John Stephens is also the author of The Emerald Atlas, the first installment in the Books of Beginning trilogy. John received his MFA from the University of Virginia, and went on to write and produce television for ten years. During this time, he read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman and fell in love with fantasy for young readers. He spent the next several years waking at 4 AM every morning to write The Emerald Atlas before heading to work for the day. John lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son and their dog, Bug. Visit BooksofBeginning.com to find out more about The Fire Chronicle, the Books of Beginning, and John.
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, October 8, 2012: "Fans of The Emerald Atlas will find much to love: the adventure-driven plot, a scattering of deliciously scary moments, and Stephens's offbeat take on Tolkienesque dragons, dwarves, and elves are sure to delight." Starred Review, School Library Journal, October 1, 2012: "Fans of the first book won't be disappointed, and will eagerly anticipate the next one. The Emerald Atlas was very good. This one is even better." Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2012: "Irreverent humor and swashbuckling adventure collide in a fetching fantasy."
Gr 4-7-Fifteen-year-old Kate, almost 13-year-old Michael, and 12-year-old Emma don't know why Dr. Pym sent them back to the dreadful orphanage at the end of The Emerald Atlas (Knopf, 2011), but Kate, who learned to control the power of the Atlas to travel through time, knows they need to leave as soon as possible. In the first chapter of Chronicle, a monstrous Screecher attacks, and Kate lures it into the past at the exact moment Dr. Pym appears to retrieve Michael and Emma. While Kate deals with the Dickensian world of 1899 New York on the eve of Separation, when the magical and mundane worlds will split for good, Michael, Emma, and Pym search for information about the other two books in a variety of unlikely places. This is a roller-coaster ride of a story, which includes old friends and new, a visit to Antarctica, the rescue of an Elf Princess (who is sometimes a dragon), a touch of doomed romance, a generous leavening of humor, life, death, betrayal, and (just a warning) a nasty little cliff-hanger of an ending. It is really Michael's story-he deals with unimaginable challenges with humor, courage, and insight. Knowledge of the first book is suggested; readers who start with this one will definitely want to backtrack. Fans of the first book won't be disappointed, and will eagerly anticipate the next one. The Emerald Atlas was very good. This one is even better.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.