Book Review : The Forbidden Stone
The Copernicus Legacy
By Tony Abbott
The Copernicus Legacy has everything middle-grade readers love-an international adventure, a compelling friendship story, and a mission that draws on history and astronomy. Readers who loved Percy Jackson will be eager to follow our heroes on this six-book, six-novella journey and excited to enter a sweepstakes to participate in a real-life scavenger hunt hosted by Tony Abbott that lets the reader become part of the story.
It all began when four friends-Wade, Lily, Darrel, and Becca – received a strange, coded email from Wade’s uncle Henry shortly before the old man’s sudden death. They set off for Germany to attend the funeral with Wade’s father, Roald, and discover that Uncle Henry left them yet another baffling message that they suspect is the key to figuring out how and why he died.
The message leads to a clue, and the more clues they discover, the farther they travel down a treacherous path toward an ancient, guarded secret. Soon they are in a breathless race across the globe, running for their lives as a dangerous shadow organization chases them around every corner. Their only hope of saving themselves-and the world that they know-is to find twelve magical relics from a hidden past that will unlock the Copernicus Legacy.
(Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I am behind in writing reviews! I read The Forbidden Stone a few weeks ago. Overall I had a good impression of the book and would recommend it for a young audience, approximately from 11-14 years old. This is a book that should cross over to either gender.
One point I am always concerned about, is the amount of violence in children’s books. The Forbidden Stone has characters who die, and are threatened with death. We know that someone was killed in an elevator accident, but the reader is not led through a murder, step by gruesome step. The villain is a disturbing because she is so young; described as being only a few years older than the four protagonists. In the first book we don’t know her background, but it is sure to be a stunning revelation. The book is not overtly violent.
I am always interested in the characters. Wade and Darrel are step-brothers, and they are best friends, though very different from each other. Wade is “nerdy” and loves science and the stars. Darrel is always hungry (like many teen boys) and seems like he could almost be a hippy. I have had a harder time distinguishing between Lily and Becca, but I was reading fast and just keep mixing them up and which one Wade has a crush on. I really like how Wade’s father has stayed in the book, rather than having teen children rushing all over the world by themselves. He seems cautious and has just been sucked in to the adventure because of circumstances and his love of science.
I also like the historical references. Wouldn’t it be cool if Copernicus had made a time-machine? Even if there isn’t evidence of such an amazing break through the novel includes facts about the development of science and math which are accurate. The descriptions of places in Germany and Italy also seemed very authentic.
The plot is fairly straight forward, in that, they need to find the clues to the relics before the villains can obtain the precious pieces to use Copernicus’s machine for their own evil uses. Because The Forbidden Stone is aimed at a middle-grade audience, the plot isn’t nearly as important as the execution. Abbott moves the plot along quickly. It has lots of action, puzzles and near misses. He includes the ingredients for a novel that his audience will want. There are no questionable scenes with kissing to put off young readers. All the romance in book one is just the embarrassed “liking” of one another as experienced in middle-school.
3.5 out of 5 stars
If you enjoyed The Forbidden Stone, my sons would recommend the Michael Vey series by Richard Paul Evans (though, honestly it wasn’t my favorite), and I would recommend Schooled by Gordon Korman for a humorous read, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld for an adventure mixed with an alternate universe and Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers for a combination of humor, adventure and history (with no romance at all).
For a slightly older audience check out the Relic Master series by Catherine Fisher.
And if they haven’t read Harry Potter, try to convince this young generation to read it and not just watch the movies! It seems only fair to read this series when it changed children’s literature.