This marks the first time I’ve actually solicited an author for a book to review on my blog. The title intrigued me. I just love the name Anabar. But I have to admit, it took me a little time to warm to the story.
Anabar’s Run starts out slowly, with a wide, panoramic view of the valley and a lengthy description of its inhabitants. The prose is very straightforward, often repetitive, and not particularly artful. It has the narrated, old-fashioned feel a fairy tale, and I didn’t really care for the style. I had requested the book, however, so I felt obligated to press on. I am glad I did.
Once Anabar makes the choice to leave home and train with Omalof to be a Scout, the story becomes much more intriguing. Anabar fills out into a real character as he struggles to measure up to his teacher’s expectations. I found myself cheering him on as he undertook his training. Very thorough training, I might add. Granger obviously has some experience in survival basics to be able to relay it so realistically. Anabar is taught to fight with a sword, to move silently, to fish, to eavesdrop without being noticed, and a hundred other skills I never would have thought to include. By his final test, I was fully in Anabar’s court and thoroughly drawn into the story. It ends a little bluntly, but it ends right.
Now a note on content. The language is clean. There is some violence, but it’s easily within the bounds of child-appropriate. The main character is sixteen, but I wouldn’t hesitate to let young middle graders read it. In fact, I think they might be more suited to the writing style than teens. They’ll surely love the adventure. I’d judge the book’s best audience in the 8-14 age range and particularly – but not exclusively – boys.
In conclusion, Anabar’s Run didn’t make my favorites list, but the story ended up being pretty solid. If you have an adventurous boy OR girl, I’d definitely say it’s worth picking up for its bargain price of 2.99.
Mr. Granger has a really cool website dedicated to the series that I think kids will enjoy.
Anabar’s Run is the first book of the Anabar Trilogy. Book two, Anabar Rises, is also complete. Mr. Granger has just begun work on book three.
Anabar’s Run is available as an ebook only. Find it at: