Friday, May 27, 2016

Book Review: Artifacts + Giveaway



Artifacts by Pete Catalano


Release Date: May 17, 2016

Publisher: Tantrum Boooks


It's funny how one little letter can change a person's life. Jax and his friends have been planning the summer of a lifetime at Camp Runamuck. However, when one of them is facing summer at a school desk for failing English, they watch those plans crash and burn!

At the last moment they're given a way out.

An extra credit assignment to find several fake artifacts for a fairy tale display their teacher is presenting at the local library.

Thinking they've hit the easiest-extra-credit-ever jackpot, they begin rummaging through any piles of junk they can find. As they start putting the clues together, they realize that what they're really searching for is one authentic artifact that can rewrite fairy tales!

Enlisting the aid of the Lost Boys, Jax and his friends battle fairy tale villains to see who can get their hand, or their hook, on it first.
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Review

MINOR SPOILERS
This is an interesting story taking every day middle schoolers and throwing elements of the story Peter Pan at them. When I heard that, I thought, "Sign me up!" I love reading fairy tale twists and enjoyed Peter Pan as a fairy tale.

The writing is good, I liked the voice and tone and it fits the middle grade genre. The jokes were funny but more like crack a smile funny instead of laugh out loud for me as an adult. The story was interesting but it didn't knock my socks off as much as I had hoped since their adventure seemed short to me. I loved the pacing, we were constantly on the move which was fun but the plot was singular and would have liked to see a subplot in there to add variety.

I like the characters but I couldn't fall in love with them. I struggled to see why Jax would be the main character. I also struggled with the fact that Korie is the only main girl character. I understand that this book is primarily for young boys but I think showing a healthy relationship with a girl is possible. The author did do this for the book but it was a weak thread that I wish had been more fully developed.

Unfortunately, I think this is a book young girls may not relate to as 98% of the characters are male. Also is there a reason Korie doesn't have a nickname like the boys? How did they come up with the nicknames? She is also the only female character that has a relevant role in the story and even then, I feel like she didn't have as many lines as the boys. She did do one major thing for the story which is good but other than that I felt like she was the mom, damsel in distress, and the love interest which annoyed me as it hits a lot of cliches and stereotypes. That said, the boys still treated Korie with respect but I would have liked to see her play more of a role. Still, I feel like most of the character's weren't as fleshed out as they could have been and we hardly ever saw Jax's family. Honestly, I think Crunch was the most developed character in the story and he was a side character. Loved the tool Crunch found and how he used it at the end of the story.

I enjoyed the end, glad to see that there is going to be a continuation of the story and that the author plans on including previous characters back in the story. Seems like the book is the start of a continuous arc over a series which sounds good to me if you enjoyed this twist on Peter Pan.

Overall, this is a fun middle grade full of action and adventure. While this story is aimed at young boys, I hope the author has intentions on including more brave and purposeful females in future stories. This book is ideal for those who want their young boy to read fairy tales and have adventures.

3 out of 5 for me!

(A copy was provided for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)


About the Author:

Pete Catalano’s books are written for kids of all ages — and adults who secretly never grew up. He lives in Charlotte, NC with his adorably funny wife and two neurotic dogs. Pete was a theatre major in college and tries to keep the ‘suspension of disbelief’ in his life as much as he can.







Giveaway Information:  Contest ends June 3, 2016


  • Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Artifacts by Pete Catalano (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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