The Mirror of Pharos

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

I was very excited starting to read this book, but also quite hesitant, because the book is compared to Harry Potter and other reviewers have compared it to the early Harry Potter books. Both Harry Potter and Jack are orphans so the comparisons start already in the first chapter. Additionally it is a book that suggests ancient Egypt and I am sort of a fan of the area. However, I did find the book a bit hard to start, it did not suck me in right away and I did not get carried away with the story. For me the story moved a bit too slow, so it was too easy to just put the book down to do something else. Once I got past the first initial chapters, it was easier to keep reading and the story indulged me. The characters you meet are easy to like and imagine. The illustrations that I saw was great, but my kindle seemed to have a small issue showing the illustrations properly (or it could just be my ipad that had the issue), though I would recommend getting this book in book format rather than for kindle.
Was this review helpful?
Now I have to say that I am very partial to middle grade books. I think it is probably because I can remember having so much pleasure myself from reading when I was that age. Well I just loved this one. There is tragedy, magic and the element of enough fear to give a youngster that adrenaline rush that makes them read a little faster, as if it can just keep them out of the clutches of the bad guys.
Jack is the main character in this story and a very reluctant hero if ever I met one! I can’t blame him really, his parents going out on adventures, trying to solve mysteries of the past, had got them both killed. So not really encouragement for Jack to want anything to do with it. All he wants to do is get home from school, away from the bullies and hide away at his Gran’s, where he lives.  He likes Charlie to come round for tea, she is his only friend. Then one day he gets a very unusual ‘airmail’ delivery.
This is a super adventure story with a mystery from the past to solve for Jack. I really liked Jack as he went from a mousey young lad who was scared of everything to a lad with such strong determination that wouldn’t let he give up on his mission, even if he didn’t quite know where it was heading. Charlie is lovely and always saw Jack as her hero really. His Gran is nutty, in a cosy Granny way and the bad guys, well you will have to work them out yourselves.
There are some really fascinating characters in this story that will stay will readers when they are much older. A super read!
Was this review helpful?
A really good book than can be enjoyed by both children and adult.
It is well written, with a very entertaining plot full of twists and adventures, lovely and interesting characters.
It's a page turner and keep you hooked since the beginning.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Troubador Publishing!
Was this review helpful?
Jack is in turmoil being bullied in school every day was no easy feat, having nightmares borderline to reality was even worse, they were taking a toll on him and he needed answers. Magic was the only answer to what was happening and how the disc he receive worked, but was it good or bad he was confused and wondered at his new friend Jago, was he good or bad, and Alpha what was he. He was naive enough to believe he can find the answers on his own by running away from home, he needed to know that wasn’t the answer for any child to undertake, no matter what. His journey has only begun and right away comprehension dawned upon him about what was happening, the past, future and present were all intermingling and it was scaring the crap out of him shifting from one dimension to the other, even though he was enjoying the adventure. Now he has his Nan worrying about him and racing to his rescue not knowing what dangers lay ahead. I will not say more, kids you have got to read this book for yourselves and enjoy the adventure along with Jack, Nan, Charlie and all the others, a bunch of awesome characters following an intriguing and truly captivating storyline, engaging with subtle intensity and very entertaining.
Was this review helpful?
n unusual messenger goes to a lot of trouble of delivering a peculiar package to Jack Tideswell. The tragic deaths of his parents on an archaeological mission caused Jack to hate adventures. But he is captivated by the magical contents of the package and before he knows it, he is head over heels in an exciting adventure of his own…

| Introduction | 
Jack Tideswell is a twelve-year-old boy living with his Grandmother after his parents had died on an archaeological mission. His parents’ accidental death caused Jack to hate adventures. But then, against his will, he is captivated by the contents of the package and by a stranger he meets. Before he knows it, he is in over his head much against his Grandmother’s wishes.

| Storyline |
Number 12, Hill Rise, Morton Muxloe is the place a seagull is most desperate to deliver a brown parcel to – what is in it, we do not know but somehow, the wind insists on preventing the seagull from reaching the house. In the shadows, “two amber eyes patrolled the sky.” and yet again, we have no idea what is going on. If only Jack Tideswell knew what had happened while he was still in bed he might have woken differently but, as it turns out, this will take some time. For Jack, it is an ordinary Monday and that means: the weekend is over, back to school where his constant tormentors are ready to bully him as usual. Jacks Grandmother has no idea, he dares not tell her but his best friend, Charlie Day, an adventurous girl who is never afraid to speak her mind, is aware of the bullying but is sworn to secrecy. Involving his Grandmother will make things worse, Jack is positive. But even Charlie is puzzled when Jack tells her how he spent his afternoon…

It had all to do with the contents of the brown package – “a round piece of metal about the size and shape of a compact disc.” The CD feels warm and slowly, a pulsing sensation takes control of Jack’s mind. He tries to get a grip but everything is rapidly spiralling out of control for Jack and before he knows it, he finds himself… where? Aboard a ship! And not just any ship but one that is about to capsize! Jack has no idea how he found himself in such a dangerous and life-threatening situation and, to top it all, there are people who seem to know him! He has no time to think or consider because there are dead bodies and he has to escape but then he hears a little girl, Lily, crying for her parents. Lily’s only hope of rescue is Jack but with the coldness of the seawater surrounding them… A blur and a feeling of darkness all around … and Jack is back in his own room in Morton Muxloe with Charlie. Both are clueless as to what has happened. And why is his computer showing an image of a lighthouse? A word materialises: “Pharos.” What dangers will await them? Follow me and find out!

| My Thoughts |
As someone who loves magic and tales of adventures, and who has devoured the Harry Potter books, The Mirror of Pharos was too good not to be read! I enjoyed the adventures and the magical journeys – and how everything is not quite what it seems…. jack Tideswell is an endearing character, a victim of bullying but nonetheless, a fighter. Since his parents died, he dislikes anything adventurous but somehow, he is drawn into events beyond his control … one after another. I loved Charlie, his best friend. She is courageous and plucky and stands up for what she believes in! And of course, I have to mention Jack’s Grandmother or ‘Nan’ as he calls her. She is lovely and the author has described her so well that you can easily picture her baking in the kitchen, with her apron and chaos all around her!

With ‘The Mirror of Pharos,’ the author has created an imaginative and exciting modern fairy tale, a wonderful YA story for all ages that flows well and captivates you from the beginning!
Was this review helpful?
There is a quote on the back cover of this book that compares THE MIRROR OF PHAROS to the early Harry Potter books which always makes me a little weary when I'm about to start a book, as I'm a HUGE fan of Harry Potter (aka obsessed!). But I'm delighted to say that this comparison is completely justified as THE MIRROR OF PHAROS will transport children and adults alike into a world of adventure, secrets, and magic, and you will not want this story to end. 

Jack Tideswell has not had an easy life so far, losing his loving parents in a diving accident when he was a little boy, and now having to deal with bullies at every turn, But he understands that he is lucky to have his eccentric Nan and his best friend Charlie who are always there for him, no matter what. Jack just wants to live a quiet life and keep his head down but magic is a part of him and when he receives an unusual disc in the post it will launch him into an adventure of a lifetime where he will discover so much about himself and those he loves. 

THE MIRROR OF PHAROS by J.S. Landor is a compelling and absorbing tale of friendship, danger, magic, and strength, and I absolutely adored this story which I have now handed over to my eldest child to devour. It has that special something which really makes it stand out and I really could imagine seeing this on the silver screen. The characters are likeable, especially Nan and Charlie, and the fantasy element is spot on. 

THE MIRROR OF PHAROS by J.S. Landor also comes with access to a beautiful website (www.jslandor.com) which allows you to read snippets of the book, meet the characters, and view the stunning artwork that coincides with the book, which is such a wonderful added extra to the whole story, so make sure you check it out. 
​
This is a must-read for adults and children alike who love a great story with that extra dash of magic and mayhem that makes this fabulous story come alive!
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book, I was intrigued as soon as I read the blurb for the book and saw the cover, I wasn't 100% sure what to expect but I am thrilled with what I found!

This is a fantastic story that you don't want to put down, you need to know what is happening next and how the story will end! I read it as an adult and devoured it so it certainly appeals to a wide range of ages. The characters in it are likable an the author has an excellent writing style that flows so well. This is an excellent debut novel.

Five stars from me - this is such a good book - I really enjoyed it and very highly recommend it - it is a genuine delight to have found this book!!
Was this review helpful?