A new action adventure series set in our famous national parks! Enter the world of the Department of Mythical Wildlife, where our protagonist, Sam London, is tasked with protecting legendary animals that secretly live amongst our treasured wildlife.
Haunted by a dream of a mythical gryphon, Sam London uncovers an ancient secret that will change the way he sees the world forever. Recruited by Dr. Vance Vantana, an eccentric zoologist and park ranger sent by the government, Sam is whisked away on an adventure that takes him to the farthest reaches of the globe. Along this journey, Sam learns an incredible truth: mythical creatures are real and living among us in our national parks. A special department in the U.S. government ensures that their existence remains hidden.
But Sam s dream is an omen that the secret may now be in danger. Someone seeks the power to expose these creatures and overthrow humankind and that power can only be found in a magical talisman known as the gryphon s claw.”
Before I get to the story I just have to say the Glossary of Mythical Creatures and the DMW File Classification Note at the end of the book are not only helpful but seriously cute. This reminded me a bit of the recent movie and book set in the Harry Potter world, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; only it’s the American version. There’s even a little nod to Rowling in the first chapter which seemed kind of sweet.
It’s a bit like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter but Americanized.
Like Harry Potter, there is a young boy who embarks on a magical adventure and discovers another enchanting world layered right over the one normal everyday people live in. Sam London though could be described as more of the Americanized version of Newt Scamander complete with the fascination of mythical animals. He even had a book similar to Harry Potter’s text Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them only Sam’s is titled The Visual Guide to Extraordinary Animals. They also have departments dedicated to ensuring the human world doesn’t get impacted too greatly by the magical one. There are British and American versions just like in Harry’s world.
Unlike Rowling though, Todd Calgi Gallicano, gave his not so mythical creatures the ability to speak and most humans have to take an injection of a mythical compound in order to see the magical elements.
There is a ton of action right from the start and it just never lets up. As the reader you’ll travel the world and visit all kinds of natural parks along with being introduced to new spiritual-like ideas. There’s not a lot of description about the various places they visit because it’s very heavy on character focus which makes it a good thing that the author has created some wonderful characters. There is such emotional depth written in some of the scenes you feel angry wishing you were there to help, you cry along with Sam wanting to hug him, or give him a high five and yell out with glee when things turn out for the better.
It really is a wonderful book and I can’t wait for more in the series to share some more fun evenings of reading with my kids. Plus it makes for some great geography and history lessons as we used Google Images to look up the places mentioned and to learn about the various myths that were incorporated in the story along with understanding who Alexander the Great was back in the day.
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children’s for allowing me to review this book.
Buy at Amazon: http://a.co/gp2bWZI
*synopsis and pic from amazon.com