Lynne's Reviews > The Cabinet of Earths

The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet
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's review
Jan 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: the-apocalypsies, fantasy, mystery, adventure, cultural, middlegrade, magical-realism, youngadult, family-ties, own, signed-by-author, won-offsite
Read from May 31 to June 04, 2012

I won an autographed copy of The Cabinet of the Earths from the authors website during the May 2012 ‘YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes’ event hosted by The Apocalypsies (at ).
This book sounded soooo interesting when I first heard about it in the January 2012 YAmazing Race, so I was very happy to win a copy. I was even happier when it lived up to my expectations of being a really great book. yay! Also, the cover is truly amazing and one of the first things that drew me to this book, so I have to give kudos to the artist.

The characters were strong and fun to read.
Twelve year old Maya Davidson is the very likeable protagonist. She and her family have recently left America and everything she has ever known, her home town, her school and friends, even the family dog and they have just moved across the world all the way to Paris.
Maya's little brother, James, is a realistically precocious but adorable 5 year-old who has a noticeable and endearing charisma, even at his young age. In fact, people have been drawn to him all his life and Paris is no different. Like moths to a flickering flame.
Her father is a top scientist and the main reason for the move. He took a prestigious researching position in Paris on a medical grant from a mysterious, and as Maya soon discovers, possibly sinister group.
Her mom is still quite sick from a long bout with cancer but is trying to live as normally as possible and raise her two children. She employs a long lost cousin to help her oversee them. Cousin Louise is somewhat hard to see in the beginning; however she turns out to be quite an interesting character.

With the help from Cousin Louise, Maya discovers she has more long-lost family in Paris. She meets two older gentlemen (cousin/uncles?) who are both mysteriously odd in their own rights. As we soon learn, each one may have dubious agendas having to do with their young American ancestors.

Also, there is Valko, a cute boy from Maya’s new school, who quickly becomes a good and trustworthy friend as he helps Maya unravel the ancient mysteries of her family tree along with the nefarious pasts of the purple-eyed man, to whom appearances means everything and the other man, the current keeper of the Cabinet of Earths, who has also long guarded the family’s deepest, darkest secrets.

I loved the underlying storyline and can truly appreciate a heroine who is brave and smart. I loved that Maya was actually fond of her baby brother and when she discovers James is missing and may be in danger, she does everything within her powers to find him and bring him home safely.

To ultimately describe this book, in one word, "enchanting"….
The Cabinet of the Earths by Anne Nesbet is such a well-written story. Perfect for the targeted middle grade ages to tweens audience and still quite interesting enough for us older readers.
The author has given us a magical view of Paris and the peculiar residents living in this book. I loved her descriptions of the Parisian ways of life as well as the lovely architecture and unique characteristics of the homes and gothic buildings around the neighborhood Maya lives in and explores throughout the book. And oh! Not to be forgotten, the bronzed salamander door knocker that may actually be alive!? !

Here is very wise advise as per the authors signature on this book:
“Beware Beware Beware of magical salamanders!” –Anne Nesbet.

A lovely and enchanting story! Would easily recommend to ages 9 and up.

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Reading Progress

06/01/2012 page 97
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