2014, 288p, Young Adult Fantasy
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received copy from publisher for an honest review
Norah Lukens needs to uncover the truth about the fabled lost city of Cobbogoth. After her archaeologist uncle’s murder, Norah is asked to translate his old research journal for evidence and discovers that his murder was a cover-up for something far more sinister.
When she turns to neighbor and only friend James Riley for help, she realizes that not only is their bitter-sweet past haunting her every step, but James is keeping dangerous secrets. Can Norah discover what they are before it's too late to share her own.
I have a lot to share about this book today and I am so excited!! First of all, I absolutely LOVED this book! It captured my attention from the first page and kept it the entire time. The book trailer does a great job of explaining the background of this story (you can find it below). I love how the Cobbogothians were explained and the story surrounding them.
Norah's parents died when she was a baby. Her Uncle Jack, an archaeologist, sent her away to Dunstan Academy for her senior year. Norah is now heading home to Boston. Her friend James is picking her up at the bus station and she's nervous to see him. They were very close and the best of friends and things got weird right before she left. He didn't contact her while she was gone and she's not sure what kind of reception she will get from him. When they pull up to her house, there are police cars and she finds out her uncle has been murdered. She's asked to translate one of her uncle's journals to help catch his murderer. As Norah starts reading it, she realizes that it may contain the answers she's been looking for.
I loved Norah! She's been alone so much that she's just looking for somewhere to belong. She's intelligent and a bit confused as she works to piece together the puzzle she's been given. She gets memories here and there, some of which lead to more questions. Her life was turned upside down when Uncle Jack was murdered and she turns to James, but then realizes he's keeping secrets and isn't sure if she can trust him. I wasn't sure what to think about James for a while and it wasn't until certain revelations were made before I knew where I stood (I won't say so I don't spoil anything). There are lots of other characters that add to the story and I loved reading about all of them.
Cobbogoth is a complex world that I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in. There are plenty of twists and turns which kept me guessing the entire time. I loved the ending and, while it wasn't a cliffhanger, it left me wanting more. There are some great illustrations to help you picture the creatures and people described in the book. If you enjoy clean young adult fantasy combined with mystery, suspense and romance, you will want to read this book!!
I'm so excited that I got to interview the author since my most burning questions was: Is there more?? (You'll need to read the interview to find out.)
1. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I've always considered myself a writer, but I do remember a moment when I knew I was a writer, and that was during my last semester of college. I'd just finished the biggest paper of my college career and I got an A. I remember thinking that if I could write that long of a paper (it was 25 pages) and do it well, then I could write a chapter well. If I could write a lot of chapters well, then I could eventually write a book. That's the first moment I remember knowing I could do it.
2. What inspired you to write Uncovering Cobbogoth?
A million things. I wish I could just name one, but the inspiration for Uncovering Cobbogoth has been growing and gathering in the dusty corners of my mind for years. However, I can tell you the inspiration that planted the first seed of Uncovering Cobbogoth. In fourth grade, my teacher read us The Grey King by Susan Cooper from her The Dark is Rising series. For some reason that book at that time in my life really struck a chord in me, and that is the first moment I remember thinking about the possibility of this story.
3. Is Uncovering Cobbogoth a stand alone book or part of a series?
It is the first book in a series.
4. If part of a series, how many books are you planning to write and when is the next one scheduled to be released?
There are seven books in this series. Uncovering Cobbogoth deals with elementalist--people who can manipulate the elements. There are seven elements, and therefore, there had to be seven books. :-) The next book doesn't have a set release date yet. But I'm really hoping it comes out around this same time next year.
5. What project are you working on now?
I am revising and editing books 2 in the Cobbogoth series right now.
6. What are some of your favorite books and what book are you reading now?
I have way too many favorites. But I particularly love Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt, Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen, anything Jane Austen-y and I recently found an indie gem called Thorn by Intisar Khanani.
7. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Be with my husband and son, run, sing, play the guitar, read books, and go to Southern California. There's just something about the Pacific Ocean.
8. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes! If this is really what you want to do, more than anything, then never, ever, ever, EVER give up. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't And be prepared to work harder than you ever have at anything.
9. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you! Most of the fun in writing a book is anticipating your readers' reactions. I hope you love reading Uncovering Cobbogoth as much as I loved writing it!
There it is--a seven book series, yay!! I'm captivated by Cobbogoth and look forward to learning more!
Hannah L. Clark lives with her husband and their son in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor’s degree in English, and immediately began writing Uncovering Cobbogoth.
Hannah loves running, mythology, laughing, soulful bluegrass music, and growing things. Like her heroine, Norah, she is slightly inclined to believe that trees have souls.
To learn more about Hannah and the Cobbogoth series, visit www.cobbogoth.com.
Rebekah G. Shakespear lives with her husband and two sons in Texas. She received a double degree in Graphic-Web and Print Design from Henry Ford Community College in Michigan.
Bekah loves being a mom, photography, illustrating, refinishing furniture, organizing and being related to the author, for whom she has held a long abiding love and admiration for since before Hannah was even born.