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Passage to Avalon

(The Epic Adventures of the Techno Wizard #1)

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Thirteen-year-old Sam Shelton is the only person in Avalon who can’t use the magical power of aether. He’s also the only person in Avalon with a bag of high-tech spy gear, a solar-powered cell phone with intermittent signal back to Earth, a YouTube account, and a murderous wizard-emperor on his tail…so he’s got a lot going for him.

When an earthquake hits his hometown of
Paperback, 280 pages
Published March 29th 2018 by Hooligan Press
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Average rating 4.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  76 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
My Video Review:

Original 04/28/18:
Still going to do a video review for this after I return to my bookshelves after finals, but I wanted to lay out some of the basics of this super fun middle grade romp.

This well-edited middle grade novel is just such an enjoyable reading experience especially if you're a fan of Lord of the Rings and like video games. There are so many references to Lord of the Rings which I really enjoyed. There is even a race of nature/tree beings (E
Mike Thayer
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I have read this book probably 20 times and it just keeps getting better! That said, I am the author of this book and I HAD to read it 20 times and it got better because I was revising the manuscript. Regardless, this is a FANTASTIC book! Trust me, I would know.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful book! I just finished it and literally stomped my feet in excitement. I can't wait for the next book to come out!

Ok so time for brutal honesty - I don't just pick up random books from authors I've never heard of, especially not debut authors and ESPECIALLY not self-published authors. As a toddler mom, I don't have a lot of reading time and I don't want to waste it on a mediocre book - and let's face it, with today's publishing opportunities, much of the slush pile has moved fro
A.L. Sowards
Read this one aloud to my kids. It took us a while to get into it, but the ending was pretty epic. It’s about a troublemaker who gets pulled into a different dimension—a typical medievalish fantasy land with magic, a variety of creatures, and an evil, oppressive emperor. Oh, and the kid still gets a cell phone connection from time to time, and has a bunch of cool electronic gear. My kids enjoyed it. They laughed at the funny parts and really got into the tense parts. It’s the first in a series, ...more
Kaylin Booker
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
JUST RELEASED!! I beta read for this author (a friend!) and y’all are definitely going to want to grab a copy of this book!!

The Epic Adventures of the Techno Wizard is a hilarious, fast paced, action packed story of one boy’s journey to the other side of another world, and the challenges he must overcome to find his way home. READ IT TODAY!

Great read! I can’t wait for book 2!
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just when you think you've read every single kind of fantasy world crossing book out there, one comes around that makes this genre feel fresh and new. Techno Wizard does just that and more. I loved the imaginative ideas and world building in this book. It reminded me so much of Brandon Mull's books in that I never knew what was coming and was impressed by the creative creatures and characters. Sam is a great main character. He's smart and quick witted, hilarious at the best times, and sensitive ...more
A good modern portal fantasy for the oldest kids, with nice world building and pleasant characterization.

Yey, modern portal fantasy! I really enjoyed the integration of modern technology in the story, with video games, smartphones and other hightech stuff that kids this age shouldn't own (so better to read this after 10 years old, except if the kid is a very nerdy one). It gave a modern touch to the adventures in a fantasy world, especially as Sam was actually able to use his items for his searc
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun read for kids and parents. Light-hearted, uniquely fantastical story with very real elements. Excited for the rest to come out.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing!

I started reading this book to see if it was something my Twelve year old boys would like. But I got hooked! Sam’s adventures are a pure joy to read! He is a likable hero and the connection between his new and old friends is awesome. This is the sort of story that you read through, put down when you’re done, and then pick back up again to re-read because your brain isn’t ready to stop thinking about the story. Stop reading this review and just read the book! You will thank
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. I read it aloud to my three kids (5, 8, and 10) and they didn't want me to put it down. Mike has created a fun, unique take on the portal fantasy genre. I felt like I was rewarded for investing in his characters. Each of the core characters had their moment in the spotlight, which was immensely satisfying. I loved all the characters, but I think Willow, the tree creature, is my favorite. She's hilarious and even made me feel a few of my own feelings.
Sofiya Pasternack
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I heard the pitch for this book at a writing conference in Utah, and I immediately decided to read it. At first it sounded typically MG fantasy, until the author, Mike, said, “And he uploads it all to social media.”

Wait... what now?

I loved the book. The few things I took issue with—Sam and Rinni’s treatment of Lawrence, some of Sam’s attitudes about things—are addressed and resolved as the character learns and grows. I look forward to seeing how Sam manages his growth in the next book.

The writin
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book reminded me why adults love to read young adult fiction. There is an ease of just experiencing the story without a bunch of unnecessary and all-too-real drama that makes reading this book such an enjoyable experience.
I was enjoying reading YA fiction for the first time in a while, but admittedly a bit ambivalent about the story... until I got about 75% of the way through and then a bunch of things came together. I was also impressed with the ending. The groundwork was laid throughout
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is funny, adventurous, and my whole family enjoyed it. This is an excellent Young Adult/Fantasy Adventure book. I look forward to Mr. Thayer’s future releases.
Apr 03, 2019 added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Not for me.
James Van Duker
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, and so did my kids. They laughed at all the jokes, and peaked out from under their covers when it got tense. Great book to read to read to your kids--really unique and fun.
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was really intriguing to me because I don't normally like a lot of books and its hard for me to find a book i actually like. This was perfect for me because it has fiction and it has a level where its a little harder for me to read but i can still figure out whats going on. I'm going to further read this series! In this book it's about this boy, Sam Shelton, he has an awesome group of friends that he hangs out with and they love to pull pranks! One day that all changed, Now h ...more
Chip Patton
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just plain fun. Also modern fantasy. Nice use of social media, role playing game culture and youth culture.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fun book! i totally enjoyed it and can't wait to join the characters again for the next 5 books (when they arrive).

The story follows Sam who is a bit of a prankster and lives in the not too distant future from us. Him and his trio of friends love all things technological and gadgety and they have solar powered cell phones (awesome!).

Sam and one of his friends are inadvertently taken back in time to Avalon (which just happens to be New Zealand) and there he embarks on an epic adventure to
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First read: Aug 15, 2018
Great family friendly adventure! Nice to see character development and fun world-building. Reminds me a bit of my 2 favorite Brandons... Mull and Sanderson. Excited to read more!
2nd time around we listened to the audiobook! So fun!
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The world building in Passage to Avalon by Mike Thayer is breathtakingly magnificent! I was thoroughly impressed by the detail of this world; the magic systems that are in place, the unique species, the established government etc. Middle grade readers, especially kids who love fantasy, will absolutely enjoy this book!

Mike Thayer is a master at creating a unique and completely believable world; one that is separate but parallel to our own. And I might add, close enough that the main character is
Thayer does a great job mixing several elements. His novel features Sam Shelton, a 21st Century kid (a couple of decades from our present) who is transported during an earthquake to the past and to New Zealand in a traditional fantasy setting--a nonspecific European feudal realm. He has a backpack filled with technological tools, which makes him an oddity to the natives of Avalon. Hence his new title, Techno Wizard.

The result is a world that has a strong mix of medieval elements and 21st Centur
Jason Luu
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I finished Passage to Avalon last night, by Mike Thayer who is a writing excuses alumni/friend of mine and was really impressed. Middle grade portal fantasy was something I did consume at a young age and this story is a modern update on classic/older stories like Narnia (think Aslan on Instagram). The cast of characters are likable and have distinct voices and abilities, and the overall world building is clever and fun. I had a few issues with the plotting around the half way point, but these we ...more
Crazy Uncle Ryan
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
My sister gave this book to my boys for Christmas. She is good friends with the author and thought we would like it. She was right. I read this to them each night before bed and, each night when it was time to stop I got to hear the plea for me to read "just a little more."

This was a very fun and unique blending of Sci-Fi and fantasy. It had a really creative premise and the ending made it very clear that there is a lot more to this world than we have seen so far. We are very exited to start the
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun book to read. It was a little slow in the beginning but once you got invested in the characters it was very quick and one of those story where you want to know what happens next. I think it would be a fun book to read to my boys as I believe it is targeted for a younger crowd. All in all it was a good read!
J.S. Jaeger
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
Passage to Avalon was a fun book to read. The author did a great job developing his characters and making sense of things that might seem impossible, such as using a cell phone when you've been sucked back into time.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. Great for both kids and adults! Willow is my favorite character. Her humor reminds me of Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Michelle Vander esch
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How can I not give 5 for this one!? :) Mike is as witty a wordsmith as they come. The Techno Wizard made me remember how much I love fantasy, can't wait to read The Uncharted Lands!
Karlene Browning
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fun story of a boy trapped in a non-technical world, who uses his smarts and his tech to succeed. Good characters. Good plot. I think my grandsons (11 yo) would love this!
Apr 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This was really cute! I can see a lot of preteen boys especially enjoying it!
This one took all of us a little bit to get into, but after we got going the kids begged for it every night and I was happy to oblige. It was fun to read aloud because all of the characters had different accents and such. The kids laughed out loud at the various insults and jokes thrown around. The epilogue cracked me up. I'm thinking we'll have to get the next one...
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Mike Thayer is a proud father of three, lucky husband of one, passionate author, budding podcaster, lifelong gamer, viral blogger, degreed engineer, decent impressionist, inept hunter, erstwhile jock, and nerd.

He has cast a ring on the slopes of Mt. Doom, eaten a feast at the Green Dragon Inn, cemented Excalibur in a sandstone block, tasted butter beer at Diagon Alley, built a secret door to his s

Other books in the series

The Epic Adventures of the Techno Wizard (2 books)
  • The Uncharted Lands (The Epic Adventures of the Techno Wizard, #2)

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