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Tales from the Bargain Bin

DrMM's blog about books, the universe and everything (actually, just books). I currently read mostly YA/MG fantasy, although the only thing I won't read is horror.

The Familiars #1

The Familiars - Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson, Peter Chan, Kei Acedera

Have I ever mentioned how much I love bargain/used books? Because I do. While some of them end up being absolutely dreadful, quite a few of them turn out to be surprisingly good and/or entertaining and I found The Familiars to be one of those pleasant surprises.


In The Familiars, a street cat named Aldwyn sneaks into a magical pet shop and ends up being chosen to be to be the pet/familiar of a wizard-in-training named Jack. Of course, when Jack and his fellow trainees are kidnapped, Aldwyn and his fellow familiars, Skylar the blue-jay and tree-frog Gilbert must embark upon a dangerous journey to save their wizards.


Mini Review: A fun, entertaining read. For being a middle-grade book, I thought the characterizations of the animals were well-done and more nuanced than you sometimes see in MG books (I'm looking at you "Adventurers Wanted" series). Aldwyn is a streetwise liar, who manages to be honorable despite his lies. Skylar may be an arrogant know-it-all but she's one with good intentions, despite indications that she has a dark secret. Gilbert may have self-esteem issues and act the coward but can be surprisingly brave.


While there's nothing ground-breaking or particularly unique when it comes to plot or characterization, it's still a fun read that I can see a lot of younger readers enjoying.