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Advent: A Novel (Advent Trilogy #1)
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Advent: A Novel (Advent Trilogy #1)

3.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,177 Ratings  ·  328 Reviews
A drowning, a magician’s curse, and a centuries-old secret.

1537. A man hurries through city streets in a gathering snowstorm, clutching a box in one hand. He is Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age. The box he carries contains a mirror safeguarding a portion of his soul and a small ring containing all the magic in the world. Together, they comprise something uni
ebook, 464 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books (first published February 2nd 2012)
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Feb 11, 2012 Lou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, arc, paranormal
This is a deep cerebral story that involves a young boy and magic. No this is has no similarities with Harry Potter, it has a world of its own. He transports you at times to the origins of this magic world and has included ancient mythology. The boy must be taken upon and accustomed to new ways and abilities. I sense the next book in the series to include even more adventure. This is really tailored for an adult audience, the author has created a richly filled world of beyond the realm of what w ...more
A.E. Shaw
Jan 04, 2013 A.E. Shaw rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

Oh, no. I didn't enjoy this for a moment, and yet, if you'd told me there was a book written by someone with an excellent command of language, that mashed up Arthurian legend with Faust, the Greeks and still more myth, I'd probably have bitten your hand off to read it.

I've been trying to work out what it is I didn't love, indeed, actively disliked, and the best I can do is an analogy. It's like walking into an old shed, and on first glance, it seems rammed with stuff, full to the brim of fascin
I got to 60%, and I just couldn't drum up the enthusiasm to go any further. I think about half of this book could have been edited out - pages and pages of description that is well-written and sometimes beautiful but is largely irrelevant to the story. I lost patience. If you like stories that really take their time, mythology, and eerie old mansions then this might be for you! I am giving up.
Andrew Lennon
Jan 07, 2015 Andrew Lennon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No, I'm sorry.
I started off liking this book, but then all of a sudden when it jumped 500 years into the past and started harping on about this strange Wizard trying to save his soul for eternity I lost interest.
Should have just stuck with Gavin seeing "things/ghosts" etc, I liked him.

Anyway I received this book in a free giveaway so I can't really complain.

Maybe one for the more avid fantasy readers, just not for me I'm afraid.

All reviews can be found at
Grady McCallie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Петър Панчев
Забравената магия се завръща
(Цялото ревю е тук:

Захванал съм се с приятната задача да прочета доста тийнейджърски и детски книги в жанра фентъзи и антиутопия. „Гавин и завръщането на магията“ („AMG Publishing“, 2015, с превод на Цветелина Тенекеджиева) влиза точно в тази категория. Макар да е по-непретенциозна, книгата на Джеймс Тредуел се вмъкна съвсем намясто сред по-ексклузивните си посестрими, прочетени от мен. Чете се доста бързичко, въпреки 550-те
Tina Rath
Oct 20, 2012 Tina Rath rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was actually published in February this year, but I have only recently seen it reviewed (in the Fortean Times, as it happens) and as soon as I did I downloaded it onto my Kindle and read the lot, staying up until after midnight to finish it.
I love this book. I was rather surprised by some of the reviews which suggest it is too long (no! I would have liked more), with too much description and even what one reviewer called purple prose. I like the style. I was hooked immediately by the main
Daniel Withrow
Dec 05, 2012 Daniel Withrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My wife mentioned Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising series as a comparison to this book, and I think that holds up. Sure, it's Yet Another Book about the return of magic to our world, starring a disaffected teenage boy. But unlike many books in that subgenre, its magic is compelling and interesting, not videogamy. In part that's because the magic is deeply rooted in culture: the book is set in west Great Britain, and though I'm totally ignorant about west Great Britain rural culture, the author obvi ...more
Allison Barron
Advent was a book I looked forward to reading for its wonderfully strange world seeped in mythology. The world was intriguing and made me think odd creatures and magic really could be lying in wait at the far corners of the earth. As much as I wanted to love the story, however, I just couldn't get into it. It started extremely slow, with pages and pages about Gavin traveling to his aunt's house and then meeting the people in Pendurra. Although there was the mystery of why Gavin was seeing someth ...more
Dec 08, 2013 Andy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I dont very oft not finish a book BUT guess what? 100pg's in & i could take no more. Nothing really happens & it jus crawls along going nowhere which is a shame as the synopsis for it sounds like a decent read. never mind, Joe Abercrombie's First law Trilogy more than made up for it.
Jul 23, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

Ana’s Take:

England, 1537. Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age hurries to board the ship that will take him to new shores. He carries with him a box which contains a mirror safeguarding part of his soul and a small ring that holds all the magic on the world. Tragically, the ship sinks and magic disappears from the world.

England, present day. Fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes is about to embark on a journey which will change his life forever. He i
Aug 20, 2012 Bookish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The magic in Advent by James Treadwell is strange, dark, and ancient, but has an air of familiarity. Treadwell weaves Arthurian legends, Greek and Celtic mythologies, and Faustian bargains in inventive ways to make for a rich and complex world.

Advent reminded me very much of when I first started reading The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, a similarity capitalized upon by the book's tagline "Magic is rising." The strong Celtic imagery and setting, a prophecy involving a teenage boy, an omniprese
Aug 18, 2012 Kestrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the past few years, I've almost entirely ceased to enjoy fantasy fiction, as most of it seems preoccupied with vacuous prettiness constructed from the same old cliches. Therefor, I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed _Advent_, which reminded me quite a bit of The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper, as it contains much of the same sense of the uncanny. This is not a cutesy tame magic. Also, the writing is dark and lovely. I can understand why some people thought this book wa ...more
Liz Barnsley
Jan 12, 2015 Liz Barnsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this a while ago and am only just getting around to writing a review - but I loved it - such a great story.

There is a touch of the "old school" fairytale about this one - Gavin being an excellent protagonist who stumbles through some rather strange happenings and captures your heart. If Agatha Christie were to write Young Adult Fantasy I think this is pretty much how it would read - beautiful writing, sense of place and world building with a charming and often witty prose plus some terrif
Joe Jones
Gavin is a 15 year old teenager living in England who just doesn't fit in. His problem is he sees things that are not there, in particular a woman he calls Miss Grey. When he is shipped off to visit his Aunt for a week, Gavin's imaginary world quickly intrudes into the real one. He then has to figure out just what is going on and who he really is before it is too late.

This is book one of a new trilogy that is a mash up of the Faust and Gawain legends. I'm still trying to decide if this is suppo
Shaz Goodwin
Jan 27, 2012 Shaz Goodwin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This amazing world that debut author James Treadwell has created begins in 1537 where we meet Johannes Faust as he prepares to set sail for England. The next chapter we meet Gavin Stokes who is on the train that will take him to his aunt Gwen in Cornwall. On the train he meets Professor Hester Lightfoot (who is a key character in certain events) and we’re introduced to the ghost of Miss Grey … who used to be accepted as Gavin’s ‘invisible friend’ when younger but is not accepted by his family no ...more
Karen Rye
Dec 20, 2011 Karen Rye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Set in the present day, Advent is about the return of the forgotten magic. The main protagonist is a fifteen year old boy, Gavin, who knows that there is something different about him, but has spent most of his life trying to conform to the expectations of the adults around him. He has learnt to studiously ignore the ghostly Miss Grey who never speaks and scares him senseless half the time, but he knows she's there. Eventually he tries to explain this and other magical concerns to one of his sch ...more
Allison Campbell
ADVENT by James Treadwell: I love fantasy. I re-read LORD OF THE RINGS every couple of years. I excel at suspension of disbelief and immersing myself in alternate worlds. So I expected to fall in love with ADVENT, the first in a trilogy that weaves together the Faust legend, Greek mythology including the always-fascinating Cassandra, and Celtic folklore, all propelled by a confused teenager who has always conversed with people who aren't there. It may be that in the context of the entire trilogy ...more
Kirsty (overflowing library)
Giving up on this one for now as really not my sort of book despite being beautifully written. Learning more and more than fantasy and me don't mix.
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
I feel so torn about this book. On one hand I really liked Gavin’s character and found his story quite engaging and interesting, and parts of it were told with a very magical prose, but on the other hand, Gavin’s story is interspersed with Johann’s narration, and this part had me very confused and uninterested.

Writing my review several weeks after reading the book is a bad idea here as most of the story has faded in my memory, which is never a great sign. I know there were parts that had a very
Yolanda Sfetsos
When I found out about this book, I was instantly intrigued. A teenage boy and lost magic, sounds awesome right? Actually, I couldn't wait to get stuck into it...

Gavin is fifteen, and he isn't exactly your average teenager. He sees things other people don't, and his parents don't understand him. Actually, they don't seem to want him around them. So when he gets on a train and heads to Cornwall to stay with his aunt, he's actually happy to get away from them.

However, when he gets to his destinat
First Look: Initially, I was attracted to the cool cover. The premise involving the Faust legend intrigued me as well.

Setting: Pendurra was oddly backwards. It was supposed to be, a little, I presume, but it seemed too much so. I mean, didn't they have a gas station, at least, or anyplace like that where Gavin could have gone for help? It seemed like the whole village was very out of touch with the modern world. Thiswould makesense, in context, but the author never really let me know for sure,
Amber (Books of Amber)
Pretty boring, I'm sorry to say. I just couldn't get into it.

Full review here:

The beginning of Advent was very intriguing, as the author mixes flashback chapters with the present day, and it was enough to keep me reading steadily for the first fifty to seventy pages. The flashbacks were very enjoyable, and while I didn't enjoy the present day stuff as much, I was still looking forward to finding out more about the book.

After the first one hundred pages o
Lia Marcoux
James Treadwell's writing is very strong, but the narrative is not. For the first one hundred pages I had that aw-yeah-air-guitar feeling of being in good hands, which dwindled as...nothing happened, and kept happening in similarly-described ways. I like long books but the content didn't require over 400 pages. Bafflingly he included one of the most interesting parts of an unrelated story over three pages at the very end. What? It's just, this book was boring. It had really great moments but the ...more
Yoana Divine
Цялото ревю:

,,Гавин и завръщането на магията'' на Джеймс Тредуел е чудата книга с атмосфера, наситена с напрежение и злокобност. Четейки този пълен с мистерии роман, ще се гмурнете в един различен свят на тъмни магии и мрачни тайни, в лудо и опасно приключение.

Начинът на писане на автора е красив, ненатоварващ и все пак описателен, но не ми хареса, че действието понякога се развива прекалено бавно и сякаш се отделя твърде много време на неща и моменти, ко
Tim Hicks
Nov 25, 2014 Tim Hicks rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
So let me stoke your enthusiasm first: the first half of this book is very very slow, and the young hero is a
complete tit. And there's something up with a mage in 1537. But there's magic afoot today, too. There's a mysterious house, and a twisted manservant who's all arrr, ergh. Our strange young man meets a strange young woman, and the plot moves from plodding to slow.

Then Treadwell turns on the magic pump and it all gets silly. Here's a dryad, here's someone from THAT line of legends, a coupl
Натали Димитрова
Както става ясно от резюмето на книгата, сюжетът се върти около главния герой- Гавин.
Цялото ревю:

Но композицията на произведението на Джеймс Тредуел е малко по-сложна, защото има две сюжетни линии, които към края на книгата се пресичат. Интересното е,че едната описва,както споменах-животът на 15-годишния Гавин, а другата проследява разцветът и погромът на магията.

Въпреки завладяващата история,която авторът е представил в тази книга, според мен тя имаше
Jan 27, 2012 Rhys rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review originally posted on

The ocean has kept its secret for a long time, but now it is giving it up to the earth. It will be found- the magic ring of the greatest magus in the world- and it will be at the centre of a power struggle.

Gavin never knew he was different until everyone started telling him that it wasn’t normal to hear voices. Miss Grey, he called her, and she became his secret. The only person who ever understood him was Gwen; his odd aunt. Now Gavin is visiting
Aug 19, 2012 Ellen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a truly peculiar book - neither completely adult fiction nor young adult fiction (not for children in part because of the use of the f-word). It is very, very British. It is supposed to be fantasy and to have to do with the return of magic to the world but the way is so torturous and reading this book depends on so many things - for example, there is a fairly important character in the book named "Holly" who sings part of an English traditional Christmas carol. To fully understand this c ...more
ADVENT was one of those books that I DESPERATELY wanted to like but no matter how hard I tried it just kept falling short. Ultimately I can add this one to my hearty DNF pile as of late. I tried to hard to like this one. I kept giving it the benefit of the doubt but by the time things started picking up I was too tired of trying to care and couldn't muster the want to keep it up.

Gavin's a character that wallows in his own self pity for about two thirds of the book, constantly harping on how no o
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Ending/teaser?...what was that about?! spoilers! 4 16 Aug 19, 2013 06:54AM  
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James Treadwell was born in West London and is still living there more than forty years on. Formerly an academic specialising in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, he is now, and hopes always to be, a writer of fantasy novels.

His current vocation can probably be blamed on reading Roger Lancelyn Green’s Myths of the Norsemen and Barbara Leonie Picard’s retellings of the Iliad an
More about James Treadwell...

Other Books in the Series

Advent Trilogy (3 books)
  • Anarchy: A Novel (Advent Trilogy #2)
  • Arcadia

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