Customer Reviews for

The Hound of Rowan (The Tapestry Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

If you like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson...

On the anniversary of his mother's disappearance, Max and his father visit Chicago's museum of modern art, where Max's life is changed forever. In a hidden room Max sees a tapestry that moves to life under his gaze. Max is an Apprentice and is accepted into Rowan Acad...
On the anniversary of his mother's disappearance, Max and his father visit Chicago's museum of modern art, where Max's life is changed forever. In a hidden room Max sees a tapestry that moves to life under his gaze. Max is an Apprentice and is accepted into Rowan Academy, a special boarding school where Apprentices are trained to fight the Enemy. At Rowan, Max learns how to utilize his new found abilities and re-evaluates what he thought he knew about the world and his place in it. A war is coming, the Enemy is on the move, and somehow Max's destiny is tangled up with the future of Rowan and its guardians. Reader's cannot help but compare this book with the Harry Potter series, since it is an adolescent boy who discovers he has magic powers. However, Neff has delivered a superbly crafted, highly imaginative work that only superficially shadows Harry's first adventure. Max and the other characters are well-crafted and the reader is given tantalizing glimpses of the inner workings of various characters throughout the book. Magic is approached in an atypical manner. No wands or magic words, just will and thought and training; which is a nice change of pace. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy magic and the battle between good and evil. I look forward to Neff's Next novel.

posted by Lunanshee on January 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Similar to Harry Potter, but give it a try

It's hard not to compare this with Harry Potter. However the stories are somewhat similar you just can't help it. There are definitely some aspects of the book you often wonder to yourself if you're just reading another version of Harry Potter. However there are some as...
It's hard not to compare this with Harry Potter. However the stories are somewhat similar you just can't help it. There are definitely some aspects of the book you often wonder to yourself if you're just reading another version of Harry Potter. However there are some aspects of the book where the similarities end and there is a difference between the two books after all.

The storyline is interesting and although it has magical elements and mythology into the plot, there is no hidden magical world. The magic just stays hidden and the faculty of the academy do what they can to cover up chaotic moments with perfect excuses. It does work well and the charade is well played. What I did enjoy is the care of animals which is part of the school curriculum, and when the pairing of the animals to the students was described, I thought that was an interesting read. There was a lot of emphasis and description on the Academy itself - which was nice to read because although it is set in the real world, the school was like a different place altogether.

The story also tends to take a little darker turn than usual especially towards the climax of the book. It does get more interesting and the action is well done, the emphasis on Celtic mythology is mentioned and adds a nice little spin to the book. The Prophecy bit is a little tedious and overdone, but is to be expected to keep the series going. The arc with Max's mother is what keeps me curious about this series. There's obviously more to that part and I hope it will tie in nicely as the series progresses.

Character-wise, Max was all right. There wasn't anything to dislike about him and his nemesis, Alex is your typical jerk. Max also has his own little circle of friends but neither of them really stood out for me. Although I thought David was rather interesting. Mum and Bob are the ones that stand out the most (the kitchen staff). I thought they provided the comic relief and were a fun read. I also liked the relationship between Max and his father. I thought it was nice to see a parent character play such a main role into the main character's life. It's something I don't usually see in these kinds of novels and it's definitely a nice change to see.

So, with this book you'll either like it. Or absolutely hate it. Those that are absolute Harry Potter purists should not read this book. The similarities are VERY close and there are many (quite a lot actually) and reading it would probably make your blood pressure pop. However readers that are looking for something that is similar to the Harry Potter style should pick this book up. It's good enough for me to continue reading this series, however there should be more effort on the author's part to make things different and think of new creative ways to move the plot ahead. It doesn't look good if the book is a total rehash of ideas that have already been thought of.

posted by Sensitivemuse on October 20, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    This book wasn't so great.

    I am really surprised that so many people liked this book. I didn't think it was very well-written, the writing gave me the sense of a high school or college student trying out creative writing for the first time. I found some grammatical errors, and sentences that were confusing because of this; the editor(s) didn't seem to be paying attention all the time. I thought Max should have had a little bit more development before he gets thrown into the "magical" world. I found way too many aspects of the story in general to be direct rip-offs from the Harry Potter series, and I can't believe anyone would say this is anywhere near as good, let alone better, than J.K. Rowling's work. HP is leagues ahead of this. I found some of the characters actions and reactions to things not believable enough. Mum was particularly annoying, I guess she was supposed to be funny, but I found it ludicrous that a school administration would let a "reformed" hag work there when she is constantly talking about eating the children. The part where the character Connor agrees to go to the dance with her is stupid. In general, I didn't think the characters were well-developed enough, and I think a lot of them had potential to be better and more interesting. The whole story could be better with someone guiding the author in revisions; I think that it needed more work before it was published. I was relieved to finish it and get it over with. One character I think should have been in it a little more is Ronin/Peter Varga; he was pretty cool, and somehow better than a lot of the other characters. Another thing, the exotic animal charges were really interesting, they were brought it with a lot of fanfare, but then all they really did was eat and sit on the sidelines for the rest of the story. There was/is a lot of potential with them, I don't know why it wasn't pursued. The author does have some talent and good ideas. I hope he works to improve on them for his future books.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2010

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    Posted March 7, 2012

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    Posted December 26, 2010

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    Posted August 10, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2010

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