Anatopsis is a young readers fantasy novel unlike any you have ever read. It is engaging, intelligent, dazzling and unpredictable. A long reign of magic wielding immortals has left the world tired, fraying at the edges and a very unpleasant place to be a mortal. Solomon Castle and its surroundings is a colorful and exquisitely imagined, even if foreboding, place. The story’s protagonist, Anatopsis, is just your typical immortal teenage girl. In her daily routine she must face a threatening teacher who harbors a dark secret, a caustic and belittling mother, a kind but often absent father, and a host of others. Barnaby, an immortal teenage boy, and his talking dog Uno arrive at the castle to study for the Bacchanalian exams and as soon as they do unexplained events, accompanied by hidden secrets, begin to emerge from behind every dark corner.
Anatopsis abounds with metaphors and, although the kingdom is like none other you have ever visited, you will recognize the questions–so important to teenagers–about life, growing up and friendship. In the end the book leaves us with the wisdom that being a “mere mortal” is not such a bad thing. In a story that reaches from the after dinner “breaking of the wishbone” ritual all the way to the fallen gods of Mt. Olympus, Chris Abouzeid has created a novel which deserves a place atop the pantheon of young readers fiction. Now that the Harry Potter series has been completed, take fantasy to an even higher level with Anatopsis.
book review by Jason Sullivan