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Book Review: Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation

# Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
# Reading level: Ages 9-12
# Hardcover: 464 pages
# Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
# Publication Date: September 9, 2009
# ISBN-10: 1402218575
# ISBN-13: 978-1402218576

Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse is a young adult novel that has echoes of early Terry Pratchett in its pages. Teenage author Kaleb Nation began the story when he was fourteen, completing it three years later. Nation, a noted blogger and proprietor of TwilightGuy.com, has written a story about magic crime.

The town of Dunce is a sleepy place that resembles much of suburbia. But in the magical world where Dunce exists, there are some things which this town simply will not allow. Gnomes and mages are strictly banned. But there is a seedy underside to the apparently magicless town. Bran Hambric is a young boy who suddenly appears one day in the bank vault of the Third Bank of Dunce. Sewey Wilomas, bank manager, finds the boy and adopts him (unwillingly) into his family. Young Bran, now fourteen as the story begins, has never known his history or really anything about himself. But when strange things begin happening to the Wilomas family and Bran discovers and unknown talent, he is soon wrapped up in the mystery of just who his parents were and what The Farfield Curse has to do with it.

This novel will surely resonate with younger readers. It has the bumbly, not-too-bright parents that pre-teen readers so enjoy. Its young protagonist is suffering a similar identity crisis to their own, and the added element of magic and mystery will draw them into the plot. Nation knows his audience, and he caters to them extravagantly. The story is sure to be a draw to these younger readers.

However, on a more critical level, Nation’s work lacks certain facets that would make it more than the sum of its parts. Yes, Nation has a sense of humor, but his humor, while occasionally clever, betrays his lack of worldly wisdom. Nation is a very young writer, and this is also reflected in his characterization. His understanding of character relationships reflects a teenage view of the world in which things are simply black and white.

But for all its faults, which can be primarily be attributed to being a first time author and simply being life inexperienced, the story is entertaining. Nation cleverly hides just what the Farfield Curse is from the reader, and from the prologue the reader will want to know just what it is and keep reading despite any shortcomings. Bran is all teenager, long-suffering with the adoptive parents he finds ridiculous (and they are, as Nation makes them satirical forms of typical suburbanites) and respectful of those adult who treat him with respect. He is a curious boy looking to learn more about himself and the world around him, and just beginning to question all he has been taught to be true. In a word, Bran Hambric is a teenager through and through. Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse is good, clean, humorous fiction for the teenager looking for magic in a mundane world.


This review is part of a blog tour for the release of Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse. Other particpants can be found at the following websites.
Sunday, August 30th
Jenn’s Bookshelf
Homespun Light
Monday, August 31st
StevenTill.com
Dolce Bellezza
Bobbi’s Book Nook
Tuesday, September 1st
The Looking Glass Review
Edward-Cullen.net
Beth Fish Reads
SMS Book Reviews
James Holder’s YouTube Channel
Wednesday, September 2nd
Bookalicio.us
Reading Rumpus
Katie’s Literature Lounge
Ultimate Bookhound
Thursday, September 3rd
Brimful Curiosities
Charlotte’s Library
Friday, September 4th
BriMeetsBooks.com
Bran Hambric by Kaleb Nation
Saturday, September 5th
Library Lounge Lizard
Sarah’s Random Musings
Saulchichas
GreenFyr.com
Sunday, September 6th
Cindy’s Love of Books
Monday, September 7th
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf
Grasping for the Wind
Life After Twilight vlog channel
Tuesday, September 8th
Shooting Stars Magazine
Mrs. Magoo Reads
Lori Calabrese Writes
Wednesday, September 9th
The Brain Lair
Dulemba.com
The Children’s Book Review
TV Watch Online
Thursday, September 10th
The Friendly Book Nook
Book Journey
Stephanie’s Written Word
Home School Buzz
Spidurmunkey.com
Friday, September 11th
The Inside Scoop With Chandelle
Booking Mama
Saturday, September 12th
Zoe’s Book Reviews
Lit for Kids
Sunday, September 13th
Never Jam Today
A Bibliophile’s Reverie
Monday, September 14th
Café of Dreams
Marta’s Meanderings
Galleysmith.com
A Book Blogger’s Diary
The Reader’s Quill
Tuesday, September 15th
a book in hand
MistiSchindele.com
Not Just for Kids
Wednesday, September 16th
Write for a Reader
CompulsiveReader.com
Thursday, September 17th
Howling Good Books
The Written World
Friday, September 18th
Always Riddikulus
YA Books Central
Saturday, September 19th
Ms. Bookish
Into the Wardrobe

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