Customer Reviews for

The Hound of Rowan (The Tapestry Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 131 )
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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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  • Posted October 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    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 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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    Unoriginal

    The book is basically a mediocre Harry Potter knockoff. Everything from the magical boarding school for gifted students, to the wise headmaster, "evil" bully, magical school sport, reawakened bad-guy, to the traitorous teacher. While the read was not terrible, it was not particularly good either. I really hope the next books in this series gain some much needed originality.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Deserves More

    This book is the beginning of one of the greatest series I have ever read. It begins the series with a simple cast then builds and shapes them in the readers mind. Mr. Neff creates a story that the readers can easily submerse themselves in. It is wonderfully original and unique. Not all books about a young man who goes to a boarding school must be compared to another series. Boarding school have been around long before a package was dropped off at Number 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey, UK. Once again become literate and stop comparing every book you read to that series. Give these books a chance and they will amaze you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 31, 2010

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    Posted October 26, 2010

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    Posted July 16, 2011

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