Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle: 4 Stars
Gabriel is George Hagen’s first novel for children, or should I say middle schoolers. Could he really be this good? It is so well-written and the story so compelling. With no other children’s book of his with which to compare, I sought out one of his novels for adults, The Laments. Yup, sure enough, he is an amazing storyteller.
Gabriel goes in search of his father, who seems to have vanished into this air. With the help of his raven, Paladin, they seek out the way to find him and that involves a magic tork, many riddles, adventure, evil ravens and good ravens (one can tell them apart by good ravens’ ability to solve riddles), Gabriel’s dark uncle, and more unforgettable characters. Great for reluctant readers as it is engaging from the first page and accessible, yet the author never talks to down to kids.
The book begs a sequel, which will be eagerly anticipated by all the author’s new fans.