Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: The Fossegrimen Folly (Camp Lac Igam Book 1) by Michael Almich


The Fossegrimen Folly: Camp Lac Igam book 1 by Michael Almich
Published by Michael Almich at Smashwords, 2012
215 pages
Received as a gift from the author
available as an ebook only

Goodreads Description:

Shy didn't want to go to summer camp. Beyond the cabins in the trees and the new friendships, he discovers that Camp Lac Igam is different. Adventures and mythical creatures abound. 

This first installment of the Camp Lac Igam series is a rollicking adventure at summer camp that forces young Shy to learn to deal with bullies, believe in himself, and be courageous for his friends. When he discovers his special ability to see through fairy deceptions, he finds himself face to face with the mythical fossegrimen. The treasure hunt begins, but can they survive the consequences of what they find?

My Ramblings:

When I began reading Almich’s novel, I was nervous about reading a book whose target audience was middle-grade boys; I thought I would get bored reading it, but to my great surprise the story was incredibly entertaining.

The Fossegrimen Folly is a great story for any reader looking for a fast-paced story. Camp Lac Igam is a place I think ANY person would love to visit. It is a place filled with magic, danger, and trap doors. Shy is a wonderful character that I related to and sympathized with, and I think Almich did an excellent job with the plot and characters of this novel.

There are so many things I would like to say about this book, but I’ll try to keep this review short. What I liked best was that I immediately fell in love with Camp Lac Igam. I want to live in the Lake cabins with the other girls and experience the secret passageways between cabins like in the Forest cabins. I was also very happy with the Fey; Almich did a great job portraying the good and scary aspect of the Fey (mythical creatures) and their interactions with humans. The fairies and monsters fit so well in the scenes that Almich created. There was even a nice little bit of folklore history sprinkled in the story, which I think any reader can appreciate.

I also loved the protagonist, Shy. Shy is a perfect hero because of his modesty, braveness, and even his flaws. Much of the conflict is created by Shy’s ability to see through the Fey’s “glamour.” However, Shy learns that is special ability is both a blessing and a curse, and if he does not listen to the advice of others he could very well start a war. I liked Shy because he grew throughout the novel and as a reader I was glad to witness his steps toward maturity. Even if he did make a few mistakes along the way, that only makes Shy more relatable.

There are many other wonderful things about this novel, but you will just have to read it to find out.

What I didn’t like was the number of grammatical errors. As unfortunate as it is, too many grammar mistakes can completely halt one’s reading and cause unwanted disruptions. I did experience a few of these disruptions, but the plot was compelling enough to move me past the mistake. Also, the number of exclamations in this story was dizzying, I felt like I had to be yelling half the sentences in my head; it was tiring. I began to ignore all the enthusiasm in the novel because I was distracted from the story. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think swallowing toothpaste is really exciting. Anyway, that is a bit picky, but it did disrupt my reading.

Also, as much as I loved each of the characters, I was hoping to know a little more about some of the supporting characters and even Shy. I think each character had his or her fun quirks, but I think the characters could have been created with a little more depth. However, on that note, I’m sure the sequels will reveal more and more about the characters.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good adventure story. It is especially well written for boys around the age of 11. I know I will be waiting for the sequel to this book. After reading the cliffhanger at the end of book one; I can’t wait for book two!

I give this book a three and a half foxes. The setting was entertaining and the characters were lovable.The plot was compelling and fast-paced, but the grammar mistakes often distracted me from the reading.


UPDATE:
Want to hear the thoughts from Almich's intended audience? Hear this review from my ll-year old brother, David. 



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You can find Michael Almich on Goodreads or read his blog here

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