Title: The Hound of Rowan
Author: Henry H. Neff
I have had this book on my shelf for quite some time now, but I wouldn't necessarily say it was worth the wait. The Hound of Rowan was, if I may say so, a bit of a knock-off of Harry Potter. A young boy with undiscovered magical talent is whisked away to an ancient private school to learn to hone his powers. He has abilities beyond those of his classmates and must use them to fight a powerful force of evil. Sound familiar? I thought so.
Despite its similarities to Rowling's beloved series, the book kept my attention. There were some interesting variations in the story, like mysterious connection each student has to a piece of art. This allowed Neff to include rich detail from Irish history, leaving a fair bit of mystery for the book's sequels. Whether the sequels will ever hit the shelves is a mystery to me.
For those looking for something to fill the Potter void, I would recommend this book. The feel of the Rowan Academy is so very like Hogwarts, I sometimes found myself thinking I was reading a Harry Potter book. For those looking for something new and fresh, however, I'd skip it.
Price: $6.99, paperback