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Review: Fathers and Sons by Steven Novak

In a sentence or so:  Tommy Jarvis is transported to an entirely different world that's been waiting for him, and his four unlikely companions, to save them all.

Life hasn't been easy for Tommy since his mother died. His dad isn't the same man, he gets beat up on the daily, and his little brother refuses to speak. On a weekend outing to the secret tree house, Tommy, his brother Nicky, and their former friend and neighbor Staci run into trouble with Donald the bully. Tommy and Donald get into a scuffle which results in them falling into a nearby stream and getting transported to a world entirely unlike their own.

This new world is in turmoil. A desperate prince is making ruthless grab for power and slaughtering anyone and everyone who is in his way. They have been waiting for The Five to Save Them All. They may not be the heroes the worlds are looking for, what with them being 5 teenage misfits and all, but they are the chosen ones for a reason.

The short chapters from the different perspectives and places make this a quick read, albeit confusing at times. There's a lot going on in this book with the 5 'heroes' and the multiple worlds and various races along the way. However, the vivid descriptions, quick dialogue, silly banter and emotional connections kept me turning page after page. The relationships between fathers and sons is a centralizing piece of the plot, although relationships and responsibilities for all of the characters is explored as well.

Overall, this is a great start to a fantasy series with clever writing and unique characters, to be sure. It's a bit overwhelming in places, but if you have the patience and devotion in seeing it through to the end, you won't be disappointed.

Fave quotes (one silly, one emotional): "Before Donald followed, he put his arm behind his back, poking questioningly at the seat of his jeans. After confirming that he had not pooped his pants, he quickly caught up with the two." (61)
"Not only did Chris Jarvis' voice crack on that day, but his soul did, as well - a crack so deep that it could never be repaired - spreading slowly, until the dam of his emotions shattered completely, devouring everything in its path." (107)

Fix er up: The author did a great job with the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. I think I would have liked to have seen more of those, or some full page artwork or something to really drive it home.

Title: Fathers and Sons (Forts #1)
Author: Steven Novak
Pub Info: Quiet Corner Press, 2011
Genre: Fantasy

[FTC Notice: I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated in any way. Thanks, Steven!]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I love those quotes. Both of them. ;)
    Also, illustrations are a bonus every time.

  2. ha, not pooping your pants: always a plus.

    this one definitely sounds pretty cute! I'm loving the Gollum lookin' dude on the cover.


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