Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: Calvin Sparks and the Crossing to Cambria by Rusty Anderson

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Calvin Sparks and the Crossing to Cambria, by Rusty Anderson
2014, 270p, Middle-Grade Fantasy
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

When Calvin discovers a mysterious cabin in the woods, it seems like the world’s coolest clubhouse! But there’s more to this place than he knows. Hidden inside the cabin is a portal to another world, and Calvin’s not the first person in his family to use it. Filled with action, adventure, mystery, and magic, this story is sure to entertain kids and parents alike.

I'm always on the lookout for fun books for my children to read and this one is a winner! First of all, the cover is amazing! It already makes me feel like I'm part of the world I'm about to enter.

Calvin and Anna have been best friends as long as they can remember and Perry has been their friend for the past four years. They love to explore and finally found the cottage in the woods that Calvin's grandpa told him about. They quickly learn that it holds a passage to another world and soon find themselves in Cambria. They go back many times to visit and learn more about it, as well as discover some family secrets. Each of them are tested along the way and need to find answers to questions they each have. 

I liked Calvin, Anna and Perry. Their friendship seemed realistic. They got along for the most part and were supportive of each other. They worked together to figure out what was happening and what they should do next. There were also great supporting characters. I felt like some of them had such a small role yet it felt like they were meant for more in the story so I'm hoping we'll see them again in future installments. There is a villain as well that's obviously not likable but he adds to the story.

I love the pacing of this book. There are adventures but they move quickly. Sometimes I can get bored with long, drawn out descriptions that go on for pages and pages. I felt like I got the full experience in a shorter amount of time (and maybe I have the attention span of a middle-grader). I was able to figure out some of the twists but others came as a surprise to me.

This is a book of good vs. evil, friendship, adventure, magic, dragons, mystery, family and a fun new world to discover. There is definitely more story to be told and I look forward to visiting Cambria again in the future!  

About the author:

Rusty discovered his passion for writing at an early age. When he was in the fourth grade he was given an assignment to write, illustrate, and bind a book. He liked it so much, he wrote three––most of which were pretty awful. One of those books, however, received accolades at a district writing competition.

Originally from California, Rusty is no stranger to apple boxes and packaging tape. He attended three different middle schools and two different high schools between California and Utah. He lived in Guatemala, learned to speak Spanish, and eventually made his way back to Utah, where he graduated from the University of Utah. Rusty was the editor of a monthly Utah newspaper and currently pays the bills doing graphic design and marketing.

On the weekends, Rusty stays up late playing games and watching movies with his family. He and his wife, Jayne, reside in the beautiful mountains in Heber Valley with their six children.


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