Rick Riordan's series "Percy Jackson and the Olympians," will enjoy a similar high-stakes action adventure here."
—Carlsbad Current Argus
"[F]ull to the brim with magic, suspense, and adventure. John Stephens weaves a tale that will make people of every age crave more."
—Green Bay Press-Gazette
"Remarkable debut novel."
"Ambitious, entertaining, magical and whimsical, this marks a strong beginning to a new trilogy, invoking just a little Harry Potter and Series of Unfortunate Events along the way."
—Realms of Fantasy
"A magical roller-coaster of a read."
"Each character has such a likable voice that the elaborate story doesnt feel overcomplicated
The only gripe readers might initially have is with its length, but by the end, theyll immediately wish it was longer."
"Archetypes and tropes set this book apart from others that might feature time travel or magical beings or evil creatures. Stephens' use of motifs is particularly adept. What I appreciated the most as a reader was the sly humor that erupts when least expected
And top all of this off with an audiobook version featuring verbal gymnast Jim Dale, and you will quickly realize why your students will fall in love with The Emerald Atlas and its band of adventurers."
—The Goddess of YA Literature
"The Emerald Atlas is a thrilling and enchanting rollercoaster ride through everything that weve come to love from the likes of Rowling, Snicket and Pullman and older readers will notice echoes of the genres greats too, from Tolkein to C.S. Lewis. Young adult novels are always slyly pitched at adult readers as well as kids, but heres one instance where a book really should appeal to children and grown-ups alike."
"This novel was amazing. I laughed multiple times at the 3 kids bickering. It was so like regular kids would fight it was comical
John Stephens writing is brilliant."
—Moonlight Book Reviews blog
"[A] breathless adventure, evocative of those of the Pevensie children in Narnia, complete with end-of-days scenarios, genuinely terrifying foes, sibling love and rivalry, and a plentiful dose of dwarf humor. Debut author Stephens masterfully weaves together heart-stopping action and skillful world building."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Childrens Books
"Creativity and wit abound in 'The Emerald Atlas.' Author John Stephens could have easily fallen into the trap of building on someone elses ideas. But he doesnt. Stephens doesnt write down to his readers. Rather he offers a sophisticated narrative that will appeal to children and adults alike. Its clear he had fun writing and that 'The Emerald Atlas' was painstakingly thought out."
"I'm predicting huge things for this series and Mr. Stephens . . . a terrific middle-grade book."
—Booking Mama blog
"I couldnt set the book down, finishing it in a little over a day. Stephens has a way with description, painting an elaborate picture without making it feel dry. And the characters were so real
I would recommend this book to ages 8-80."
—Bella Libraria blog
"This book has everything fantasy fans love: great characters (humans, dwarves, creatures, wizards...) adventure, humor, battles, and loads upon loads of suspense. The writing is excellent, the pacing is excellent, it's ALL excellent. I promise. This is the perfect middle/upper middle grade fantasy!!"
—Book Dreaming blog
"Stephens paints a world that is just so believable
I am already anticipating my next adventure with Kate, Michael, and Emma.!!"
"[Humorous] and adventurous
has a whole lot of heart."
—Simply Books blog
"Recommended to fans of Harry Potter, C.S. Lewis, or Lemony Snicket, The Emerald Atlas is one adventure you shouldn't miss!"
—Stalking the Bookshelves blog
"For a while now, I've been hearing about how this book is going to be the next big thing in kid's lit. Upon hearing claims such as this, I never know whether to get really excited or to dismiss it as marketing. In this case, I remained neutral until I could find out for myself. Just to let y'all know, it's okay to get excited about this one."
—Mimosa Stimulus blog
"The Emerald Atlas: a debut novel of boundless energy"
"[A] wickedly entertaining story. If you liked Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, you will love this book as well."
—Knitting and Sundries blog
"Random House may have found the next Harry Potter."
"A Tolkien for 10-year-olds, chock-full of giants and dwarves, heroes and villains, and the wizarding magic we've grown to love. Read it aloud and the whole family will enjoy this fresh adventure that pays homage to the fantasy greats that came before."
57th Street Books, Chicago, IL
"This book is an example of what is best about middle readers, interesting characters, compelling story and fun to read!"
—Margaret Brennan Neville,
The Kings English, Salt Lake City, UT
"Fans of Narnia and Middle Earth will delight in this kindred volume, greet it as a long-lost cousin, and impatiently wait for the necessary sequel."
The Book Stall, Chicago, IL
"This is an awesome fantasy/adventure, with strong characters, excellent plotting and loads of action. For many books, I feel that the final battle scene is rushed, but in this case, it was extremely satisfying
It's an excellent read that should have a long shelf life."
Mrs. Nelson's Book Fair Company, La Verne, CA
"This novel captured me with its nonstop action and brave young characters you really care about. The book reminds me of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, and has an extremely satisfying ending that leaves you hoping for a sequel."
Lyon Books and Learning Center, Chico, CA
"A wonderful mix of humor and magic, Stephens's debut will thrill fantasy fans of all ages."
Elliott Bay Childrens Specialist
"Awesome! On every page, you can be sure youll either laugh out loud from the hilarity or youll grab your hair from the suspense. The Emerald Atlas is definitely in my top five.
A deafening applause for John Stephens!"
—Antyush, Age 11
"I thought The Emerald Atlas was a great book. I really liked the plot of the story
and how it was set up. There were some unexpected twists and turns in
a lot of magic, adventure, and mystery."
—Travis, Age 11
"As I read The Emerald Atlas, I could visualize the whole thing in my mind. Every chapter ending had a fun, new twist. I cant wait to see what happens next!"
—Dana, Age 10
"Reading this took my definition of fantasy to the next level. It was a mix of mystery, action, adventure, fantasy, and humor
This book is amazing."
—Arthur, Age 11
"The Emerald Atlas was a wonderful book, and I wish I could read it again and again
I loved the great arguing and regular conversations between the three siblings!"
—Shauna, Age 11
"What an adventure! Twists, turns, and surprisesand they are nice kids with distinct personalities. Well deserving of the hype. Great job!"
St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO
"John Stephens new fantasy has everythingaction, humor, well-realized characters and the smarmiest villainess since the White Witch of Narnia."
Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT
"The authors style is absolutely charming and I really did not want the book to end. I cant wait for the next one! Highly recommended for all ages and libraries. This one is not to be missed!"
—Librarian of Doom blog