Bran Hambric by Kaleb Nation - Book Review

Bran Hambric is a boy without a past. He was found inside a bank vault at the age of six and now lives with the Wilomas family, basically acting as their servant. They all live in the town of Dunce where no magic or gnomes are allowed. Bran is a unique boy with powers he doesn't understand and a past he'll soon have to face.

Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse's prologue begins in the past as Bran’s mother magically sends him away from a scene of death and violence. The story begins quick, with the promise of an action-filled tale. We’re uncertain as to who is good or bad and we gather that we’ll be figuring that out along the ride. Chapter one switches to the modern day where Bran Hambric is living with the Wilomas family. When a burglar tries to invade the Wilomas home, Bran and the eccentric Mr. Sewey Wilomas stake out a trap.

However, this encouraging opening quickly begins to wander. Until part II, at page 123, the interesting story is a bloated look at an angry family of unappealing and stereotyped characters. But, if readers can hang in there until page 123, Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse returns to its action-filled promise. There’s a good deal of foreshadowing and some new, and finally interesting, characters introduced. Bran begins to learn about himself and the story begins to follow a more traditional bildungsroman format. The premise is an interesting one, with a few well-done literary devices, like the use of the overheard conversation and repetitive language used to good effect. It would be remiss to ignore the obvious borrowings from Harry Potter, but perhaps this is not a fault of Mr. Nation so much as a characteristic of the next generation of writers who’ve devoured the series and encapsulated the masterful Rowling stylings in their own writing.

Still, there’s really way too much running around in Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse that leads to nowhere. An editor could have alleviated this with a sharp pen that cut much of the extraneous garble mucking the tale. The freshman effort of Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse shouldn’t take away from the possibility of Mr. Nation’s future odds. He has some good ideas (see more about his Twilight guy site below); he thought up a good story. With a few more writing lessons and an editor with a mightier pen, he’s certainly got the potential to offer a better sophomore effort, be it a Bran Hambric sequel or a new idea waiting to pop forth from this wunderkind.

Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse seems suited for strong readers who are willing to stay with a long-winded fantasy tale. Reluctant readers could lose focus and have difficulty with awkward wording and redundant content.
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Genre: Fantasy. Age: 9-12. Pages: 464.

Themes: Coming of Age, Prejudice, Action-Adventure
Thank You to publisher Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for my advanced copy. Date: September 2009. ISBN: 978-1402218576
Buy Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse Here

Read more about the book on the Bran Hambric website.

Book Trailer:

Publisher Giveaway:
BUY the book BEFORE 9/9/09 and WIN!-- (US ONLY) Any person who pre-orders Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse, and sends their e-receipt or scanned receipt to will be entered into a drawing to win one of the following prizes:
- Personalized first-edition copy of The Farfield Curse (give your copy to a friend!)
- Personalized early reader copy of Book 2
- Personalized Bran Hambric poster
- Half Moon Necklace
- Signed CD of soundtrack
- $25 gift certificate to local bookstore
- Kaleb Nation event at local bookstore (fall 2010)
One entry per book ordered (so as many entries as books ordered). Receipts must be dated prior to pub date – September 9, 2009 and bear the subject heading “Bran Hambric Pre-Order Competition.” Winners to be announced September 30, 2009!

Kaleb Nation a blogger of some notoriety. He's been featured in Entertainment Weekly, Business Week and on MTV for his blog Twilight Guy. He began writing Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse at the age of 14 and wrote it over most of his teen years. You can read more about him on his personal website.
© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti for

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