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The Obsidian Pebble (Artefact #1)

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  83 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
11-year old Oz Chambers lives in a haunted house (Penwurt). His mother wants to move, but Oz would rather do double algebra (yuck) every day for twelve months than leave. Where others see spooky, Oz sees wonder and mystery and aching reminders of his deceased dad. When he and his friends hear ghostly footsteps in the boarded-up dorm at Halloween, it leads to an exploration ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Spencer Hill Press (first published 2011)
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Katie
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
THE RUNDOWN:
A British haunting tale with its own unique flavor, Rhys A. Jones' first installment in his middle grade series is quite entertaining for children and adults.

Eleven-year-old Oz Chambers has had a difficult life. His father disappeared two years prior and is thought dead and his mother plunges into a deep depression because of it. Oz has learned to roll with the punches and spends his time with school and friends, Ruff and Ellie. Then, one night he and his friends hear ghostly foots
...more
Angie Kregg
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I was excited to receive this novel through the FirstReads program, and I soon became enveloped in the plot. Oz is a character who you constantly root for, cheering him on as he faces unbelievable obstacles with a considerable strength and a genuine heart. While at first I found some of the British terminology a bit confusing, you get used to it once you become immersed in the book. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the antics that Oz and his friends became involved in, and I found the ...more
Bruce Sarte
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I may not be a Young Adult anymore, but as an author of Young Adult books I like to pick up various YA novels and give them a read. Sometimes they skew a little younger then I like and sometimes I pick up a book that hits that sweet spot that appeals to more than just YA – it brings out the kid in you as an adult. The Obsidian Pebble did that for me.

I found the characters to be well written and spot on for the storyline. They have issues and complexities that you’d expect of real kids that age.
...more
Vidya-BooksAreMagic
An interesting mystery for children!

Oz is a ten year old kid, living with his mom in a big haunted house. His father died two years back and the family is still trying to get over it. Oz, along with his two best friends, hear footsteps in that house and they proceed to solve the mystery. The kids stumble on to something big, that they can't handle. Does the Obsidian Pebble, a artifact, has anything to do with the haunted house and most importantly, his father's death?

The kid is picked up by his
...more
Darby Karchut
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oz Chambers (now, there's a fine character name for you) and his friends, Ellie and Ruff, find themselves caught up in the mysteries of Oz's haunted house (and on a deeper level, the mystery behind the death of Oz's father). While I really enjoyed all the mythologies Rhys A. Jones incorporated into his book, it was the so-true-to-life characters the propelled the story along.

Jones' world-building was spot on. I espeically liked getting to know Penwurt. The house is as much a charcter as the hum
...more
Maurice
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book for my 11 year old nephew and he just loved it and couldn't stop talking about it every time he saw me. However, having not read it myself I couldn't really appreciate what he was going on about. So, I took it back (temporarily) and read it myself! I thought I would have to put myself into the mind set of a pre-teen in order to really "get" with the flow of the novel, but that just wasn't the case. This is a really well written book with enough ghostly happenings and eeriness ...more
Haven Gordon
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I won this book from Goodreads in a giveaway. Rhy Jones created a great book that I enjoyed reading to my children. My kids' absolutely loved this book. I started reading it to them at bedtime and they were so sucked into the mystery that Oz was working on that they would often beg me to continue reading to them long after it was time for bed!
Seregil of Rhiminee
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Are you looking for a children's book that contains mysteries, adventure, friendship, modern life, family problems and fantasy/sci-fi elements? If you are, look no further, because The Obsidian Pebble is the book you want to read.

The Obsidian Pebble is the first part of the Artefact series. It's an entertaining book for children and young adults, but adults can also enjoy it, because it's a well written book with fantasy, science fiction and mystery elements.
...more
Fran
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Obsidian Pebble
RA Jones

Halloween is the time for ghosts, scary stories and adventures for young children. But, some things do not always turn out as planned as Oz Chambers and his two friends are about to find out as they embark on an adventure that would change not only all of their lives but solve a mystery as well. Imagine living in an old orphanage with your mother. The old house with its many stories or floors was named Penwurt and secrets lie within its walls. This house, one of the ol
...more
Robert Kent
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Obsidian Pebble is a hard book to sum up. It's a haunted house story, a superhero-ish story, a story about a boy dealing with the death of his father, and above all, an extremely English story:) It's vaguely reminiscent of the best parts of Harry Potter, but The Obsidian Pebble is it's own wonderful concoction.

It all begins with teen Oz Chambers, who's inherited his very own mansion:

“I wish I had a long-lost uncle who would leave me something in his will. Wouldn’t it be great if it’s your si
...more
Kribu
One of the better middle-grade / 9-12 (and well over!) fantasy-tinged action/adventure/mysteries I've read in recent years. I really enjoyed this, and the further into it I got, the harder it became to put the book down to do something else.

I suppose comparisons with Harry Potter are inevitable (everything for this age range, with kid protagonists and a potentially fantastic setting and old houses and mysterious evil people, seems to be, after all), but honestly, other than the main characters b
...more
Diane
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not filled with ‘hocus-pocus’, but logical and interesting mystery !

A super read! Once I started reading this intriguing story, I did not want to be interrupted. Pure mystery, adventure, and learning hard lessons in growing up are included in this book for middle – junior high school readers. The loyalty of friendship and the acceptance of an imperfect life are interwoven in the very best way. There are so many relevant incidents in the story which Oz has to deal with such as school bullying, sc
...more
Vincent Ripley
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic stuff...... Book review will be posted on www.mrripleysenchantedbooks.
Spencer Hill Press have delivered what they set out to do - publishing special reads that fall into the category of "I couldn't put it down". Literally I found myself not being able to put this book down. It was such a fantastic read that it will definitely find itself gaining a late entry on my best reads of the year list. This is the first exciting installment in the Artefact series - it is the authors first step i
...more
Alex
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My thanks to R. A. Jones for providing my copy via the goodreads giveaway!

I'm 34 years old, German (learned English in school), and i've read a lot of fantasy, SF and other fiction in my time. Just a little background info to keep in mind when you're reading my review on this childrens mystery novel =)

I don't like spoilers in reviews, and i think information on the actual content is unnecessary.

I liked the OBSIDIAN PEBBLE quite a bit. I was looking forward to reading it, mainly because it's my
...more
Kelly
Take Harry Potter and subtract the wizards & magic, add a supernatural element to 2012 England, and you have The Obsidian Pebble. That is by no means a bad thing. Look at the 4 stars. There are many parallels to the Harry Potter format without copying it action for action. It's a great story formula! Just know that many things will be familiar if you're a HP fan.
We have Oz Chambers, your average 11-year-old, and his best friends Ellie and Ruff (your boy-girl-boy trio). We have a new school w
...more
Jessica
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm still torn on whether this story is aimed at an MG, or a YA audience. It's true that The Obsidian Pebble features an 11-year old protagonist. However these characters don't act, think, or even talk like most 11-year-olds that I know. On the one hand, I loved that. I adore when authors don't think they need to talk down to their audience. On the other hand, this may be a difficult read for younger readers to get into at first. Just something to think about before you put it in your reader's h ...more
Abi
The Obsidian Pebble is a book about friendship, football (what we Americans call "soccer"), family, and fabulous mystery-solving.

I enjoyed it: I enjoyed that it was set in the UK (where the author is from) and replete with British terms that added to its charms for me. I enjoyed the central trio: the main character, Oz, is supported and grounded by his best friends - feisty, kick-boxing Ellie and video-game playing, puzzle solving Ruff. Oz's struggles and successes all felt realistic, and the w
...more
Neha Verma
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazingly put story, it reminded me of my Enid Blyton days when the famous five and Five find outers set out to solve a mystery. A book which I am sure will be devoured by young children. It was a pleasant surprise to be reading something which has all the elements of a successful novel. Characters and dialogues were at par which makes this a best gift for any teenager.
Obsidian Pebble is a story of three children who find themselves in a spooky haunted mansion that belongs to protagonist Oz.
...more
Neha Verma
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazingly put story, it reminded me of my Enid Blyton days when the famous five and Five find outers set out to solve a mystery. A book which I am sure will be devoured by young children. It was a pleasant surprise to be reading something which has all the elements of a successful novel. Characters and dialogues were at par which makes this a best gift for any teenager.
Obsidian Pebble is a story of three children who find themselves in a spooky haunted mansion that belongs to protagonist Oz.
...more
Sharon Martin
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is an obsidian pebble? What has it got to do with Oz's dead father? And why won't his mam let him into his dead fathers study? Follow Oz on his adventure through the different undiscovered rooms in his own house. As Oz and his friends delve into his fathers past works, they discover clues that will lead to the answer, but are they are not the only ones who want to discover the secrets. Who is making the mysterious footsteps Oz can hear?


As we travel through the adventure the characters are
...more
Laura
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-kindle
I actually think my younger kids might enjoy this book, but I really found it to be a rip-off of Harry Potter. It's as if he read Harry Potter and decided that it would be cool if Harry started looking for the Deathly Hallows in his first year.

I think the author had a list, and it went something like this:

1. Boy's parent/s die under mysterious/tragic circumstances - check
2. Boy has 2 friends, a boy and a girl - check
3. Cool old building with secrets/character of it's own - check
4. Teacher who un
...more
Kent District Library
“This modern-day adventure has hints of the past and the future! After Oz and his two best friends Ellie and Ruff uncover an mysterious object left by his deceased father, everything around them begins to become strange. Oz is suddenly a math whiz, and the tenants in their boarding house are acting peculiar. Is there really a ghost in these halls, or something even more sinister?
“If you loved Harry Potter, this is a great way to fill the hole its ending left behind. It’s like Harry Potter got a
...more
Amy_Read to My Heart's Content
This is a great story for our younger detectives who love a good mystery. The characters are lovable and you will root for them as they go about digging into the past trying to discover the mystery of Penhurt, where our story takes place.

I think kids will enjoy this book with the thrill ride it brings, as well as parents enjoying it because it is good clean fun!
Jenny
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, childrens
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this; I might even read the rest of the series. The puzzle begins in a universe what you think is magic, but then swerves into science fiction by the end. I'm intrigued ... and I think my kids would like it.
Marya
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Christi Carlton
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read

I really enjoyed reading this story and can't wait to start the next. I loved that Oz never lost faith in his dad.
Meg
rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2015
Afel
rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2014
Nicole B.
rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2012
Margaret
rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2015
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Rhys A Jones was born in a mining village in the Swansea valley in Wales where he attended primary and secondary schools. In 1974, he was offered a place at Medical school in London and qualified in 1979. Medicine and a family followed, but writing as Dylan Jones, he published 4 novels in the nineties, two of which were filmed by the BBC. But a growing desire to moves away from adult thrillers is ...more
More about Rhys A. Jones...

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Artefact (2 books)
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