RHCB | More Sites
More Sites
Kids
Teens
Teachers
Librarians
Magic Tree House
Junie B. Jones
Seussville
Random House
Return Home

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle

By: George Hagen
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Imprint: Schwartz & Wade
ISBN: 9780385371032
2014-08-26 - $16.99

“A first-rate fantasy for middle-grade readers. Like Harry Potter,... Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series,... and Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society books.” —Booklist, Starred
 
“A vivid, compelling fantasy that sends you off to a world you will not soon forget.” —Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth
 
How can twelve-year-old Gabriel find his missing father, who seems to have vanished without a trace? With the help of Paladin—a young raven with whom he has a magical bond that enables them to become one creature—he flies to the foreboding land of Aviopolis, where he must face a series of difficult challenges and unanswerable riddles that could lead to his father... or to his death.

"A great read for fantasy lovers who have worn out their copies of Harry Potter.” —School Library Journal, Starred

"...brimful of antic energy and inventive flair, like the best middle-grade fantasies; readers, like baby birds, will devour it and clamor for future installments." —Kirkus Reviews

Related Posts

Three Stars for Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen
November 03, 2014

Three Stars for Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen

★ “Gabriel Finley has lived in his Brooklyn brownstone with his aunt since his father disappeared several years earlier. His mother has been gone since he was a baby. The thing he enjoys most is solving riddles, unaware that this skill will be essential when it comes to finding his father. Adult novelist Hagen offers a first-rate fantasy for middle-grade readers that pulls elements from other great stories. Like Harry Potter, Gabriel must use all his wits to secure two magical objects from a dark lord, his evil uncle Corax, who is part human, part raven. Like Lyra in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, Gabriel has a daemon, the young raven Paladin, with whom his life is intertwined. And like Reynie in Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society books, Gabriel surrounds himself with a group of offbeat friends who each have their own problems to solve. Yet this story, told from several points of view, is fresh: full of ravens, riddles, and the ongoing urge to make things right in a world where much has gone wrong. Though the narrative is a bit choppy in places, the characters carry the day, with their humor and strength. Humor is, in fact, one of the book’s selling points, often in the form of the characters’ witty repartee. Middle-graders looking for a soaring fantasy that’s not too hard, not too easy, will find this just right.” — Booklist

★ “Adult author Hagen (The Laments) makes his children’s debut with a fantasy adventure touched with whimsy, satire, and the quirky love of urban fauna that characterizes New Yorkers. Gabriel Finley’s parents are absent, having disappeared in separate mysterious incidents that his guardian, Aunt Jaz, refuses to discuss. But she does pass along his father’s diary, which outlines how Adam Finley became the amicus, or human interlocutor, of a raven named Baldasarre. There’s also the matter of Adam’s creepy brother, Gabriel’s uncle Corax, who likewise disappeared, leaving behind a portrait to loom over Gabriel as he seeks to solve the riddles, literal and figurative, set by ravens, uncle, and missing parents. With an unlikely crew of mismatched Brooklyn schoolmates, Gabriel takes up the mantle of the ancient, bittersweet relationship between humans and ravens in order to untangle the even more twisted relationships between human and human. Though familiar tropes abound, Hagen’s sensibility is unique—the desk-wrangling scene is not to be missed. There’s a hint of sequels to come, but this quest is more than satisfying on its own.” — Publishers Weekly

★ “Gabriel Finley loves riddles. His father taught him one every day; every day, that is, until he disappeared. For three years Gabriel’s father has been missing and his father’s somewhat dotty but loving sister is taking care of Gabriel. Ravens also love riddles. They use riddles to distinguish themselves from valravens—evil birds who never laugh, who eat human flesh, and who turned humankind away from friendship with ravens. On Gabriel’s twelfth birthday, his aunt gives him his father’s diary and he discovers that his father was an amicus, someone who could merge with a raven and fly through the sky. He also discovers that his father’s older brother, Corax, was also an amicus who turned evil and disappeared. Soon after, Gabriel rescues a baby raven and discovers that he, too, is an amicus. The raven, Paladin, tells Gabriel that they must find an object called a torc, which can grant any wish, before Gabriel’s uncle Corax does. The titular character, along with Paladin; Septimus, a former inmate who knows his father; and three school friends, sets out to rescue his father and, in essence, save the world. Hagen has crafted a tale that contains riddles, magic, courage, loyalty, and compassion in a way that is sure to engage readers. Gabriel inhabits a dark world where friendship is the guiding light and differences are respected and valued. This is a great read for fantasy lovers who have worn out their copies of Harry Potter. The ending suggests that more is to come, and more will be welcome.” — School Library Journal


Three Stars for Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen
November 03, 2014

Three Stars for Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen

★ “Gabriel Finley has lived in his Brooklyn brownstone with his aunt since his father disappeared several years earlier. His mother has been gone since he was a baby. The thing he enjoys most is solving riddles, unaware that this skill will be essential when it comes to finding his father. Adult novelist Hagen offers a first-rate fantasy for middle-grade readers that pulls elements from other great stories. Like Harry Potter, Gabriel must use all his wits to secure two magical objects from a dark lord, his evil uncle Corax, who is part human, part raven. Like Lyra in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, Gabriel has a daemon, the young raven Paladin, with whom his life is intertwined. And like Reynie in Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society books, Gabriel surrounds himself with a group of offbeat friends who each have their own problems to solve. Yet this story, told from several points of view, is fresh: full of ravens, riddles, and the ongoing urge to make things right in a world where much has gone wrong. Though the narrative is a bit choppy in places, the characters carry the day, with their humor and strength. Humor is, in fact, one of the book’s selling points, often in the form of the characters’ witty repartee. Middle-graders looking for a soaring fantasy that’s not too hard, not too easy, will find this just right.” — Booklist

★ “Adult author Hagen (The Laments) makes his children’s debut with a fantasy adventure touched with whimsy, satire, and the quirky love of urban fauna that characterizes New Yorkers. Gabriel Finley’s parents are absent, having disappeared in separate mysterious incidents that his guardian, Aunt Jaz, refuses to discuss. But she does pass along his father’s diary, which outlines how Adam Finley became the amicus, or human interlocutor, of a raven named Baldasarre. There’s also the matter of Adam’s creepy brother, Gabriel’s uncle Corax, who likewise disappeared, leaving behind a portrait to loom over Gabriel as he seeks to solve the riddles, literal and figurative, set by ravens, uncle, and missing parents. With an unlikely crew of mismatched Brooklyn schoolmates, Gabriel takes up the mantle of the ancient, bittersweet relationship between humans and ravens in order to untangle the even more twisted relationships between human and human. Though familiar tropes abound, Hagen’s sensibility is unique—the desk-wrangling scene is not to be missed. There’s a hint of sequels to come, but this quest is more than satisfying on its own.” — Publishers Weekly

★ “Gabriel Finley loves riddles. His father taught him one every day; every day, that is, until he disappeared. For three years Gabriel’s father has been missing and his father’s somewhat dotty but loving sister is taking care of Gabriel. Ravens also love riddles. They use riddles to distinguish themselves from valravens—evil birds who never laugh, who eat human flesh, and who turned humankind away from friendship with ravens. On Gabriel’s twelfth birthday, his aunt gives him his father’s diary and he discovers that his father was an amicus, someone who could merge with a raven and fly through the sky. He also discovers that his father’s older brother, Corax, was also an amicus who turned evil and disappeared. Soon after, Gabriel rescues a baby raven and discovers that he, too, is an amicus. The raven, Paladin, tells Gabriel that they must find an object called a torc, which can grant any wish, before Gabriel’s uncle Corax does. The titular character, along with Paladin; Septimus, a former inmate who knows his father; and three school friends, sets out to rescue his father and, in essence, save the world. Hagen has crafted a tale that contains riddles, magic, courage, loyalty, and compassion in a way that is sure to engage readers. Gabriel inhabits a dark world where friendship is the guiding light and differences are respected and valued. This is a great read for fantasy lovers who have worn out their copies of Harry Potter. The ending suggests that more is to come, and more will be welcome.” — School Library Journal