This “clever opener likely to leave readers breathless both with laughter and anticipation” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) is the first in the New York Times bestselling series from the author of the Half Upon a Time trilogy.
Life is boring when you live in the real world, instead of starring in your own book series. Owen knows that better than anyone, what with the real world’s homework and chores.
But everything changes the day Owen sees the impossible happen—his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. It turns out Bethany’s half-fictional and has been searching every book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character.
Bethany can’t let anyone else learn her secret, so Owen makes her a deal: All she has to do is take him into a book in Owen’s favorite Kiel Gnomenfoot series, and he’ll never say a word. Besides, visiting the book might help Bethany find her father…
…Or it might just destroy the Kiel Gnomenfoot series, reveal Bethany’s secret to the entire world, and force Owen to live out Kiel Gnomenfoot’s final (very final) adventure.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There's an awful lot going on in this book, and it's all good. (It might also send you to other James Riley books.)
The setup is straightforward. Bethany can climb right into any book and be in its story. She's looking for her Dad, who disappeared into a book when she was a kid and who never returned. Bethany is careful to never change a story or even be noticed as she looks around for her Dad. Owen sees Bethany enter a book and basically blackmails her into taking him into his favorite fantasy adventure series, which stars Kiel Gnomenfoot, Owen's all-time best fictional hero. MILD SPOILER. As you might suspect, Owen gets right in the middle of the story, interferes with everything, breaks down the wall between the book world and the real world, and all heck breaks loose. END SPOILER.
At first I was concerned that this might develop into a time-travel, parallel universe, multiple worlds storyline that would become hard for a younger reader to follow. Not a...
Real life is boring. That’s what Owen has decided, and he much prefers to live in the world of his favorite books, at least in his day dreams. And then he meets Bethany when he finds her crawling out of a book. Wait, what? Turns out she is half fictional and can jump into books. She’s spent years looking for her father, who disappeared into a book, and works very hard to stay out of the stories so no one learns about her abilities.
But Owen has a plan. He wants to trick Bethany into jumping them into the climax of the sixth Kiel Gnomenfoot book, just in time to alter the cliffhanger, meet Kiel himself, and become a hero to the series legion of fans the world over. What could possibly go wrong? Turns out plenty, and as things spiral out of control, will Owen and Bethany be able to return things to normal?
For a lifelong reader, this book was a delight since many books I read and enjoyed as a kid were mentioned during the set up part of the...
STORY THIEVES by James Riley is an action-packed fantasy that blurs the line between real life and fictional worlds. What if you could literally dive into a good book? Bethany can. As the child of a real mother and fictional father, she’s able to disappear into any paper book. Bethany has spent years carefully exploring library books for her lost father. When Owen discovers her secret, they begin an adventure that breaks the “fourth wall” mixing the real world with fantasy universes. This clever new fantasy series will be a hit with a wide range of book lovers including those who enjoy fairy tales, magic stories, and science fiction. With many references to popular works of fiction, youth will be drawn into the premise and easily imagine themselves in the shoes of the main characters. Known for his fractured fairy tales, James Riley provides just the right balance of action and suspense to keep readers engaged in the story. He skillfully weaves...
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