The Familiars
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The Familiars (The Familiars #1)

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  3,313 ratings  ·  452 reviews
When Aldwyn, a young alley cat on the run, ducks into a mysterious pet shop, he doesn’t expect his life to change. But that’s exactly what happens when Jack, a young wizard, picks Aldwyn to be his magical familiar.

Finally off the tough streets, Aldwyn thinks he’s got it made. He just has to convince the other familiars—the know-it-all blue jay Skylar and the friendly tree...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by HarperCollins (first published September 7th 2010)
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The Holy Terror
Jun 12, 2012 The Holy Terror marked it as will-never-read  ·  review of another edition
Not interested in this one.
Dawn (& Ron)
The Familiars Read for Anna's ABC&D bookclub

Both Ron and I read this fantasy tale, about three familiars; a tabby cat, a tree frog, and a blue jay, and their three young wizards in training. The story centers around the familiar's journey to save their wizards. Along the way they learn about each other, themselves and big secrets that affect the entire land of Vastia. We both appreciated the map to help us follow them on their amazing journey. Our combined average rating is 3.75, rounded up...more
Crowinator
Maybe 2.5 stars. Here's another older review from my LJ blog; I'm adding them to GR to keep track of them. I wrote this one back in 2010.

I think this book should have popularity, let me first say, at least among grade school kids, because of the spin of having a bunch of animals do the heroic questing and saving the world. And a motley group of animals they are, too -- an alley cat, a blue jay, and a tree frog. Still, it is terribly generic as a quest fantasy. It is, for lack of a better word, c...more
Kathryn
Here is the story of Aldwyn, the brave and resourceful ally cat who accidentally becomes a familiar to the young wizard Jack. Jack and his older sister Marianne and their friend Dalton are being trained by a wise wizard and Marianne and Dalton have their own familiars, a good-natured if sometimes bumbling frog named Gilbert and a wise and somewhat uppity bird named Skylar. At first, Aldwyn relishes his time finally belonging to someone and learning about the wizarding world. But when the childre...more
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela Oliver
Entertaining enough for me to finish, but not an overly great read. The characters seemed a little one dimensional - brave feline, sly/brainy jay and foolish frog (sound a little familair? It's like a furry Harry Potter). I felt sorry for Gilbert, his entire presence in the plot seemed to be to bumble around, make an idiot of himself and get mocked by all and sundry (ok, so he's more a Neville than a Ron). Plus there is no way you could disguise a frog as a chicken! Why did the jay with her awes...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
The Familiars is such a great, action packed, full of humor, quick, fun and engaging read. I think this is one book that middle graders, and fans of good old magical adventures will enjoy reading. With a loyal trio of unlikely heros, Aldwyn, Gregory and Skylar had me laughing out loud, and wishing I had pet companions like them.

The familiars are animal companions with magical abilities who become life long companions with a young human apprentice. When Aldwyn, Gregory and Sklyar's Wizard appren...more
Ann
What is a Familiar? The animal companion of a witch or wizard — a companion with which the witch or wizard can speak with, a companion that will learn with you, fight with you, and protect you. But, in this tale, the book is not from the perspective of the witch or wizard, but instead the perspective of the familiars, and one familiar in particular, a jovial alley cat named Aldwyn.

I absolutely loved the early chapters of this book, especially the part where Aldwyn receives his first ever contact...more
Kristen
Why I read this: I thought The Familiars looked like a fun, middle grade fantasy and it's also a debut novel.

Plot: A Typical fantasy plot - three human wizard apprentices are captured and the familiars must save them. Definitely full of twists, as Aldwyn has to hide his secret of having no magical abilities. Action-packed with time to build relationships, The Familiars is a great middle grade fantasy that many kids and teens will get a kick out of.

Characters: I really loved Aldwyn. He's an alley...more
Sarah
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the main character Aldwyn’s clever wit and attitude and it really drew me into the story and made me care about his character. His companions, Skylar and Gilbert, were also very lovable characters that kind of reminded me of Hermione and Ron in Harry Potter. They seem to be good friends who stick together despite their many differences and despite the fact that Aldwyn has been hiding his real non-magical background from them.

Overall I found this to be a light-...more
Kelsey Ketch
This is a book I would recommend! It's fun and at times heart-stopping. I loved the main character, Aldwyn. And the best part, in my opinion, is the character Gilbert. He brings lots of light and humor to the storyline as the three friends face their first adventure together.
Serena!
Wow!!
Letto Divorato in un pomeriggio, una cosa che non mi capitava da secoli.. La gioia di iniziare un libro, perdersi tra le sue pagine e finirlo prima di riuscire a realizzare che magari poi domani un po’ mi mancherà, che sono una tonta a leggere un libro in modo così famelico.. Certo, ha sicuramente aiutato la brevità del romanzo (poco più di 200 pagine) e la presenza di alcune pagine con disegni.. Ma è pur vero che la storia è super carina e scorre velocissima..
Lo consiglio caldamente, sopra...more
Mary (BookHounds)
This is a perfectly woven tale that should appeal to everyone! The story centers around three animal familiars who have magical capabilities (think the triumvirate of Harry Potter) and their human loyals. Familiars have been in story telling as long as there have been witches and are creatures who bond with humans and assist them in casting spells. Aldwyn, an alley cat on the run, hides in a magical pet store where he is quickly adopted by Jack and meets other familiars. Gilbert the tree frog (p...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
The Familiars is such a great, action packed, full of humor, quick, fun and engaging read. I think this is one book that middle graders, and fans of good old magical adventures will enjoy reading. With a loyal trio of unlikely heros, Aldwyn, Gilbert and Skylar had me laughing out loud, and wishing I had pet companions like them.

The familiars are animal companions with magical abilities who become life long companions with a young human apprentice. When Aldwyn, Gilbert and Sklyar's Wizard appren...more
Brenda
Sep 24, 2010 Brenda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys stories about animals or children's fantasy
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
First off let me say I really enjoyed this book. I think the authors demonstrated their passion for the genre and in my opinion created a very novel story.

The story is set in the kingdom of Vastia, a mangy stray black and white cat missing a chunk of his left ear begins to feel his whisker’s tingling. On this day it means that Aldwyn is hungry and he goes in search of food to the nearest fish monger. Unknowingly, he steps into a trap. After stealing a fish, Aldwyn finds himself fleeing from Grim...more
Lydia Presley
Okay – so I’m not a fan of books where animals speak and the story generally revolves around animals (and no, I never read that Warrior series). I used to love the movies centering around animals as a kid (Hello, Homeward Bound and Beethoven), but outgrew them in my teenage years.

Then The Familiars made it’s way through the blogosphere.. well, I would say.. burst its way instead of made its way. I’m seeing this book everywhere. My dislike of animal books kept me from outright buying it.. but now...more
Mason Jones
Our 7.5 year-old daughter read this one, and really liked it, so she encouraged me to read it too. For an adult it's a very quick read, of course, but a fun one. At first I was wondering if it was going to be too much of a Harry Potter pastiche, because the three familiars -- a cat, a bird, and a frog -- mimic the three friends. The cat is Harry, the bird is Hermione, and the frog is Ron's comic relief. But thankfully the story goes in a very different direction, and the animals have a great num...more
Colby Sharp
I don't really like fantasy. Fourth quarter of fourth grade each year I am suppose to teach this genre that I don't really like or understand. I decided to try and read a fantasy middle reader book this year on spring break as I prepared for my unit on fantasy. Since the authors of this book said that they would be kind enough to talk with my class about writing fantasy I felt that I should give their fantasy novel a try...I really liked it. It was different. The book didn't focus on wizards and...more
Margaret
7/9/12 ** Another Young Hoosier Nominee for 2012-13. This will NOT feel like I'm reading it just for my job. Magic told from the animal familiar's point of view? Narrator is a cat? High fantasy? And so far, not really a Harry Potter clone. :)

7/11/12 ** I have to say that I'm disappointed with this book. In general, I am a fan of high fantasy, but this book leaves me wanting more. I'd been starting think that I was unable to be "critical" of any book this summer - I've been on a string of 4 &...more
Karen
This book is recommended 9+, so more of a childrens book really than Young Adult. But saying that, it was a really fun and exciting read even for me as an adult! Aldwyn the alley cat, Gilbert the tree frog and Skylar the blue jay were gorgeous and made great main characters. The humans (or loyals as they are called in the book) only really took part at the beginning and end of the story.

Humour abound, mostly caused by Gilbert and his very clumsy ways (I loved this little tree frog) found me laug...more
Stacey
I have to review this for our meeting next week...
The back flap of the book says it all: "The Familiars combines the magic of Harry Potter and the adventure of the Warriors into an enchanting story young readers will love." --Michael Buckley, author of The Sisters Grimm and NERDS series.
I think that young readers will love it, but not children above 5th grade. The book will become an animated movie in 2012, and consequently parts of the book read like a movie script. I know the movie will trea...more
Misslittlebookfeet
I loved The Familiars; it was engaging, action-packed, entertaining and a good middle-grade novel. The idea of familiars is original and interesting - I'm glad that animals finally have the spotlight rather than humans. Human magic is always emphazized rather than the animals so points for this books because of that. I'm sick of seeing human wizards and witches in fantasy.

Anyway, Aldwyn an alley cat who steals to survive winds up in a odd pet shop where he is chosen to be a young human apprentic...more
BookKids
Aldwyn has always been a typical, if rather clever, alley cat trying to survive the streets of Vastia's capitol city. When he is forced to hide in a pet shop while fleeing from the most dreaded animal bounty hunter in the land, a young wizard named Jack selects him to be his new familiar. Since only magical animals can serve as familiars, everyone including Jack and the familiars of Jack's two classmates all assume that Aldwyn is a magical cat too. Only Aldwyn knows the truth -- that he's an ord...more
Elisabetta
Prendete 3 maghetti;
Aggiungete 3 animaletti "speciali";
Cospargete il tutto con un pizzico di pericolo e di avventura;
Infine mescolate il tutto con un abbondante dose di magia.
Et voilà, ecco a voi "The Familiars"!
Qualcuno potrebbe storcere il naso pensando che sia una copia del favoloso ed intramontabile "Harry Potter", ma non è assolutamente così perchè... -rullo di tamburi-
i protagonisti principali sono i tre animali!
Per l'esattezza loro sono "famigli", ovvero animali dotati di una parti...more
Ary89 - Romance e non solo
Un romanzo con i personaggi più bizzarri e coinvolgenti che io abbia letto da un po' di tempo.

The familiars è il primo romanzo di una serie dove i protagonisti di questo romanzo fantasy non sono i maghi o le streghe, ma piuttosto i loro famigli, animali magici che accompagnano, aiutano gli umani nelle loro missioni.

Ma cosa accadrebbe se un mago sceglie un animale privo di poteri magici?

Protagonista fin dall'inizio della storia è Aldwyn, un gatto randagio, senza padroni e fissa dimora, che vagabo...more
Mari
I was going to give this a three, but a sentence towards the very end of the book REALLY bothered me. It was so inconsistant with the world created thus far in the series that I couldn't believe an editor let it slip. (view spoiler)...more
Reading Vacation

This trio of familiars is adorable. Skylar is the blue-jay who acts all superior and has the power of creating illusions. Gilbert is the tree frog who constantly cracks jokes and has the power of seeing the future in puddle visions. And then there is Aldwyn, who tells this tale. He is just an ally cat, or so he thinks.

Familiars are the magical animal companions of their wizard loyals. In this story, Aldwyn is mistaken for a familiar and he is now in a predicament where he must live up to that di...more
Alex Bennett
I really had no idea what I would think of The Familiars. I knew, however, that I was very eager to read it. So eager, in fact that I abandoned another book I was reading just to read this one. And boy, am I happy I did.

One unique thing about this book was that the main characters are animals. I know talking animals may seem weird at first, but once you get to know them more as characters, you forget about their animal-ness. I knew I loved each of the familiars’ personalities and wanted each of...more
Jeannie Walker
I loved the marvelous illustrations in this very interesting, lighthearted novel.
There are three main characters in the fairy tale.
Aldwyn is an alley cat that is adopted. But he is an unusual cat, and not only because part of his left ear was missing, a bite-size reminder of a skirmish with an angry pit pull when he was a kitten.
Gilbert is a tree frog. (Need I say more)
Skylar is a blue jay. This bird is very smart but also a rascal.
What do these three have in common? You will be surprised!
It al...more
Teri
Great simple easy read for the young beginner fantasy fan or relunctant reader
This is a book that is for those readers that have outgrown the Magic Treehouse books but not ready for the heavy and darkness and complexity of HArry Potter and the hunger games models.
This is also a good choice IMO for the relunctant reader, one of which resides in my home.

This is not a book I am going to reccomend to my adult Young adult fan readers. It is too simple, too formulatic and too even rushed for them to...more
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3377501
I grew up in Great Neck, NY loving all things fantasy and science fiction - from Dungeons and Dragons and the Legend of Zelda to Star Wars and Dr. Strange. I created and imagined new worlds and stories from an early age but never knew that I had the talent to be a writer until seventh grade, when my English teacher assigned our class to write the first ten pages of a sequel to The Good Earth. Afte...more
More about Adam Jay Epstein...
Secrets of the Crown (The Familiars, #2) Circle of Heroes (The Familiars, #3) Palace of Dreams Starbounders The Familiars #4: Palace of Dreams

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