Soul Stealer, by Sam Richardson, is a new middle grade fantasy available as an ebook on Amazon for $.99.
The characters of Eve and Barney are extremely relatable for middle grade readers. In Eve and Barney they will see bits of their friends and siblings that will make them laugh and nod their heads. The adventures that the siblings in the book embark on are full of wonderful descriptions and excitement.
I like that they had to solve puzzles to get into the worlds they visited. Readers will enjoy trying to figure them out, but the book doesn’t dwell too long on the mystery, which might be frustrating. The image of a hallway of doors, and a key keeper with a robe full of pockets of keys, will stay with me for a long time, as will images from Zoltari.
Eve and Barney set off to save the world, and it’s particularly realistic that they don’t completely succeed at first. By the end of the book, they have grown a bit even though they still have a ways to go before they are fully grown up. I can see a terrific series developing around Eve and Barney as middle grade readers discover them.
My students had the opportunity to read this book in an early draft, and will be quite excited to see that the author incorporated some of their suggestions into the final draft.