Fantasy Book Reviews: Hollow Earth and Hollow Earth: Bone Quill

Hollow Earth and Hollow Earth: Bone Quill by John Barrowman & Carole E Barrowman

Hollow Earth: Lots of twins have a special connection, but twelve-year-old Matt and Emily Calder can do way more than finish each other’s sentences. Together, they are able to bring art to life and enter paintings at will. Their extraordinary abilities are highly sought after, particularly by a secret group who want to access the terrors called Hollow Earth. All the demons, devils, and evil creatures ever imagined are trapped for eternity in the world of Hollow Earth—trapped unless special powers release them.

The twins flee from London to a remote island off the west coast of Scotland in hopes of escaping their pursuers and gaining the protection of their grandfather, who has powers of his own. But the villains will stop at nothing to find Hollow Earth and harness the powers within. With so much at stake, nowhere is safe—and survival might be a fantasy.

Bone Quill: In the Middle Ages, an old monk used his powers and a bone quill to ink a magical manuscript, The Book of Beasts. Over the centuries the Book, and the quill, were lost.

Twins Matt and Emily Calder are Animare—just like their ancestor, the monk. The things they draw can be brought to life, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Now Matt and Em are being watched—hunted—because only they can use The Book of Beasts and the bone quill to release the terrible demons and monsters their ancestor illustrated.

And someone is tracking down the lost Book of Beasts, page by page, and reassembling it. Matt and Emily have no choice: They must get to the bone quill first…before somebody gets to them.

Matt and Emily are precocious twins with amazing abilities. Emily is the more level-headed and mature of the two. And Matt would rather pull dangerous stunts and deliberately disregard authority. The first novel focuses on the secret society, as Matt and Emily learn more about their heritage. While opposing forces close in on them. In the sequel, we learn why we’re reading what’s happening in the past at the same time events in the present are unfolding. And Matt and Emily get to do a little time traveling to stop the theft of the Bone Quill.

This fantasy adventure series for middle readers is fast-paced and exciting. The blending of art and magic is unique and clever worldbuilding. With plenty of mystery, magic, supernatural creatures, and intrigue – fantasy fans of all ages should enjoy. And the sequel was even better than the first. Bone Quill leaves off with a fairly big cliffhanger that will leave readers itching for the next in the series.