Book Review: Root Bound by Tanya Karen Gough

emma root bound coverTitle: Root Bound

Author: Tanya Karen Gough

Genre: Fantasy (MG)

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon,  B&N,  Kobo

“A lighthearted, whimsical confection that will delight both kids and their parents’ inner child.” –Kirkus Reviews

How far will you go to find your way home?

Emma and her father are always on the move, travelling from place to place as her father’s work demands. Their new home, however, is different. There’s a frightening woman who lives down the hall: she bears an uncanny resemblance to a witch. A mysterious light comes from her apartment, and a small boy seems to be trapped inside.

School in this town is no happy place either, with an odd principal and a gang of girls who make tormenting Emma their special project. And strangest of all is the fact that there seem to be brownies – basement brownies, in the air vent in her bedroom.

Haunted by visions of her mother, Emma travels through the brownie burrow to the valley of Hades to visit with the goddess Ceres, following a series of clues that lead her across the sea of memory to the centre of the world.

There, on an inhospitable rock floating in a sea of steaming lava, Emma must find a way to release her mother from the sea of memory and restore magic to both the brownie burrow and the human world above.

Oh my, what a joyous read! Teenage Emma and her Dad move into a brand new appartment, but from the moment they move in, they realize they’re not the only ones living in the apartment. Emma starts hearing strange noises. Her next door neighbor is a creepy old woman who reminds her of a fairytale witch. And on top of that, Emma starts having strangen ightmares about her mother…

She goes out to investigate and stumbles upon Brownies, strange creatures living the apartment. They call themselves basement brownies and they live in the air vent in her bedroom. Emma agrees to help the brownies, travelling to the valley of Hades to visit the goddess Ceres following a series of clues. But more may be at stake than just the brownie’s future: Emma’s mom is trapped in the sea of memory. She must save her too, before it’s too late.

This story was imaginative and fun. Emma makes a great heroine. She’s stubborn and strong-minded and not afraid of a little danger. The brownies were amazing. They’re hilarious, and their history is very intriguing. I loved Emma’s journey through the brownie burrow to find the goddess. The book relies a lot on clues, and I had fun thinking them through myself.

This book is ideal for fantasy fans of all ages. Even adults will enjoy this quirky read!

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