I really enjoyed Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone from the moment I started it. Our hero is a new pupil at the Navale Academy and although he lives in a world of magic stones, he has decided to specialise in the study of electricity, which I have to say, I thought was a nice touch: his world is like a reverse mirror image of ours and there is some magic in electricity, isn’t there? Or certainly there is for Jimmy.
Jimmy soon discovers that things are not right at the Academy with the spotting of shadowy figures, and the book involves him going on a quest to seek answers, especially when people start to be attacked. I am not going to reveal too much here about what happens but Jimmy gets help along the way, gaining crucial friends from different quarters to help him.
Jimmy is an engaging hero who is easy to like. He has courage and brains and whilst he may have been thrown into circumstances into which he never expected to find himself, he does it with a can-do spirit. J.T. Michaels has Jimmy on a fast-paced adventure, discovering a lot about his world from which he had previously been sheltered or of which he had a basic knowledge and there are scuffles and skirmishes galore in various settings in his fictional world.
All of these incidences are well written. J.T. Michaels has a particular talent for writing dialogue and I think that some of the best fantasy novels I have read have this in common: the characters seem relatable because of the way that they interact with each other, and teasing and humour accentuates this and builds a relationship for you as the reader with those characters which makes you will them on, to find the truth, to beat the baddy, to overcome. It also helps that they are involved in scrapes that bond them to each other. Nothing like shared strife to help you see who has got your back.
Could parallels be drawn with Harry Potter? Possibly, as there are definite similarities. However, Michaels’ style and the situations that Jimmy finds himself in are their own.
In Jimmy Chartron, I think as an introduction to fantasy, this will appeal to its target audience and as a fantasy reader of some experience, I am curious to see where Jimmy’s adventures take him next.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.