01 September 2009

Review: Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation

Bran Hambric's life began in a bank vault when he was discovered clutching a scrap of paper by Sewey Wilomas, who was obligated to take the boy home. That was eight years ago, and Bran's childhood in the City of Dunce was unremarkable until the night Sewey decided that that their house was being burglarized: That was the night Bran started noticing black vans, that was the night Bran met a magical creature, and that was the night Bran realized he was sent to Dunce to be kept safe.

From that moment, we join fourteen-year-old Bran on his journey of discovery and danger as he learns the truth about his past, the horrific Farfield Curse, and the complexities of the magical world around him.

Kaleb Nation was in high school when he began writing Bran Hambric's story, and his youthful perspective makes the novel particularly accessible to middle readers. The book is best read without much foreknowledge; thus I'd like to let you learn along with Bran, and I'm reluctant to reveal much of the story line. There is no denying the plot's similarities to other fantasies (Harry Potter in particular), but Nation's world and its rules are uniquely his. The Farfield Curse is a fast-paced, nicely crafted novel, and it is clear that Nation has a gift.

The novel would appeal to any young fantasy reader; however, some older teens and adults may find the language and character development to be a bit unsophisticated. But I am a fan of middle reader fantasy, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story and am looking forward to more Bran Hambric.

Published by Sourcebooks, 2009
ISBN-13: 9781402218576
Challenges: A-Z Author, 999, 100+
YTD: 66
Rating: B


Sandy Nawrot 9/1/09, 11:55 AM  

I don't know...it kinda sounds like a Harry Potter wannabe. Which makes me a little crazy.

Robin of My Two Blessings 9/1/09, 12:12 PM  

I read some excerpts of this one on Amazon (I think that's where I did). Anyway, thought it sounded really good. Have added it to my wish list and will be looking for it at the store.

stacybuckeye 9/1/09, 12:18 PM  

Thanks for the recommendation. I'm always looking for books to buy my nephew.

Julie P. 9/1/09, 2:41 PM  

Can't wait to start it -- just a few more days!

bermudaonion 9/1/09, 3:52 PM  

Carl and I certainly aren't young, but I think we'd both enjoy this one. I find the cover very appealing.

Alison (Alison's Book Marks) 9/1/09, 4:32 PM  

I am on Page 365, and I'm finding the similarities to Harry Potter in particular to be a little hard to swallow.

I will give certain allowances considering Kaleb Nation's age, and the strong influence that HP must have had on him at the perfect age for HP fans.

There is no question that the boy has talent! No matter how the last 50 pages go, I will probably still pick up the next book in the series.

Melody 9/1/09, 8:46 PM  

I've seen this book around the blogosphere... it sounds good to me!

Margot at Joyfully Retired 9/1/09, 9:19 PM  

Thanks for another good middle reader recommendation.My oldest granddaugter is a big HP fan and she probably will love it that it is similar. She's written a few HP look-alike stories herself.

S. Krishna 9/2/09, 9:56 AM  

I've been scouting for book recommendations for my husband's young cousin, I'll let him know about this one! Thanks!

Carrie K. 9/2/09, 10:49 PM  

This sounds like one my 11yo son would love - great review!

Ladytink_534 9/8/09, 3:27 AM  

It sounds like an interesting story and I like the idea it since it somewhat reminds me of Rick Riordan's series. There's been a time or two where I loved a plot but gave up on the story because of it being unsophiscated like you mentioned. It just feels like it's talking down to the reader to me. I have a feeling I'd feel the same about this :(

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