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When young Aster Wood is pulled through the cosmos to a place no one on Earth knows exists, he discovers an enchanted world unlike anything he’s ever dreamed of. Here, the grass grows green, the wolves glow like the full moon, and wizards play with ancient magic. And Aster, sick his whole life, is healthy again. Now, he must chase down the long-lost sorcerer, Almara, to dis When young Aster Wood is pulled through the cosmos to a place no one on Earth knows exists, he discovers an enchanted world unlike anything he’s ever dreamed of. Here, the grass grows green, the wolves glow like the full moon, and wizards play with ancient magic. And Aster, sick his whole life, is healthy again. Now, he must chase down the long-lost sorcerer, Almara, to discover the truth about his family's past, and to learn what is yet to come for Earth's future. But he must work fast if he wants to survive. Almara left not only clues, but enemies behind. If Aster loses the race to find him, and the enemy captures him first, he may never see Earth again.


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When young Aster Wood is pulled through the cosmos to a place no one on Earth knows exists, he discovers an enchanted world unlike anything he’s ever dreamed of. Here, the grass grows green, the wolves glow like the full moon, and wizards play with ancient magic. And Aster, sick his whole life, is healthy again. Now, he must chase down the long-lost sorcerer, Almara, to dis When young Aster Wood is pulled through the cosmos to a place no one on Earth knows exists, he discovers an enchanted world unlike anything he’s ever dreamed of. Here, the grass grows green, the wolves glow like the full moon, and wizards play with ancient magic. And Aster, sick his whole life, is healthy again. Now, he must chase down the long-lost sorcerer, Almara, to discover the truth about his family's past, and to learn what is yet to come for Earth's future. But he must work fast if he wants to survive. Almara left not only clues, but enemies behind. If Aster loses the race to find him, and the enemy captures him first, he may never see Earth again.

30 review for Aster Wood and the Lost Maps of Almara

  1. 4 out of 5

    BookLoversLife

    Aster Wood is spending the summer with his grandmother and accidentally uncovers a whole new world. What follows is a book full of action, adventure and plenty of fun. This was such a great read. I loved pretty much everything about it and can't wait for the next book to come to audio :) Aster was a great hero. He has a heart condition and is considered weak etc at home. He isn't able to run or take part in anything physical plus he has no friends, but that all changes when he goes to his grandm Aster Wood is spending the summer with his grandmother and accidentally uncovers a whole new world. What follows is a book full of action, adventure and plenty of fun. This was such a great read. I loved pretty much everything about it and can't wait for the next book to come to audio :) Aster was a great hero. He has a heart condition and is considered weak etc at home. He isn't able to run or take part in anything physical plus he has no friends, but that all changes when he goes to his grandmothers. Aster was likable, brave, loyal and an all round nice guy. He is the perfect roll model for kids because he overcomes so much but stays the same. The plot of this was fantastic too. I loved that it's a cross universe, scavenger hunt, mystery type book. There is plenty happening to keep everyone happy. I know my boys would love this and I am going right out and buying them a copy to read. It has a bot of everything and will definitely keep them entertained, heck, I'm in my 30s and was thoroughly entertained while reading it!! Highly recommend. Mark Deakins was fantastic. It sounded like he loved reading the story and because of that, he brought this to life. He differentiated each character and had the right tone at the right time. He was perfect for this book and I know I will be checking out more by him. "I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com"

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kat Heckenbach

    Maybe more like 3.5 I did enjoy this book. I liked Aster as a main character, and the story world is unique. The concept of the Fold and the way they traveled through links seemed a bit like the tessering in A Wrinkle in Time. I thought making the setting on Earth somewhat futuristic and dystopian while having Aster move into a fantasy world was original. And his series of adventures would definitely appeal to this age group. On of the issues I had, though, was the jumpiness of the story--yes, I g Maybe more like 3.5 I did enjoy this book. I liked Aster as a main character, and the story world is unique. The concept of the Fold and the way they traveled through links seemed a bit like the tessering in A Wrinkle in Time. I thought making the setting on Earth somewhat futuristic and dystopian while having Aster move into a fantasy world was original. And his series of adventures would definitely appeal to this age group. On of the issues I had, though, was the jumpiness of the story--yes, I get that he is literally jumping from place to place, but the way the plot flowed, it felt like it wasn't really heading in a direction, at least until the end. Also, there was a lot of information dumped on Aster by other characters. The whole, "Wait you don't know that? Let me explain...." got a little tiring. Lastly, there was something too adult about the voice at times. Aster is an unusual child, not allowed to experience life the way other kids do because of his illness (which, btw--don't want to give spoilers, but the way the author handled this was very cool), but too often in the book it felt like the story was being told by an adult. I would definitely read the next book in the series, because the ending picked up for me, and I would hope there would be less explaining since so much has been set up already in this one. And again, I think this would appeal to the target audience, even with the occasional stiffness in the writing. There's just so much action, and adventure through different lands, and Aster is the kind of kid you want to root for. My Website Find me on Facebook My YA fantasy series: book 1 book 2

  3. 4 out of 5

    Logan

    So why this self-published book wasn't stellar, it was pretty decent and exciting for the kids. Follows boy Aster on his quest to seek Almara, a magician who disappeared hundreds of years ago on a different planet. So why this self-published book wasn't stellar, it was pretty decent and exciting for the kids. Follows boy Aster on his quest to seek Almara, a magician who disappeared hundreds of years ago on a different planet.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    Would you like to read a book where the character randomly “jumps” across the universe? In the book, Aster Wood and the Lost Maps of Almara, by J.B. Cantwell a boy named Aster follows in his great great grandfather’s steps across the universe. When I read this book the genres of, fantasy, fiction, and adventure came into mind and hooked me into reading it. The plot in this story is a boy with a heart disorder is rummaging around in his grandma’s attic, because he was bored and looking for thing Would you like to read a book where the character randomly “jumps” across the universe? In the book, Aster Wood and the Lost Maps of Almara, by J.B. Cantwell a boy named Aster follows in his great great grandfather’s steps across the universe. When I read this book the genres of, fantasy, fiction, and adventure came into mind and hooked me into reading it. The plot in this story is a boy with a heart disorder is rummaging around in his grandma’s attic, because he was bored and looking for things to do. While rooting around he found many random trinkets and knick-knacks and even finding a carving into the wall. One day he found an unopened envelope. He peered inside and read the letter and the inscription out loud. He was then warped away to a place called Aria. And the rest is for you to read. For me, the author’s style was very suspenseful, with the diction always keeping you pumped with adrenaline or thinking about what next is going to happen,except part of the beginning. The plot felt fluid but kind of clichéd. With the character thrown to unknown reaches, trained by an old mentor. Then he starts his journey and loses his mentor and runs away, needing to strengthen his resolve. Even with the well known basic plot the story is refreshing to read an cool with the weird ideas behind it. In my opinion the book is good but gets to a slow start and doesn't heat up till the middle part, because of that slow start I only rate this book 4 stars. Overall, the book is fun to read and the characters are interesting a good read for action book readers.

  5. 4 out of 5

    K.M. Carroll

    I picked this up on a whim--hey, it was free, and it has a good cover. I didn't expect to enjoy it too much. When I started reading, I thought I'd made a mistake and grabbed a dystopian. Earth's dying, the rain is poison, and Aster, our hero, has a heart condition. Then he teleported to a different planet, and things started looking up. A series of worlds joined together by proximity in a folded space? AWESOME. A scavenger hunt for artifacts/maps that teleport the seeker to the vicinity of the nex I picked this up on a whim--hey, it was free, and it has a good cover. I didn't expect to enjoy it too much. When I started reading, I thought I'd made a mistake and grabbed a dystopian. Earth's dying, the rain is poison, and Aster, our hero, has a heart condition. Then he teleported to a different planet, and things started looking up. A series of worlds joined together by proximity in a folded space? AWESOME. A scavenger hunt for artifacts/maps that teleport the seeker to the vicinity of the next artifact? SWEET. Varied and interesting worlds? GIMME. It's also cool that Aster is healed and is kind of a superhero, once he gets off Earth. There's all kinds of hints that whatever evil is plaguing the worlds is affecting Earth, too, and only Almara, the ancient wizard (kind of like an extraterrestrial Merlin) holds the answers. It's made me frantic to get my hands on the next books in the series. Really, this book is much better than the summary makes it sound. I enjoyed it very much.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bill Tillman

    Aster Wood This is the first novel of the Almara series and a terrific mid-sized novel. Master is eleven or twelve and goes to the farm to be with his grandmother for the eight weeks of summer, the he discovers the attic and the adventurers begin. A quest begins to find Almara a magician and his great grandfather many times removed. There is an evil man failed with smoke, Jade a nine year girl who is over two hundred years old and his aunt. Oh what fun and this is only the first book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I didn't care for this book but forced myself to finish (perhaps I shouldn't have. I kept hoping it would improve.) I think my biggest issue is that it was very difficult to connect with the main character. I have no idea why this is, as I think the author's writing is fine, but I just couldn't care what happened to him. Plus once he enters the portal world (side note: his gender was not evident until a good 40 pages in, at which point it surprised me. When authors choose a non-obvious name for I didn't care for this book but forced myself to finish (perhaps I shouldn't have. I kept hoping it would improve.) I think my biggest issue is that it was very difficult to connect with the main character. I have no idea why this is, as I think the author's writing is fine, but I just couldn't care what happened to him. Plus once he enters the portal world (side note: his gender was not evident until a good 40 pages in, at which point it surprised me. When authors choose a non-obvious name for a main character I do believe it's their responsibility to gender signal at some point in the first chapter, trans and alt-gendered characters being a separate case. I was supremely frustrated to discover the kid I was relating to wasn't a girl as I had decided, based I think on the assumption that a flower name for a character would be female.) At any rate, once the character enters the portal world there's all kinds of weird things that are just never explained, including a health improvement for the main character that really should have some basis at some point. I thought perhaps by the end of the book but no. It led me to be unnecessarily frustrated, never a good thing for a reader. Lastly, at about the halfway mark or a little further, the main character suddenly leaves the characters he's been traveling with. There is almost no recognition of this abandonment (on his part or affecting him, it's kind of unclear) and very little mention of those he left behind, very puzzling. Some of the conflicts in the story feel like they come out of left field and are out of scale - overly violent/exciting for how they've been foreshadowed. I think in the end this just wasn't the book for me. For other readers, it's a fair portal fantasy story set in an alt-future earth (post environmental catastrophe, so bleak but also left mostly unexplained so not that bleak) and has some interesting elements.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jackie G Mills

    I bought this book to read with my young daughter. I’m not sure what I expected, perhaps something more juvenile and silly. What I found was a little treasure of a book. Aster is a young boy who, very reluctantly, goes to visit his Grandmother. He’s a sickly lad who struggles with self-esteem issues and how to relate to his peers. While visiting his grandmother, he stumbles upon another world. A world in which he is different, a world where he stands out, a world that holds close and mysterious I bought this book to read with my young daughter. I’m not sure what I expected, perhaps something more juvenile and silly. What I found was a little treasure of a book. Aster is a young boy who, very reluctantly, goes to visit his Grandmother. He’s a sickly lad who struggles with self-esteem issues and how to relate to his peers. While visiting his grandmother, he stumbles upon another world. A world in which he is different, a world where he stands out, a world that holds close and mysterious ties to his family. What I liked about the book - I can’t possibly list all the things I liked about the book. Wonderful imagination coupled with great writing makes this middle grade novel a real gem. Aster is a likeable character that you quickly grow fond of. Kiron is complicated, moody, sometimes dark and sometimes funny. The story progresses at a fast pace, introducing new characters and events with ease and skill. What I didn’t enjoy that much - There wasn’t really anything that niggled me, however my daughter made it very clear that she didn’t like it when Kiron killed the chickens (because she likes chickens). Final thoughts - I loved this book and have already bought the second one in the series. I will keep an eye out for more of this author’s work. Also posted to my blog; http://jackiegmills.wordpress.com/

  9. 5 out of 5

    Derek Jordan

    I found this book to be an interesting story, but I also found some problems with it. I felt that there were combating sections that it seemed it was geared for kids.. and then geared for adults in others. Maybe it's meant on a teen level, but either way - it seemed to be a bit jumpy on it's "feel". I found the storytelling both compelling and then quite derivative at the same time. Something would happen and I would pull into it really well..but it would not really be fleshed out .. and just so I found this book to be an interesting story, but I also found some problems with it. I felt that there were combating sections that it seemed it was geared for kids.. and then geared for adults in others. Maybe it's meant on a teen level, but either way - it seemed to be a bit jumpy on it's "feel". I found the storytelling both compelling and then quite derivative at the same time. Something would happen and I would pull into it really well..but it would not really be fleshed out .. and just solved quickly .. There was certainly a moment near the middle of the story I just got lost.. everything set up was lost and change after change occurred .. It just felt off a bit. It almost felt like the story could have ended .. and a part two began. Something else that is glaringly obvious is that it is a serial writing. I think the story in itself could lend itself real well to a TV series. Each part was very episodic and the ending is much like a season one cliffhanger. There also were a bunch of errors in the text that I just didn't expect as long as I have seen this out.. I would have expected many of these to be caught and corrected. I read Arcs with much less mistakes in them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book just didn't impress me very much. It escalated too quickly and the characters didn't develop in a natural way, in my opinion. This book just didn't impress me very much. It escalated too quickly and the characters didn't develop in a natural way, in my opinion.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aelvana

    Aster Wood is devastated about spending the summer with his grandmother in the middle of nowhere. But his boring isolation becomes far too interesting when he accidentally travels to another world. Now if he wants to get back, he's got to track down an ancient group who once traveled between the worlds looking for the cure to a sickness that's suspiciously similar to what's happening on Earth . . . This was excellent. Aster is an engaging protagonist---a kid who wants to be typical. But his heart Aster Wood is devastated about spending the summer with his grandmother in the middle of nowhere. But his boring isolation becomes far too interesting when he accidentally travels to another world. Now if he wants to get back, he's got to track down an ancient group who once traveled between the worlds looking for the cure to a sickness that's suspiciously similar to what's happening on Earth . . . This was excellent. Aster is an engaging protagonist---a kid who wants to be typical. But his heart defect means he's unable to do anything really active, and it's made him cautious about anything that looks more strenuous than a walk. Which his adventure definitely requires. And when he stumbles over a possible cure, it complicates his decision about finding his way back home. Thankfully, he does have the ability to be physically active after he gets cured (which in itself comes with some interesting wrinkles). I liked the way multiple worlds show up, and how they're handled. I liked the mystery of the links and how I'm still not certain Aster made the right choice with one of them. And the wolf is amazing and needs to show up in some future book. Besides all that, the pace is snappy. Aster never stays in one place long enough to get bogged down. The plot lingers just long enough over his initial transport and shock to really ground him in the new world, but he hasn't got anything like all the answers. Which is really funny when he determines to destroy a certain rock. Overall this is a great adventure, and I look forward to seeing how the story develops. I rate this book Highly Recommended. See my reviews and more at https://offtheshelfreviews.wordpress....

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ashtyn Cooper

    Summary When a sick boy is magically transported to a different universe he finds himself in perfect health. Back on Earth, he battled self-esteem issues because he couldn't run and play like all the other kids. Journeying to this new land isn't just about finding out about his family's past, it's about finding himself as well. He uses his newfound health to follow clues and chase down a secretive wizard. Discovering a whole new world and battling unknown enemies along the way, Aster's story is t Summary When a sick boy is magically transported to a different universe he finds himself in perfect health. Back on Earth, he battled self-esteem issues because he couldn't run and play like all the other kids. Journeying to this new land isn't just about finding out about his family's past, it's about finding himself as well. He uses his newfound health to follow clues and chase down a secretive wizard. Discovering a whole new world and battling unknown enemies along the way, Aster's story is told from the perspective of the young boy with so much to learn. Activities This is a story about hidden family history. A fun research topic for the 4th-6th graders would be to write a paper on their family history. This paper should include 3 things that they didn't know before. They can find this information by asking their parents, grandparents, guardians, looking online, or local history books and periodicals. A family doesn't have to be defined by biological relatives or have to focus on both sides of their tree. Children should decide what they will write their paper on individually. Citation Cantwell, J. B. (2014). Aster Wood and the lost maps of Almara [Ebook]. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Aster-Wood-Los...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Aster Wood a seventh-grader, is not too keen to spend his entire summer with his grandma on her farmhouse. With nothing to do for fun, he spends most of his time exploring the attic in his grandma’s house. On the fourth day in the attic, he discovers a map of places he hasn’t seen before. Searching further, he finds an old envelope containing a blank parchment paper. Just then, a writing appears on the paper as if from an invisible hand. Suddenly Aster finds himself transported to another world.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    This is an incredible read. Full of great characters, great well made world's. An underdog for the hero. I truly enjoyed the first book in the series. I think it's a must read. This book reminded me of The Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. The author does a great job making the reader experience new world's in the eyes of Aster Woods. This is one of the best books that I have read in a while. This is an incredible read. Full of great characters, great well made world's. An underdog for the hero. I truly enjoyed the first book in the series. I think it's a must read. This book reminded me of The Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. The author does a great job making the reader experience new world's in the eyes of Aster Woods. This is one of the best books that I have read in a while.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fee Roberts

    Aster Wood and the Lost Maps of Almara by J.B. Cantwell is the first installment of the Aster Wood series. This story is about Aster Wood, who finds out that he is the one to find the sorcerer, Almara. This story is full of magic and different worlds that Aster has to follow to find Almara. This story was good, but the flow of the story was interrupted by the editing. If the editing would have been better, then this would have been an easy 5 star read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erth

    now i am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. i was hooked after the first page. The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real. i would highly recommend this author and this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Guy

    Ha! A gotta read As an adult I find that I really enjoy these “kid’s books”. Maybe I am really a “kid”, certainly a kid “at heart “. I always pre-read the books I read with my grandkids and thoroughly enjoy them.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jon E

    I liked it because it starts out in a place, I bet JB Cantwell read Alcatraz so it starts out like "we barreled down the dirt road toward my doom." I liked it, it was a pretty good book, and I liked it when Kiran tricked Lizaretta too. I liked it because it starts out in a place, I bet JB Cantwell read Alcatraz so it starts out like "we barreled down the dirt road toward my doom." I liked it, it was a pretty good book, and I liked it when Kiran tricked Lizaretta too.

  19. 5 out of 5

    samuel scott blodgett

    Awesome read. Amazing characters! There was nothing I didnalike! Especially the fact that it is all about family fighting evil. The creatures were awesome as well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Silver

    Aster wood This was a pretty good book I'm just sorry it took me so long to finish it the last character jade is my favorite Aster wood This was a pretty good book I'm just sorry it took me so long to finish it the last character jade is my favorite

  21. 5 out of 5

    Belter

    Brilliant Could not put it down and i am 67yrs so Elements all helped together an looking forward to continuing the adventure

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    It starts off really slow. I almost stopped. But by chapter 3 it picks up and really gets good

  23. 4 out of 5

    Denae Christine

    Reader thoughts: In the first chapter, Aster has a heart condition that makes his chest tight and his asthma flare. I was really excited to read about this. It reminded me of other great books I read about characters that have health conditions that make their heroic journey even more difficult (Death Trap and Farsighted and The Prisoner of Cell 25 and Half a King and Cyber Dawn). Instead, he's healed by, like, chapter two. This lost a lot of the tension for me. If a character is constantly worri Reader thoughts: In the first chapter, Aster has a heart condition that makes his chest tight and his asthma flare. I was really excited to read about this. It reminded me of other great books I read about characters that have health conditions that make their heroic journey even more difficult (Death Trap and Farsighted and The Prisoner of Cell 25 and Half a King and Cyber Dawn). Instead, he's healed by, like, chapter two. This lost a lot of the tension for me. If a character is constantly worried about his heart failing on him (see Howl's Moving Castle), it's interesting. Take that away, and it is less so. Sure, there was the added tension of, will Aster ever find his way home from this magical world? But that question has been done before. A lot. (See The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or The Wishing Spell or Heir Apparent or Sky Raiders or Seeds of Discovery and more.) I needed something else, and the basic questions about family weren't enough for me. Aster was kind of dumb. Twelve-year-olds are not this slow. He would be told something 3 times before finally understanding something. (E.g., when he found a prisoner locked up for 200 years, and he keeps calling her young despite her protests.) Actually, that brings up a pet peeve of mine; characters living for hundreds of years. At least this had an explanation (elixir) rather than just, "Magical people live longer" or trying to say wizards were immortal or something. So, that was good. Aster learned/healed way too quickly. Axe-throwing and sword-fighting for a week? You're the best in the world, kid. He injures his ankle so badly he can't walk. A few days later, he can finally put weight on it, and he immediately runs and carries someone around. What? I injured my ankle so I couldn't walk on it a few days. I didn't run for months, let alone carry someone. (view spoiler)[Another pet peeve of mine is the dead-character-comes-back-to-life thing. Aster stops breathing for two or three days. Then he's suddenly alive? It worked in Jinx because Jinx's soul was separated from his body anyway. Also, that was just an hour or two. (hide spoiler)] About 2/3 of the way in, there were a lot of loose ends. It felt like Aster kept going from place to place without getting anywhere. Jade changed that. Now it felt like Aster was getting real answers, pieces were falling into place, and he understood the fold better and better without stumbling around. Not much dialogue. There were 12 characters total who spoke (this includes a random merchant, two random guards, and the mother; only about 4 characters spoke in more than one chapter, including Aster). This was an odd choice. I don't know if this was to simplify the story, but it made the book feel a bit un-anchored at times. Readers were told other people crowded the market, but we were never told anything about them. I never felt part of the world or fold or whatever it's called. Not that I expected a wolf statue to say much (I liked him). Writer thoughts: I loved the image of the grandma following her stomach down her porch steps. That created such a visual picture in my mind of a fat old lady whose stomach preceded her everywhere. Cool. Some other word choices were awkward, though, and there were a few verb agreement issues ("After thinking all night about my choices, he finally woke and made us breakfast" is a paraphrased example). These were mildly distracting, but they would have bothered me more had I been reading the book rather than listening.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Enjoyable This was a nice read. I gave it 3 stars because I had to force myself to keep reading in parts. The story is good and I like the characters but parts just kept going. I will read the next installment and have hope for the series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Megyesi-hallas

    A good adventure read. I find myself enjoying books written for tween/teens much more that most adult books. The adventure is there without the horror of too many adult books. Lots of action, danger, and even old fashioned violence. By golf fashioned, I refer to story related violence but without the graphic details in too many books now. Best I can explain that is a Gunsmoke versus Alien difference. Anyway, it's important to me. I want to read a good story. I don't want to learn a detailed and g A good adventure read. I find myself enjoying books written for tween/teens much more that most adult books. The adventure is there without the horror of too many adult books. Lots of action, danger, and even old fashioned violence. By golf fashioned, I refer to story related violence but without the graphic details in too many books now. Best I can explain that is a Gunsmoke versus Alien difference. Anyway, it's important to me. I want to read a good story. I don't want to learn a detailed and graphic description of how to kill, main and mutilate page after page of victims. I liked or hated each character, which is as it should be. If you can relate to the characters, you can just grab your book, hang on tight and enjoy the ride. I enjoyed the various planets and the animals in this book also. Especially the many animals, from the feisty rooster who chases our young hero to the " velvety nosed giant horses who help him". This was a fun, easy, adventure mystery. The story in book one was concluded in a satisfying manner but enough questions are still to be answered that you are happy with book one and ready to continue the journey with young Aster. There is more to Aster Wood than meets the eye. I want to learn exactly what that more is. I think you will also.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

    I had difficulty rating this book. I like it but wasn't exceptionally impressed. I realize it is a children's book so I tried to look at it from the perspective of what I would have bought my children at that age. As a parent, it is a good fantasy store with a less than perfectly healthy child. Physical disability doesn't prevent heroism. There are other positive themes to which children should become aware, such as the affects of pollution. If I had bought this book for my daughter at 11 or 12 y I had difficulty rating this book. I like it but wasn't exceptionally impressed. I realize it is a children's book so I tried to look at it from the perspective of what I would have bought my children at that age. As a parent, it is a good fantasy store with a less than perfectly healthy child. Physical disability doesn't prevent heroism. There are other positive themes to which children should become aware, such as the affects of pollution. If I had bought this book for my daughter at 11 or 12 years old, she would have read it and it would have been ok, but it would not make it into the "Mommy when are you going to buy me the next one" group. The story lacked explanation of what was going on. Most of the characters were male until the addition of a new one towards the end. She would have been annoyed by Aster's petulance. If I had bought this for my son, he would never have read past the first few chapters, because the action really lags in places and the descriptive passages interrupt the story. A quest, magic, and the mystery are enchanting, but it lacks smoothness in the storytelling.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    This was a fun quick read that I would give 3.5 stars to if I could. I tend to compare all books like this to Harry Potter, and it is certainly no HP. The world and characters just simply aren't as detailed. That would be my only complaint about Aster Wood, I just don't feel sucked into this world enough to truly love it. There aren't enough characters, and the different places being visited aren't detailed to my liking. But for what it is, its a very solid youth novel and at some point I'll rea This was a fun quick read that I would give 3.5 stars to if I could. I tend to compare all books like this to Harry Potter, and it is certainly no HP. The world and characters just simply aren't as detailed. That would be my only complaint about Aster Wood, I just don't feel sucked into this world enough to truly love it. There aren't enough characters, and the different places being visited aren't detailed to my liking. But for what it is, its a very solid youth novel and at some point I'll read through the rest so that I can find out what happens. The action is exciting and I am interested in what happens to Aster.

  28. 4 out of 5

    raymond g young

    Aster Wood, Book 1 It's a Good book for young children.. The main characters, two "children" aged 12 and 9 ( plus two centuries )have their lives turned upside down in a good way,. A lazy read for a hot summer .I wasn't going to buy the sequel at first, but after I read Book 1 through a second time I decided to get it. There are minor spelling errors but they are forgivable. Possibly, the author used a spell check software which couldn't catch the words that should have been deleted. Aster Wood, Book 1 It's a Good book for young children.. The main characters, two "children" aged 12 and 9 ( plus two centuries )have their lives turned upside down in a good way,. A lazy read for a hot summer .I wasn't going to buy the sequel at first, but after I read Book 1 through a second time I decided to get it. There are minor spelling errors but they are forgivable. Possibly, the author used a spell check software which couldn't catch the words that should have been deleted.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy A

    This book had SO much potential! The story was engaging and creative and the characters were great. The downfall of this book was the number of errors that should have been caught by the editor. Lots of incorrect or missing words, and many errors with word choice (e.g., 2 of the same adjective used in one sentence). It was a major distraction from the story, as there were many sentences that you had to read twice to figure out what the author was trying to say. Such a shame- this could have been This book had SO much potential! The story was engaging and creative and the characters were great. The downfall of this book was the number of errors that should have been caught by the editor. Lots of incorrect or missing words, and many errors with word choice (e.g., 2 of the same adjective used in one sentence). It was a major distraction from the story, as there were many sentences that you had to read twice to figure out what the author was trying to say. Such a shame- this could have been fixed so easily!

  30. 4 out of 5

    phyllis

    New life Aster was born with a bad heart and his life had to be very quiet. He didn't have friends, so he was lonely. His summer vacation was spent with his grandmother and there wasn't very much to do. Rummaging through his grandmother's attic, he finds a very old map. Although he doesn't know it, he's about to begin an adventure. Follow his adventures as each map or relics, take him into adventure after adventure.. New life Aster was born with a bad heart and his life had to be very quiet. He didn't have friends, so he was lonely. His summer vacation was spent with his grandmother and there wasn't very much to do. Rummaging through his grandmother's attic, he finds a very old map. Although he doesn't know it, he's about to begin an adventure. Follow his adventures as each map or relics, take him into adventure after adventure..

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