Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree

Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather TreeTitle: Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree
Author: June M. Pace
Publisher: Pressed Leaf Publishing
Release Date: July 2, 2013

The McTish Series is an explosive adventure through a dimensional Gateway into another world, a world of beauty and magic, Coranim...a land of insight, thought and possibilities, that sits beneath the enchanted Gilley Forest.

There is local legend in the small town of Grandlochcheshire that has been passed down for a 100 years about the mysterious disappearance of the Chickering family, that trails on the coat tails of the equally shocking abduction of the Skeffington Union Rails heirs. The circumstances that follow this notorious tale enter into the modern world of Benjamin and his two best mates.

One day Benjamin watches as a mysterious little woman steps out of a tax and in one synchronistic moment their eyes lock and a series of visual snippets of unfamiliar events unfold in his mind’s vision. His razor sharp sixth sense allows him the freedom to explore the extrasensory messages coming at him like a derailed freight train.
And when Benjamin finds a peculiar relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.

Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have come from America, have become more than mere friends to Benjamin, they have all become the three Muskydeers (Mathilda’s mispronounced version of Musketeers, which was a huge laugh and of course it stuck), as they are plunged head first into this curious journey.

In the Gilley Forest they discover that the path they have chosen is inundated with many obstacles as well as intrigue. Alliances are made with the Forest clan of Gnomes and with the aid of the Vila sisters, Sethina and Morel, as well as some surprising and unexpected allegiances, the three friends take on the test that is the Grandfather Tree. They must stay on the pre ordained Path of Prophecy, whose ancestry comes from the home of the oldest living beings on the planet, the Elves of the Darmon. However, this is no easy task for the Muskydeers as they have the foulest of sorcery hunting their every move, the powerful dark beauty, Tar Vigorn.

This ruthless Queen is not without humor however and loves a good game of cat and mouse, as long as she’s the cat. With her biting sense of sarcasm and calculated taunting, she knows just how to unnerve Benjamin. Her phantom army, the Blunt, are searching for a way into the Grand Tree and will stop at nothing to infiltrate the pristine world beneath his giant roots.

Once in Coranim the children make the acquaintance of the greatest Medicine Elder alive, Esmerelda Fet. A most powerful Light Sorceress with a brazen in your face attitude, who guides the trio on their Path of destiny. However, a Path can change in the blink of an eye...what could alter the overpowering trajectory Benjamin has followed to Coranim? How will it change his life?

Find out as our three heroes delve into the mystic, as well as their own inner character, as you watch from the edge of your seat.

That is the longest synopsis I've ever copied and pasted.  I don't think my review will even be quite that long haha.

It's true, this book is extremely magical.  It starts out a bit slow, going through the life of Benjamin McTish and then jumping back 100 years in time to a family that lived in his English town a century before... and disappeared.  The time jump confused me a little.  But it works out well in the end.  Though I think it also would have worked if it started out 100 years in the past and moved to the present so as not to jump back and forth.

The plot mostly covers Benjamin, Annabel, and Mathilda's journey to Coranim, starting in Grandlochcheshire.  It takes lots of brains and logic and some magic to figure everything out and get to outwit the evil Queen Tar Vigorn and get to Coranim.  

Tar Vigorn is a scary, evil, powerful villain.  In The Door Through the Grandfather Tree, she doesn't seem to show her true motives aside from being power-hungry.  Maybe those are her motives for being evil.  I'll have to wait until the second book to find out.  But it is shown that she does care for the forest.  Which is something that you wouldn't necessarily expect from an evil, power-hungry villain.  And it gives her character depth.  This makes me believe that she has other reasons for being what she is, and all will be revealed eventually.

Dunston is an amusing character that serves as a sort of narrator.  He's truly met in the story far near the end.  But his voice is throughout the book.  And his affinity for going on tangents made me laugh a lot.  I liked most of the characters.  Mathilda was probably my least favorite.  

Since this book seems to be compared to Harry Potter a lot, here is one comparison.  Imagine Colin Creevey being one of Harry's close friends, having a larger part in those books.  And yet, he still is the same Colin Creevey doing pretty much all the same things he does already.  Sure he does a few things that are pretty cool, but for the most part, he's just an annoying side character that becomes beloved because he's not overused.  But imagine him being much more involved, and yet not any more important than he already is.  That is how I feel about Mathilda.  She is kind of annoying with her bursting out shouting things, impatience, etc.  And she does do things for the story.  But a lot of those could be done by someone else.  It didn't have do be done by Mathilda.  I feel like she was supposed to be funny and silly.  But she just annoyed me.

The Door Through the Grandfather Tree ends on a really intriguing cliffhanger.  And I'm excited to read the second book in the series.

What did I think overall?
I really liked it.  It's been said before, but I think if you liked  the Harry Potter series, you'll probably like Benjamin McTish.  I would definitely recommend it for fans of Ya fantasy.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and that in no way changes my opinion of this book!


  1. Hey, thx so much for your tremendous review Christina..I truly appreciate it! I'm so sorry you had that incredibly long synopsis..holy cow! It was changed up a while ago and I must have forgotten to change it on GR's…so sorry about that. And funny thing, I did have the 100 yr. old story in the beginning when I first began this adventure…however, it seemed a bit confusing to my beta reader, so I changed it up and added our narrator, Dunston, to help bring in the back story of the Chickering. It felt like it flowed better to me as well. Either way, you figured it out!
    Oh, and the saddest thing ever, my beloved Mathilda! ha ha…she is actually my favorite character…how funny is that? She is precocious and does sort of blurt things out…but she always sees what everyone else is missing and can look around things outside of the that's what I love about her. Hopefully she won't annoy you further into the story, ha ha. The second book is much faster paced and loads more action, readers have been enjoying and commenting on this aspect of the series, so hopefully you'll jump on board as well.
    I can't thank you enough for taking the time to do this for me…it is deeply appreciated. And if any of your followers are interested in reading the series I would be happy to offer free ebooks for them…just let me know…again, thx, June

    1. aha I replied to the email. Didn't realize it was a comment on the blog.

      I can definitely see how people could like Mathilda. She does have her moments. I guess it's just a personal preference. Who knows. Maybe she'll grow on me in the next book!