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Happenstance Found (Books of Umber Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Master storyteller P.W. Catanese begins the Books of Umber trilogy with Happenstance Found—now available in paperback—when twelve-yearold Happenstance awakens in a cave with no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. Lord Umber and his companions rescue Hap, and the group sets out on dangerous and unusual missions that continue in Dragon Games.

Hap’s and Umber’s journeys take them to the corrupt kingdom of Sarnica, where Umber’s ...
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Happenstance Found (Books of Umber Series #1)

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Overview

Master storyteller P.W. Catanese begins the Books of Umber trilogy with Happenstance Found—now available in paperback—when twelve-yearold Happenstance awakens in a cave with no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. Lord Umber and his companions rescue Hap, and the group sets out on dangerous and unusual missions that continue in Dragon Games.

Hap’s and Umber’s journeys take them to the corrupt kingdom of Sarnica, where Umber’s nemesis has acquired some dragon eggs. Umber wants to study a new magical species, but what starts as a quest for knowledge turns into a dangerous rescue operation. The deft plotting of these actionpacked, heart-stopping adventures will pique the imagination and leave readers anxious for the final installment.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Catanese (the Further Tales Adventures) dazzles in the first of the planned Books of Umber series by wittily subverting genre tropes. Happenstance, a boy with strange green eyes, wakes up in a cave with no memories of who he is or anything about the fantastic world in which he lives. He soon encounters Lord Umber, an adventurer who seems familiar with our world as well as his own, and his two companions-a brute cursed to be forever truthful and a one-handed artist and archer. En route to Umber's home, they discover that Hap can see in the dark, leap many feet in the air, speak numerous languages and go without sleep. As the group attempts to learn about his origins, they're forced to confront a supernatural assassin and secrets from Umber's own mysterious past. Catanese packs a lot into the book: rich characterizations (Umber, who turns out to be from another dimension, suffers from depression and wishes he had his meds), well-choreographed action sequences and genuinely surprising twists at the end. As auspicious start to the series. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)

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Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
When Happenstance is found in the cave by Lord Umber, Oates, and Sophie, he does not remember who he is, where he is, or how he got there. But the strange man Umber has a note with information about him and wants to take him away. The foursome manages to flee the giant worm that guards the cave and travel by Leviathan ship to Kurahaven. Life continues to be confusing for Hap. Lord Umber will not reveal information and Oates does not seem to like him. The group is followed by a creature who obviously wishes them harm. All Hap knows is that everyone he meets is dazzled by his brilliant green eyes. Hap spends his time reading Umber's journals and trying to learn Umber's secret. When the secret is finally revealed, Hap learns that the fate of Umber's world, our world, is largely in his hands. Catanese has put a slightly different twist to a post-apocalyptic story. Readers, both young and old, will anxiously await future titles in the "Books of Umber" series. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

Happenstance Found, 12, does not remember who he is, where he came from, or any details of his former life. He wakes up in an underground cavern, accompanied by a mysterious stranger who refuses to tell him anything about his origins. The stranger hands Hap over to personable, yet in many ways equally mysterious, Lord Umber. Acting on the stranger's advice, Umber invites Hap to join his company. They immediately meet with adventure and danger, and Hap learns that Umber is a man of diverse talents and boundless curiosity. Umber discovers that Hap can see in total darkness, jump to extraordinary heights, and sense when momentous events are about to occur. Hap is also being pursued by a menacing figure, which he and his companions dub "the Creep." In the final conflict with this character, Hap's ingenuity, abilities, and loyalty are tested. He triumphs over his adversary, but enough tantalizing loose ends are left to be resolved in the sequel. Though some may lament the uneven characterization, there's plenty of adventure and mystery to appeal to fans of Catanese's earlier works.-Misti Tidman, Boyd County Public Library, Ashland, KY

Kirkus Reviews
The beginning of a moderately engaging fantasy series employs a number of tropes readers will find familiar-perhaps irritatingly so. Happenstance-Hap-appears in a world he doesn't know. He has no memories but a lot of languages, and he does not need to sleep. He is found by the wildly curious, intensely aware and distinctly manic-depressive Lord Umber, who clearly has a plan for Hap. The pair travels to Umber's city of Kurahaven with the help of three unlikely and elaborately contrived characters. In Kurahaven, the action slows a bit while Hap learns about the world, discovers a few of his talents and sees the effect his startlingly green eyes have upon the populace. The climax, which involves a rockslide and a race down a collapsing stairwell and crumbling walls into the sea, comes straight from Indiana Jones. There's a little bit of preaching, especially when Umber explains his own origins, and barely a pause without resolution at the end to prepare readers for the next installment. (Fantasy. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439153376
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Series: Books of Umber Series , #1
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 255,248
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: NC700L (what's this?)
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

P. W. (Paul William) Catanese was born in New York and grew up in Connecticut, where he lives with his wife and three children. When he's not writing books, he draws cartoons and works for an advertising agency.
Interestingly, the letters in "P. W. Catanese" can be rearranged to spell "want escape?" Paul figures that's why people read books like his.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I'm a mom of two boys and I enjoy reading what they are reading.

    This is a wonderful story for middle schoolers and up. The action never stops and the twists and turns are not complete until the end. There are monsters, magic, science and technology with evil villains and heros that come in all shapes and sizes. There are many hints of what is to come and many questions left unanswered. I can't wait for the next installment of The Books of Umber.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Amazing

    This book is the best! The author even visited my school and gave us a free copy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 2, 2011

    Diffrent

    The Book of Umber series has a new concept that I've never read before. I wouldn't say this book eould fits any child's taste, but anyone who thirst for fantasy, I would recommend this book. Although it's a juicy story, it includes a dark side, choppy ending, and a nasty cliff hanger. Overall it is a neat story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 13, 2012

    the best book ever

    I loved the book much because of the boy save the umber and his friends and the master the umber let him read the letters

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Hap

    Very good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    One of the best books i have ever read.

    This book and series are absolutely awesome! Curse u all the people who hate this.

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

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Happenstance

    Awesome

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

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Rbcyu

    Awsome

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

    Posted April 8, 2012

    What to read

    My freind is reading and i what to read but i cant because mom what let. Help!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Who

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    Love

    This book was on my shelf and it looked univiting until i tried it. Awsome

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Hap

    I really do not like this book,but it is a blue bonet,so I have to read it.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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    Posted May 1, 2011

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    Posted June 25, 2011

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    Posted November 7, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews

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