This book will be released in April 2011. I received an electronic copy from the publisher for review.
I have not read the first three books of the series so I’m coming into the story in the middle. In spite of that, I was able to make sense of most of the story. There are some blank spots, which may be covered in earlier books, but they didn’t detract from my being able to follow the story in this book.
Young Nathaniel is a beastologist in training. In fact, he is the youngest one of them all. It’s something his family has done for generations. Only, his parents are missing and he’s stuck with his aunt while she ministers to the world’s mystical beasts instead of helping him find his parents. On top of that, the evil Obediah Fludd may know where they are, and he’s the last person Nathaniel wants to run into.
When the rare unicorn falls mysteriously ill, he and his aunt have to go to her and play doctor. But things get bad when Obediah shows up and tries to trade Nathaniel’s parents for the beast’s.
This book was an easy read, even taking into account it’s meant for a younger audience. The story doesn’t have a lot of depth. It focuses on the main story line almost exclusively except for the occasional mention of the missing parents.
When I first saw the art, I found it equally simplistic. However, after scrutinizing several plates for a while, I decided it was quite masterfully done.
I enjoyed the story, but not enough to search out the other volumes in the series.