Book Review: Thornghost by Tone Almhjell
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Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Tone Almhjell
Dial Books
Release Date: August 16th, 2016

Niklas is a good boy, he just happens to get into a bit of trouble, all in the name of fun. He lives with his Grandma Alma and uncle, since his mother, Erika died quite a few years ago rambling about being a Thornghost. He is mostly a happy boy, only saddened because his best friend Lin moved away, and because of the Nightmares. It turns out that his home and the world surrounding it are in danger, and he must travel to another world entirely with his new protector, a lynx named Secret, in order to save it. His mother’s last words hold the “key” to his success, and he must not fail.

More below.

The novel is the second in a not-quite-a-series, but connected story. The first, The Twistrose Key, was about his friend Lin’s adventures in a similar realm – the realm where dead pets live.

This is a cute story, filled with adventure and talking (and walking on 2 legs, and wearing clothes) animals, who befriend the boy to become heroes, against the Sparrow King and the smelly deadly trolls. I can definitely see this as an animated or Pixar-y film soon. The energy and the barely-escaping-death make it a natural. There are a couple of not-that-predictable twists, which is always good.

Great for the middle school set, the pace is quick and gets you thinking. My only criticism is that maybe there is too much action – a frenzied jump from one danger to the other, with too many odds against them. There could have been less enemies, and this would still be a fun, fast novel. The kids will definitely enjoy it though, and there is a set-up for another book.

Book synopsis:

Fans of Gregor the Overlander and Five Kingdoms will love this alternate-realm fantasy full of heart-racing action

Strange things are happening around Niklas Summerhill’s home. A green-eyed beast is killing animals in the woods, and the nightmares that have haunted Niklas since his mother died grow more terrifying with every night. When the beast turns out to be a troll brought to life from his own games, Niklas knows he has to stop it. With the help of his lynx companion, Secret, he finds the source of the magic: a portal to another world. But this realm, once the home of peaceful animals, is also in danger. The evil Sparrow King is hunting down the few survivors from a devastating war, and a dark, blood-thirsty plant is infecting the valley. Niklas must try to save both worlds. But first he has to uncover the truth about his mother’s last words: “I’m a Thornghost.”

From the author of The Twistrose Key comes a fantasy brimming with intriguing mystery, fast-paced action, and a cast of unforgettable human and animal characters.

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