This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Fred Holmes. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Ugly Teapot: Book One: Hannah by Fred Holmes
Genres: Fantasy, young adult
Release Date: March 25, 2016
Source: Author, Fred Holmes
Purchase at: Amazon
Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world.
To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special.
Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do.
She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .
The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love.
If you have read “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp” or “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” then you will enjoy this tale. It is not based upon those stories but rather is influenced by them and seems to beg the question “but what if it was real?” “What if the lamp survived time and what would be its purpose?” I needed to know what happened with Hannah after she rubbed the lamp which is why I decided to read a book that is in the genre of middle grade fiction, not my usual choice but sometimes you just got to go outside your comfort zone. This is an exciting tale that involves action, adventure, and a few lessons woven throughout.
When I began to read this story I was intrigued from the start. The storyline starts out more along the lines of fantasy and there are a few supernatural elements that I was not expecting, then it quickly turns into an adventure full of action but still continuing with the fantasy elements which just become more fantastical as the story goes on. There is a bit of horror in this book that some parents may not appreciate for their children. Without giving anything away thing there is killing in this book with fairly descriptive wording and talk of people being hunted and murdered. It is not overly done but it is something that should be noted. There are some lessons to be garnered throughout this story, in particular loss, grief, depression, and appreciation for roles that a parent plays in the life of a child.
I found that the pacing was prefect and the transition from past, present, and the fantastical were seamless. While reading you will find yourself feeling that certain parts of the story don’t quite add up but by the end it will all make sense and definitely was not what you were expecting. What was hard for me to get past is just a few points that are acceptable in juvenile fiction but unrealistic to me. They mostly involve the mother’s reaction, attitude to the entire situation and the budding romance element that was introduced between Hannah and Ahmed. Overall this is a truly unique story that at the heart of it discusses grief and how it can lead to unhealthy situations and that everything is not as it seems.
*Thank you to Fred L. Holmes for this complimentary copy of The Ugly Teapot*