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As she undertakes her strange and dangerous odyssey, Aine must choose between a family she doesn't remember and her growing attraction to a mysterious young man named Gilgamesh. Only through treacherous adventures into The Time Machine, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Tale of Two Cities, and the epic Indian saga The Ramayana will she learn her true heritage and restore the balance of the worlds... if she can stay alive.
"Lourey never slackens the pace!" --St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Riveting reading with a fascinating concept, 'The Toadhouse Trilogy' is not to be missed." --The Midwest Book Review
"Readers will, like the protagonists, literally get lost in this book. Beautifully written and unquestionably entertaining, this projected trilogy truly does have the potential to become a young adult classic." --Paul Goat Allen (The Chicago Tribune reviewer)
"Lourey's wonderful way with words will whisk readers away to an amazing new world!"
--Anthony and Agatha Award winning author Chris Grabenstein
Posted March 25, 2013
I didn't enjoy this book. It had too many made up words that I had to keep track of as well as too many descriptions. I prefer my books to be either a nice mix of descriptions and characterizations or heavier on the characterizations. The book didn't grab me and keep my interest.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 18, 2013
Beautiful descriptions evoke 1930s Alabama in Jess Loury’s The ToadHouse Trilogy. A brother and sister aren’t quite the same as everybody else. And suddenly the world around them isn’t quite the same as everyone imagined either. Touches of mystery foreshadow disaster, and that very strange first chapter begins to make sense. Then the story takes off, as does the Toadhouse.
The concept reminds me a little of Cornelia Funke’s Inheart, with fictional characters proving as real as Aine and her brother. Together with the curious Gilgamesh, they pursue their quest through the pages of familiar novels, making this a wonderful book to remind young readers of the classics, entice them to read more, inspire literary conversation with their parents, and broaden their tastes—after all, who wouldn’t want to read the Time Machine, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, Sinbad and more?
Jess Loury’s novel is the first in a trilogy, but it’s pleasingly complete in itself, enjoyably written and a nice smooth read. Occasional editing slips or unconvincing leaps of logic are easily excused. With the overactive guilt and suspicion of teenaged Aine nicely balanced by the childish exuberance of her blind brother, the overall effect is a fun story for middle-grade readers, filled with mystery, excitement, action, adventure, world-famous literary characters and the feel of a dark, almost grown-up fairy-tale—highly recommended.
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to buy a free copy. I really enjoyed the book.
Posted December 11, 2012
I thought this was such a unique take on a Fantasy World. I mean, I am sure other authors have attempted and achieved at this type of story, but I just haven't found any like The Toadhouse Trilogy (book #1) by Jess Lourey!
I will admit, I was a little worried, because out of the book world's mentioned the only one I had read personally was A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens during my senior year of high school in my English class, and personally I didn't really like it...I am not a huge fan of Classic English Literature.
But from what I read throughout this novel, about The Time Machine, which the story spent the most time in, I actually sort of found myself wanting to pick up that novel and check it out! I've heard a few things about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but honestly didn't know how scary of a story it was, and never heard of The Ramayana. I will admit the classic stories may throw a few children off, since they don't know what they are about, but honestly if you're a parent looking for a good book for your child to read, that contains adventure, fantasy worlds, a unique story line, get your child to read this book, because like I said I have never read any of these stories (except the one), and I understood what was going on and what sort of happened in these worlds through Jess Lourey's words.
I truly enjoyed this one! I highly recommend it to the younger readers, possibly between the ages of 12-17? or so. The main characters are fairly young, Aine's brother is 9, I believe, and Aine is, I believe 16. There are some scarier moments, for instance when discussing the world of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and some of the parts where Biblios arrives (because quite frankly that dude is DISGUSTING!!), but other than that this book is filled with adventure, fantasy worlds, and a great story line!
Posted December 4, 2012
When I read the blurb for Book One of The Toadhouse Trilogy the promise of adventure hooked me.
Imagine stepping into the pages of your favorite books searching for clues, a treasure hunt through
stories both serene and scary.
Now imagine taking this journey with someone you dislike. That’s what happened to me when
I plunged into this novel. The main character, Aine, hampered the novelty of the story. She elicited
no sympathy from me, which made my journey less enjoyable.
This book wasn’t all bad; I give Jess Lourey credit for her imagination. However, it could have been
much better. Something seemed to hold the characters and story back; the plot unraveled in a
This is the first installment and maybe the next two books will fulfill the promise I expected from this
one. Book one fell flat, cheated me. I doubt I’ll seek out future installments of the trilogy.
Posted September 19, 2012
(Review also posted on my blog, Amanda's Writings)
I absolutely LOVED this book! I loved everything about it, from its fabulous cover to its exciting adventures and fantastic characters!
The writing was amazing. The story felt so vivid and real! I loved the concept of living in books, and traveling through them. It was exciting to see the settings of some of my favorite classics in more depth, and with new details. I also loved what the author did with faeries in this book. It was definitely unique, and super interesting. The actual story was fantastic as well. I couldn't put it down, and I can't wait for book two!
Aine was a fantastic character. I loved that she always on the ball, and always had a plan. I also loved how she and her brother interacted with the characters from other books in the story. It was pretty awesome :). I wish I had thought of this!
There was so much in this book, so much that happened, but by the end I realized that there was still so much more to the story! I absolutely can't wait for book two!
Posted September 10, 2012
The spellbinding magic woven into the pages of this book will transport you into a world full of adventure and mystery.
The writing was beautiful and really brought a magical quality to the story. The action was exciting and had me on the edge of my seat constantly. There were twists and turns throughout the entire book and they really kept me on my toes. I had a great time discovering more about Aine’s and her true identity.
I had a lot of fun reading about some of my favorite classic books and seeing how Aine reacted to these different worlds.
Aine was a fun and relatable character. She was very courageous to battle on even when her whole world had been turned upside down and I had really admired that about her. She became a very dear character while reading this book and I couldn’t help, but become afraid, happy, and even sad because of her.
Spenser was an interesting character and fun to get to know. He was a great brother and companion to Aine throughout her adventure.
Gilgamesh was a mystery for most of the book and was very interesting to read about. I loved getting to know him and figuring out more about him. I also found the romance between him and Aine to be really sweet.
This story is a true book lover’s delight. If you have ever dreamed of transporting yourself into some of your favorite books then this is the story for you.
Posted August 13, 2012
Aine believes herself to be a regular teenager in 1930s Alabama, but when a blue-eyed monster named Biblos attacks, she discovers that the reclusive woman raising her isn't really her grandmother and that she's been living inside a book for the past five years. With her blind brother, Spenser, she flees the pages of the novel she's called home, one terrifying step ahead of Biblos' black magic. Her only chance at survival lies in beating him to the three objects that he desires more than life.
As she undertakes her strange and dangerous odyssey, Aine must choose between a family she doesn't remember and her growing attraction to a mysterious young man named Gilgamesh. Only through treacherous adventures intoThe Time Machine, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Tale of Two Cities, and the epic Indian sagaThe Ramayana will she learn her true heritage and restore the balance of the worlds... if she can stay alive.
"Young adult science fiction and fantasy is such a dynamic category right now – arguably some of the strongest writing in all of genre fiction is happening there – and, even with all of that competition, teen readers should add Lourey’s The Toadhouse Trilogy: Book One to their list of “must read” releases. It's that good...readers will, like the protagonists, literally get lost in this book. Beautifully written and unquestionably entertaining, this projected trilogy truly does have the potential to become a young adult classic." --Paul Goat Allen
Posted October 5, 2012
No text was provided for this review.