Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review - Skylanders Adventures: The Machine of Doom by Cavan Scott (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Children’s/Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy
Size: 160 pages
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Release Date: September 6, 2012
ISBN: 978-0448461847
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Skylanders Adventures series
Source: Gift (for my son)
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the first in a series of books featuring the Skylanders video game characters. It’s a beginning chapter book and has lots of well done pictures.

Spyro and crew go on a quest to recover the Chattering Key in hopes of getting to the Machine of Doom before Kaos does. Along the way they run into perils like stone wyverns, mushrooms of despair, and of course the Machine of Doom.

My 5 year old son is a huge Skylanders fan and was desperate to get this book. I was worried that this was on of “those books” know the ones. Horribly written, horrible to read and only selling because it is a Skylanders theme book. I really wasn't expecting much since these types of books are usually poorly written. Imagine my surprise when this ended up being a very entertaining, fantasy-quest type of book.

The writing was well done; full of witty comments and clever word phrasing that made both me and my son laugh out loud. There are a number of places where silly strings of alliteration are used in very clever ways. The writing isn’t dumbed down for kids and uses some big words and some excellent description. Yes, we had to stop a few times to discuss what a word meant, but I am all good with that considering that my son is getting to learn some new words.

There is a lot of humor in here, some awesome action, and lots of teamwork between Spyro and his friends. There are even some surprising twists to the story and a decently thought-out plot.

The story is a good one; Spyro, Eruptor, and Gill Grunt go on a quest to recover the Chattering Key and get to the Machine of Doom before Kaos does. Along the way the solve puzzles and outwit the bad guys.

There are many black and white pictures throughout the book as well. These were very well done and often very humorous. The book is printed in a larger and unique font that made it fun and easy to read.

Overall this book way, way better quality than other books I've read that are knock-offs of game or toy lines. Highly recommended for fans of the Skylanders realm. This is a well written and fun story, that is actually enjoyable to read. Hopefully future books in this series are just as good as this one...then instead of groaning about having to read my son another cheap, poorly done book based on a game, I can actually look forward to the cool illustrations, fun humor, and a plot!

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge

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