MMGM is a weekly feature for Middle Grade books hosted each Monday on Shannon Messenger’s blog. Check it out for a list of all the participants!
Taylor didn’t want to follow his parents to the Caribbean. When he’s sucked into a world of angels and their supernatural adversaries, he wants the mission assigned to him even less. The Flame of Findul–the sword that guards the Tree of Life–has been allowed to burn out. The only way to avoid worldwide disaster is to relight it in the forge of Findul the Firesmith. Taylor has been chosen for this task. But there is One who stands in his way.
Wow, what an adventure! The action begins in the school lunchroom where a very tall girl named Elena steals a cheeseburger from Taylor Davis. That fateful encounter sends them both through a crack in the floor into a world neither of them expects. The unlikely pair is informed by none other than the pirate Davy Jones that the world is doomed unless they relight the Flame of Findul—a sword that, without its flame, cannot properly guard the Tree of Life. Teamed up with a couple of guardian angels, they set out with the flameless sword on a formidable quest from the Caribbean to England, and finally to the Pacific Northwest (including a side trip to New Jersey) in search of the forge of Findul the Firesmith. And their adventure just wouldn’t be complete without monsters from the land, sky, and sea trying to stop them, as well as an evil pirate ringleader, Barholomew Swain.
The mix of danger, interesting characters, and comic relief is wonderfully done. I loved the clever twist on Biblical and mythological elements regarding the Tree of Life. I also thoroughly enjoyed characters who each had very distinct (and super entertaining!) personalities. Taylor Davis, the boy who struggled with being great at anything, is a true hero, and in a clever parallel, Taylor’s eccentric guardian angel also finds redemption for his own inadequacies. An action-packed story about overcoming self doubt and doing the right thing, TAYLOR DAVIS is a wonderful read. This one will appeal to kids and adults alike. Tons of fun and highly recommended!