Read Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton Online

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"You've stumbled on to something much larger than you can possibly imagine."In the dead of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snow-covered streets. The chest, covered in images of mythical beasts, can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent's-head clasp taste blood.Centuries later, in an Oxford library, a boy touches a strange book and feels something p"You've stumbled on to something much larger than you can possibly imagine."In the dead of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snow-covered streets. The chest, covered in images of mythical beasts, can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent's-head clasp taste blood.Centuries later, in an Oxford library, a boy touches a strange book and feels something pierce his finger. The volume is blank, wordless, but its paper has fine veins running through it and seems to quiver, as if it's alive. Words begin to appear on the page--words no one but the boy can see. And so unfolds a timeless secret . . . ....

Title : Endymion Spring
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385733809
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 393 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Endymion Spring Reviews

  • Stjepan Cobets
    2018-10-07 10:50

    With this book, I went back to my childhood when I read the book because I was fascinated with an interesting story in the book. This book has a magical story that draws us into the magical world of old books, the world that is so fascinating. The book begins with a strange chest by the city of Mainz in a snowstorm. This chest is kept secret because that will confront good and evil. One part of the story in the book follows the chest in the year 1452, and the second part of the story in the book follows a boy Blake and his younger sister Duck. The boy Blake when viewing an old book found in the library of St. Jerome College in Oxford, he accidentally scraping the finger on a drab little book "Endymion Spring". Blake had a feeling that it is a book nibbled on purpose for his finger, but he still picked up from the table and began to study. Then notes on her little sharp buckle in the shape of a snake tooth to which the cut. But the boy was left disappointed when he opened the book because the pages were blank. The only thing that is noticed in the middle of the book is the mysterious poem that miraculously appeared on the page. Although he did not at that time know, this book has chosen him and dragged him into an adventure full of surprises. Blake revealing her secrets with her sister will soon realize that he is not the only one who wants that book. The shadows of evil looking a long time for the book, and his life will be in danger. This book will be definitely like child audience because it is full of hidden secrets and exploration of the unknown. This is a story about the book and its secrets hidden in the distant past. I honestly enjoyed it while I was reading.

  • rachel • typed truths
    2018-10-01 06:52

    This was my January book for the TBR Jar Challenge. Check out my blog for more information about this challenge.Endymion Spring was not like any other middle grade novel I've read. The mystery elements were complex but not confusing with enough detail and intrigue that I think it would have been a satisfying plot for readers of all ages. There were just so many layers and texture to the writing and... I am going to butcher describing it any further and make it sound lame so I'll leave it for you to discover. Overall, I just found it to be a really satisfying read. It was little slow and sometimes the plot would plod along but it always picked up. It was exciting and thrilling and just what I was hoping for - an easy recommendation for middle grade fantasy readers or fans of Midnight for Charlie Bone.

  • Arminzerella
    2018-09-25 09:49

    This novel weaves together two stories – one of Endymion Spring and one of Blake Winters. Endymion Spring is a printer’s devil (type-setter) for Gutenberg (the man who invented the printing-press). A man by the name of Furst comes into their lives with a strange chest sealed with a mysterious dragon lock that can only be opened with innocent blood. Endymion’s curiosity gets the better of him and he causes the chest to open and discovers the most wonderful paper inside. The paper, made from the hide of a special dragon, can reveal all knowledge to the one who can read it. Endymion steals a few of the pages and they transform into a book which begins to speak to him through its pages. He is forced to flee when Furst discovers the theft, and he takes the rest of the pages with him. Many years later, the book chooses Blake Winters to be its guardian. It has long been sought after both by scholars and people hungry for power, and it puts Blake in great danger – Blake is only a boy. Blake is spending some time in Oxford with his mother who is studying Faust, and his younger sister, Duck, when the book literally leaps off a shelf in front of him in order to get his attention.An intriguing concept, somewhat marred by the near-constant bickering between Blake and Duck, Endymion Spring is both mysterious and suspenseful. The book has the potential to be a really interesting artifact because it can communicate with its chosen person, but it rarely makes much of the opportunity and speaks in riddles. Also lacks the necessary depth and details to make it a truly rich reading experience.

  • Dave
    2018-09-24 09:40

    Our family listened to this novel, geared toward transescents (middle schoolers), but viable for anyone who enjoys mysteries, book collecting or the Faust story, during a family road trip. My middle school aged daughter thought it would be a good story. She was right. We all enjoyed listening to the story as we drove. It reminded my of Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" series and some of the books by John Bellairs. A ripping yarn about youth coming into the ongoing contest between evil and good and the complexity of human nature. I found myself intrigued by the allusions to Faust and the speculation on the basis for that legend as well as references to codices and early printed books.The story begins in 15th century Germany featuring a business arrangement between Johann Gutenberg and a shadowy colleague named Fust. A key character is the young printer's devil, Endymion Spring. The plot runs back and forth between Fust's quest for arcane knowledge and power and present day Oxford where a scholar's children stumble upon an arcane book that is felt by some to be a key to secret knowledge and power. Since I know people still entranced by legends of secret knowledge and interested in iterations of the Faust legend, I found the plot fascinating. I also found many of the characters engaging and entertaining in teasing out the mystery and legends related to the power of books and esoteric knowledge. The climactic action went over the top for my tastes, but overall I like the book. I enjoyed the author's telling of how the story came to him and how he put the book together.

  • Alyssa Nelson
    2018-09-28 12:46

    Endymion Spring is a cute novel with a dual-story about two boys both connected to a magical book that contains basically all the knowledge you could ever want to know.Throughout most of the novel, I was more intrigued by the back story than I was by the present-day story with Blake and his sister Ducky. This turned itself around near the end, but I would have liked to see some more of the black magic stuff that was presented so nicely with Endymion in the past.The climax of Endymion Spring was brilliant. It was exciting, suspenseful, and I found myself biting my nails with worry for the characters. The resolution left a lot to be desired. Everything is magically tied up into a bow too quickly for my liking. There should have been more development of the Blake's parents and his family situation for the ending to work out.I thought Easton's narration was very good. He captured the characters' voices and did a great job in continually making the transition from Endymion's story to Blake's story, which could have been confusing in audiobook format. I'm not exactly sure how he makes it work, but he does.Overall, I would recommend this as a good read. It's interesting, suspenseful, and what self-respecting book lover doesn't love a good book about a secret, magical book? It's enjoyable for all ages, not just young adults.Also posted on Purple People Readers.

  • Spencer Giles
    2018-10-22 10:53

    I did not like this book. The characterzation (sorry if i spelled it wrong) was terrible with Blake and was just confusing with books attacking him. None of it was explained expect a random book he just found out of no where (the bestiary) helped explain a random dragon he found outside his window. Also he thought random stuff that a reasonable person wouldn't like think he was drawn to this random book he just found and thought stuff like it was a genie doing the work. He also thought it was magic before any magic was introduced. He found random things he got from hobos that he thought was magic and was even fazed by it. He acctepted it immeditaly thats called being a crazy person. NO action was involved. He believes in everything he is told no hint of doubt. He gets attacked by flying books and still is not fazed at all. It was mostly talk. Endymion Spring saw something crazy and he stayed. fust would be fifteen times more evil if he attacked right then right now. It didn't make sense to me that he didn't do that.

  • Challengeddino
    2018-10-23 09:29

    Honestly this book took me more than a month to get through due to the slow pace. The beginning was moderate; it caught my attention. Then came the middle which I hardly enjoyed, there wasn't enough grip to it. The ending then came to become predictable. It's not that it was written badly it's just that it was not of my taste. It moved far too slowly and where as I enjoy demons and gore this book offered fantasy and wonder. Great read for those who enjoy fantasy but this book just wasn't for me.

  • Pam
    2018-10-10 12:43

    Not being a big fantasy fan, I initially had ambivalent feelings about reading this book. However,I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was captivating and intelligently written. I also liked how it was intertwined with the Gutenberg and the history of printing.I found myself engrossed in this story that switches back and forth between Mainz, Germany, in 1453 and present day Oxford England. While reading, I empathized with the young character's predicaments in both time zones.

  • Sandra
    2018-10-11 05:31

    Endymion Spring is an exciting children's book, that gives a nice (if basic) introduction into the world of the humanities and how they work. It speaks of libraries and the Middle Ages and the coming up of the printing press. The read was interesting, I found myself turning page upon page. There were little things that bothered me (most particularly Duck, who really grated on me) but overall it was an enjoyable experience.Then I came to the historical notes. I had been wondering about a few little things with respect to historical accuracy in the book before. What fascinated me was that Matthew Skelton named both Laurens Coster and Johann Gutenberg as inventors of the printing press. This is fascinating, because Laurens Johanszoon Coster, a Dutch guy from Haarlem, is/was (depends on who you ask, there's still a memorial for him in Haarlem) in the Netherlands believed to be the inventor of the printing press. Germany generally believes it's Gutenberg, and Gutenberg has got the most support in the world (and is honoured, for instance, at the Project Gutenberg). Matthew Skelton however says in his notes that he believes he has found "a long-forgotten secret": Laurens Johanszoon Coster is the inventor of the printing press, and that the world is making a mistake.Because we've just discussed this in class, there are a few things I wish to say. My Professor knows pretty much everything there is to know regarding the (German) Medieval time period. She is absolutely convinced that, if you want to name a particular guy the inventor of the printing press, it should be Gutenberg. (Though based on the evidence, it is only fair to say that in Asia people had experimented with printing long before it happened in Europe.) Supporting Gutenberg's claim has for her, my German professor, nothing to do with patriotism. There is quite a lot of of proof for this, her statement is backed up by various experts and historians. Better said, (nearly) everyone who has knowledge of the subject says the inventor must have been Gutenberg. As far as I've heard, there are even people who are still debating whether the story of Laurens Johanszoon Coster "inventing" the printing press is a myth or not: a problem Gutenberg doesn't have, because there's a lot of evidence to be found to name Gutenberg as the inventor.Basically speaking, this conclusion in the historical notes rubbed me the wrong way. If you want to open up the discussion, don't do it based on three books and claim to know the truth from those, if pretty much everyone else who has knowledge of this topic, disagrees with you. Based on this oh so vital thing, I have trouble believing the rest of Skelton's "research". *(Also, your leaf dragons are a nice idea, but instead of being inspired by a relatively modern author (Jorge Luis Borges) you could, of course, have opened an actual medieval bestiary, I can assure you they are interesting and would have given you plenty of material to work with. Not that this particularly bothers me, but it might have helped with the extra medieval vibe to your story.)Thankfully the story was mostly enjoyable, so I can mostly set aside my issues with the research. But I can only say this: if you do know something of the time period, there are many little things that may fall flat for you. If you aren't familiar with the time period, then this is an exciting ride of two kids, a magical book and medieval influences, which you may very well end up liking.* I may not even have read 3 books on this subject, but my Professor has and so did the experts in the documentary I've seen, accepting Laurens Johanszoon Coster as the inventor of the printing press really does seem dubious at best. Possibly it would have been better if Matthew Skelton had used the discussion and Dutch myth as inspiration, instead of so publicly choosing sides.

  • Sara ♥
    2018-09-25 06:25

    Whew! That took quite a while! I'm just listening to the "exclusive interview" with Matthew Skelton... Okay, all done.Well, this book was really interesting, but somehow it wasn't so gripping as to motivate me to clean my house, like really good audiobooks do... ;) (Any excuse to keep reading, you see...)The book weaves two stories together: one set at present-day Oxford University and the other in 15th century Germany. The Oxford part of the story is about Blake, a young boy who finds a blank book in the library... or more accurately, the book finds him. And really, the book isn't TOTALLY blank, but will only release its contents (which are quite cryptic in nature) to someone of pure heart, whom it deems "worthy".The Germany portion of the story is about a young printer's devil named Endymion Spring, who is working for the great Johann Gutenberg on printing the Bible. Endymion has to hide the book in order to keep it out of the hands of Johann Fust (Faust)... so he treks to the libraries of Oxford, which are supposed to rival the Great Library at Alexandria, to find a hiding place.These stories are also interwoven with Blake's relationship with his younger sister, Duck, and their shared concern about their parents' seemingly crumbling relationship. Their mother is there at Oxford researching Faust, and their father, who is back in America... we don't really get to know a lot about him other than he has some interesting ideas concerning some of the topics that arise in the book.Overall, the book sort of reminded me of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart series, except that Inkheart compelled me a lot more than Endymion Spring. I don't know... ES was interesting... but the writing seemed a bit stilted to me—it just didn't flow sometimes... and I wanted some additional details at times... I sorta felt like I was being left hanging. All of a sudden, I'd be like, "Wait... what?? How did THAT happen?" Maybe I wasn't paying as much attention to the audiobook as I should have been... I dunno. I just thought it could have been better—more cohesive.

  • J. Else
    2018-10-05 12:45

    I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. The author ties together different historical versions of the person known as Fust (believed to be "Faust"). Evil and its presence in the world is explored, and its meaning questioned. The storyline moves back and forth through time with the narrator's voice being in the past, yet it works surprisingly well to add tension and depth to the plot. The narrator is actually mute, but his thoughts are so vivid it gives him a strong voice. Wonderful dichotomy for the character. In its day, the printing press was thought of as "devilry" with printers' assistants being named as "devils." Such intersesting historical information is mixed into the story! I love the author's descriptive language. It paints a clear picture in a poetic form. "Mist clung to the trees on either side of the river like fragments of sleep, draping their silvery fronds in the murky water." It feels abstract and yet paints a clear picture in your mind! I also loved the tie in of leaf dragons living in trees who's skin contains properties of immortality and wisdom which has not been seen since Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. The book contains lots of intricacies in its plot that you do not notice while reading but draws the reader in further! There was an underlying theme of watching over family, but the family dynamic was so awkward it did not connect with me. I was completely turned off by the mother who showed next to no emotion towards her children. The family issues were messy throughout and then suddenly mopped up in the end. The parents were the most underdeveloped characters in the story and only seemed to be there to fill pages. I was disappointed in the family situation. Overall, though, the other characters were engaging and entertaining. I very much enjoyed the plot construction and journey of the book. Fantastic device (of using two time periods) to reveal the backstory and advance the plot at the same time!

  • Stefanie
    2018-09-30 09:43

    As a fan of books, I had fun with this - it's actually a pretty good choice for an ambitious pre-teen or young teen. The biggest thing that irritated me, however, was what seemed to be the lack of editing. If two children are born and raised in America and spend a few weeks in Oxford, it's pretty unlikely they would be using British terms (paperknife (letter opener), correspondence (mail), candy string (cotton candy) or calling their mother "Mum"). Even if it DID happen (which is something I'm not remotely convinced of), I find it odd that this wasn't edited with the American terminology, or even some sort of narrative explanation of what "candy string" is, which I had to Google because the context didn't make it 100% clear. I have a first edition paperback, so perhaps this was changed later, but I'm surprised it wouldn't have been picked up in the first edition hardcover and changed in time for the paperback. I don't think this would bother me so much if it was blatantly obvious what everything meant.I feel as though I'm coming off as ignorant and that I am entitled to books being edited the way *I* want them, but I've read plenty of books by foreign authors that were edited appropriately. This was just worth noting, I suppose.ANYWAY, aside from that really, minor, irk of mine, I think this story could really instill a love and respect of books to anyone who isn't already there.

  • Eshusdaughter
    2018-10-02 05:49

    Like many books, Endymion Spring began with a lot of promise and never quite delivered on it. The main characters felt rather flat and in the end there was no great revelation as it felt like we'd been building to. The end was all to predictable and bland. Was it really an end at all? The story swings wildly from the middle ages and Endymion to the present day and Blake and Duck the two young protagonists who stumble into the story. The parts set in the middle ages were intriguing but they never played out - the movement was jerky and hodge podge, leaving out a great deal and never really answering some key questions. There were lots of loose threads that never tied together. At times the description and prose were beautiful and lyric and at times it fell flat and cliche. This definitely felt like a freshman effort and perhaps the author's next work will be better. As I said, this had promise. The pace was just not fast enough, book too choppy and the whole not knitted together well enough.

  • Barb Scott
    2018-09-22 07:37

    This debut novel by author Mattew Skelton intertwines two stories, one set at present-day Oxford University and the other in 15th century Germany. The present day story concerns Blake, a young child of divorced parents, who discovers a wordless book in the college library. It is not so much that he discovers the book but that the book discovers him. The book that Blake discovers purports to contain the secerts of eternal wisdom. It appears blank when the pages are looked upon, but shows the contents of the pages only to pure children that it has chosen.The parallel story is that of a young printer's devil named Endymion Spring. Endymion works for the great Johann Gutenberg. He has carried the book to Oxford to keep it out of the hands of Johann Fust (Faust).These stories are also interwoven with Blake's relationship with his younger sister, Duck, and his mother, who is at the Oxford Library researching Faust.Fans of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart and Inkspell will enjoy this novel.

  • Noriko
    2018-10-12 07:32

    The first time I picked up this book and read the synopsis, I thought it was a story about a boy who unleashed some sort of monster into his world! But I never expected it to be a book about a Book! Nonetheless, it was one which has links to the intruiging history of Fust and early book printing, libraries and dusty bookshops and Oxford. As a book-lover, I love the ideas which were conveyed in this story: dragon skin paper, a library-forest, a hurricane of book pages, a Book of knowledge... I even like the way the author writes the story and the little bits of detail he puts in to paint an image, even if it is a simple one. I do have to agree at some point that the ending was rather swift and unfulfilling but nevertheless I enjoyed the book a great deal and I'm re-reading it for a third time now. I'd recommend this book to those who love the printed word as much as I do and the amazing power that a book has within its pages.

  • Sheila
    2018-10-22 05:44

    Magnificent! I loved it. The story drew me in. The book picked the boy to bring it to life and to bring it to its end. There was action and adventure along with some history of Johann Gutenberg and his printing press. There is the madness of adults who want the book for the knowledge and power it gives. This is one of those rare books that stays with you. It opens your imagination to what you would do if you got this book. I loved Blake as he tries to discover the secret of the book and figure out the clues that appear to him in the book. I also enjoyed the story of the blank book. I enjoyed going back to Endymion Spring in the mid-1400's to learn how the book came to be but I especially enjoyed Blake taking the book and the clues and trying to figure out what he was to do. One of my top 10 reads!

  • Jack
    2018-10-19 08:53

    I read this when I was about 7 or 8, and it always struck me as a good book. However, eventually I wanted to read it again, but couldn't remember the name. This was frustrating, because I could literally remember almost everything in the book, even the names of the characters (which I usually forget). Anyway, one day, I was thinking about it and decided to go to the library to find some books to read. While browsing the selection, I stumbled upon a book with a very odd title. I was intrigued, so I picked up the book and read the description. I realized that I had finally found the book, and marveled at the odd coincidence that led me to find it.I read the book again, and I remembered how great of a story it was. It's a good book for any young or old fantasy reader.

  • Andrew
    2018-10-18 09:49

    Skelton's books is a great read for those who like the Rowling's work or the Narnia series. It's a bit more book-oriented that most intermediate readers titles, but it definitely appeals to the future librarian/ scholar type. I found that the text moves at a very brisk pace (but not too fast), and the adventure is wonderful and wholly unique in this genre. My only gripe is that the book should have been stretched out to a sequel or a trilogy... there's too much content that ends of being rushed and glossed over.

  • Devanshi Gupta
    2018-09-28 12:45

    It was good in the starting, it was even thrilling but later it just got dumb.I mean the girl started crying because she believed the tree had a dragon or something and her grandfather told her she was just being imaginative? But guess what there was a dragon in the tree after all. And I get it parchment would be of great value at that time, but seriously? One that can give all the knowledge of the world and feeding children?Not my type but I am sure middle grade children might like this novel.

  • Me
    2018-10-16 08:44

    I really liked the story and I could feel the bigness of the story as well. However, I feel like the book was written in the wrong style for the story originally intentioned. Also, the writing could also probably have used some more revisions to be more concise.However, if there was a sequel, I would read it.

  • Chelsea
    2018-10-12 05:45

    I listened to the audio book version of this and I had a very difficult time paying attention to the narrator's voice. After listening to the author interview afterward, I wish he would've narrated his own story.

  • Annemieke / A Dance with Books
    2018-10-02 07:33

    Endymion Spring is a book that I bought cheaply because of the cover. Let’s be honest here, that cover is rather interesting with a dragon on it. But other than that I had no idea about this at all when I started it. And overall I was pleasantly surprised. ‘Some books stayed with you long after you read them; they lingered in the unswept corners of your mind.’ This book is a middle grade book that easily sweeps you up in its world with Blake and his younger sister Duck (and no that is not her real name). They are staying in Oxford with their mother while their father remained back home, far away. It is clear from the start that their parents are having troubles in their marriage and the book shows what an effect this can have on children and their relationships with their parents without this book feeling emotional heavy. It is still there though. The undertone. I enjoyed that. It was realistic and the wrap up to this in the book was also realistic. Not completely wrapped up with a nicely little bow and I think that is important. Things like that aren’t easily fixed but some events can give a little nudge in the right direction. Only the insinuation of there possibly being another man was not necessary.But moving on to the overall plot of this book. Blake finds a blank book in the library one day and this triggers various events, putting his sister and him in the middle of a dangerous plot. The story is divided in to two parts. We follow Blake in our current time in Oxford and Endymion in the 1500s that is for the most part in Mainz. Endymion and Blake’s link is of course the blank book. Certain things and information appear in both timelines that give recognition. The plot was easily to flow and be taken in with. There was also a clear appreciation for books throughout this book that was so easy to love.Having said that I feel that there was so much potential in this world that wasn’t taken advantage of. The author could have weaved such a creative world around all of this with the book and the dragons but he decided not to take that step. I was disappointed with that. The possibilities simmered but remained out of reach. For the longest time I felt that this was going to be the start to a series but the end made it clear that this book is a standalone. I am sad because I would love to see more books play with this world. There is still so much left to discover. Still I think for a middle grade it is a very enjoyable standalone. And a small disappointment certainly was that there were only dragons mentioned. No physical dragons here. Too bad.Blake was easy to like. He was no star in school while his sister is very smart. There was clearly some resentment there at the start but as the story progresses their relationship seems to become stronger. And that gave this book such a warm feeling.

  • J.D.Staton
    2018-10-01 07:30

    This is an unusual fantasy book, one based far more on historical settings and characters than most of that genre are, in my experience. I'm not sure how much of this massive historical content will be intriguing to young readers, but as an adult, I found it most of it immensely engaging. When I was a child and even as a teen, the importance of various universities was lost on me. Having been raised in rural areas and a small town, higher educational achievements and historically valuable books were hardly the focus of anyone's life, apart from teachers and librarians (and, too often, not even them).Thus, until I read the Harry Potter books and engaged in various types of research surround that book series, I had no idea that Oxford was as ancient a university as it is, nor that its construction has varied so widely, over all that time, based entirely on who was currently in charge of it. Thus, I don't believe anything like an accurate "blueprint" of the structures involved in the oldest parts of the university exists, making it the perfect scene for all sorts of fact and fiction-based mystery stories. With thick walls of stone, no one could ever know the huge array of crimes that have taken place within walls that block out sounds attempting to travel either inward or outward. After reading this book, I don't think I could set foot inside an Oxford stone building without feeling at least some level of unease, at it seems the ideal setting for eerie events to occur.While I've known bits of information about Gutenberg and his famous Bibles, again, this is not a topic that is pondered by much of anyone, in my part of the world, and never mentioned in a single English literature course I've ever taken. Never mind the fact that the textbooks I've studied from since kindergarten have all been written using that technology (in more advanced forms), the fact that Gutenberg is majorly responsible for education of the masses somehow never gets included in the education of most students of any age or types of schooling (including that of MAT level education graduate students). As a teacher, I'm keenly aware, without typed/published books and libraries for research, it would be impossible to education billions of people on any subject, ever.Thus, I found this book to be quite remarkable for all I learned from it, including so much about Faust (another topic only very briefly and superficially mentioned in any English literature or religious circles, where I live). When reading the book, I couldn't help but wonder where the cat's name "Mephistopheles" came from and wished the author would have explained that somehow. However, conducting my own research on Faust has answered that question, for me. I had no idea that the story of Faust was a legend probably based on the life of a real man (though it appears scholars argue over which human man is depicted in the tale). From what bits I've picked up, I believed the story to be an entirely fictional story, created hundreds of years ago. Considering how greed-driven far too many Americans have become in recent decades, I'd be ready to believe that that man had an enormous collection of offspring whose descendants all established themselves solidly on American soil. However, I know that possibility would be impossible, particularly to explain the current craziness that's firmly rooted itself within USA society. Nevertheless, this shows just how many different directions this story can inspire the reader to search further and farther for knowledge about some of the most basic information about books, humanity, education, stories, and so much more.Because Gutenberg's assistant was never called by his name (though he does state it is his "new identity"), the reader is left to assume that his name is "Endymion Spring". Though the "Spring" part seems indirectly explained, when the author discloses information about the "Summer" and "Winter" character aspects, it seems a huge stretch to believe any impoverished, orphaned German boy, from the Middle Ages, would have been given the name "Endymion". I remain unclear whether he was genuinely mute or merely selectively mute. We're told he lost his voice "at birth". What does that mean?There was so many layers of complexity woven into the plot (such as where Endymion came from and what his true name was), that trying to sort out (especially via audiobook format, which is how I read it), who was legitimate in how they presented themselves and who was being deceptive, was often a struggle. Some of the confusion was no doubt created by the "red herrings" used while other challenges have more to do with the erratic way that facts were revealed. I'm still not sure what the giant fight between Blake's parents was about, nor why his mother seemed to try to force him to choose which parent he wanted to be with (a tactic that far too many divorcing parents use, to the detriment of their children, who are typically attached deeply to both parents).His mother's uneven concern about the "safety" and "welfare" of her children seemed bizarre, as well, especially considering just how many hours of every single day she forced them to stay as far away from her and her work, as possible. With their father's current work situation and the family's struggling financial status, it didn't make any sense to me why the two kids were permitted to go overseas, in the first place. The extra housing, meals, transportation, and other costs associated with that type of travel, along with no stable childcare/supervised activities available for their age group (a genuine set-up for traveling failures), makes that part of the plot seem quite insane. Obviously, the author is not a parent or he would have been far more careful about those sorts of details and realities. It makes the book not very believable, for those of us who are very experienced in caring for preteens and younger aged children. They are never, typically, interested in extremely old books, universities, ancient events/settings, statues, and other significant features that would be found in an extremely antiquated university town, like Oxford - unless those features have intentionally been made "child-friendly", which few European institutions attempt. While they may not require the public to pay for entry to many august buildings/collections, if what is made available is dull and dry as rain-matted, autumn leaves, children, along with huge numbers of adults, will avoid them like the plague.Thus, with these gaps in believability kept in mind, I feel this book cannot be rated higher than a 4 star creation. It seems more a book geared toward adults rather than children, except for highly precocious children. Perhaps, this is why some have labeled it as being "the new 'DaVinci Code'" - another book that contains a great deal of historical knowledge, though has never been particularly appealing to YA or preteen readers.

  • Debra
    2018-10-21 11:35

    An intriguingly complex plot. Jumping between a modern day and one set in the middle ages. In the present, Blake and his little sister are dragged off to England to accompany his mother while she does research for her doctorate. They have too much time on their hands and wander through this wonderfully old library at the college. Blake discovers a very old book that seems to be blank, but he sees words that seem to be prophecies. Are they meant for him since he only can see them? The story of the creation of the book flips us back to the middle ages where Gutenberg is trying to find an investor to help him print the Bible, which is now only available to the very rich as each is transcribed and illustrated by hand. A extremely shady investor and his apprentice appear. The apprentice befriends the apprentice of Gutenberg, Endymion Spring. From this the tale spins into wonderful stories of parchment made from dragon skin. The audio version is very well done. A wonderful family read.

  • Chris
    2018-10-11 05:36

    I can see where this book could be really entertaining for the younger advanced reader. And I do mean both younger and advanced. While the basic story would appeal to 4th-7th graders, the writing isn't dumbed down at all. The story jumps back and forth between present day Oxford University where American kids Blake and "Duck" are stuck amusing themselves while their mother works on a research project and 1452 Mainz, Germany, where a young mute named Endymion Spring works as an apprentice to Johannes Gutenberg. The arrival of Herr Fust and an intricately carved trunk sets off a series of events that will change both Endymion and Blake's lives. In many ways this is in praise of the history of books and bookmaking - as well as a consideration of humankind's neverending quest for knowledge, even forbidden knowledge. It was fun trying to figure out who the bad guy at Oxford was - although I frankly found little sister Duck to be a bit of quack.

  • Abigail Keller
    2018-10-16 12:41

    "What sort of book is this?" This book follows a boy named Blake who finds a mysterious book in the Oxford Library and this book has no words in it (or does it?). Parts of the book take place in 1452 with this boy who works for Gutenberg. A patron at the library I work at recommended this book to me because her son loves it. I thought I would enjoy this book more than I did, but it kind of disappointed me. I was really into the first part of the book, but then it took a strange turn and lost me. The mystery element was confusing and did not feel like it was cleared up at the end. Maybe this would have been better as a series? I don't know, but it just fell flat. I did like Blake's interactions with his sister Duck (they reminded me of my relationship with my brother lol) and the setting, which mostly takes place in a library, was cool

  • Ester Pablos
    2018-10-17 06:27

    Es una buena historia. Tiene un argumento interesante, personajes bastante definidos (dentro de lo que permite una novela de ese tamaño) y la prosa tiene una calidad que está por encima de lo habitual en lecturas de tipo juvenil. Las descripciones de las bibliotecas son tan completas que parece que las estás viendo a través de una cámara de vídeo, abundan mucho las metáforas, y a veces el autor describe tantísimos detalles que es fácil perder un poco el hilo. Los antagonistas me parecen un poco simples, habría sido interesante que ahondaran más en sus motivos y su pasado. La historia de Endymion es muchísimo más interesante que la de Blake, me habría gustado leer más sobre la parte histórica. Los apuntes finales sobre Fausto me han encantado.

  • Lindsay
    2018-09-23 06:47

    This book was a little long for me. I liked the two stories coming together and I like the idea of magical books but some of the details were a little long winded and some were lacking. It was hard to tell a timeline on the mystery of Blake’s parents relationship as well. It seemed like the story was written by someone who doesn’t particularly like kids - the mom was always pretty impatient with her kids and unaware of their feelings which surprised me. The relationship between the siblings also seemed a little confusing. I guessed the twist about “the shadow” but still enjoyed it. I was listening to the book instead of reading it and that may have made a difference as well to how slow it seemed. Overall an okay book but wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.

  • Tellatale
    2018-09-30 08:39

    Skipped through after reading the first one-third of the book. Good story idea but the pace and execution kept throwing me off. Still wanted to know how it ended so skip read ahead. May come back to it another time. but 2 stars for now for interesting story concept.

  • Brianna DuMont
    2018-10-23 11:38

    I love the old world feel and library setting, however, it felt a little like the background sketches written before the actual story.