Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet

The Cabinet of Earths 
by Anne Nesbet
260 pages
Tween Fantasy

Book Jacket Summary
On their first day in Paris, Maya and her little brother, James, find themselves caught up in some very old magic. Houses with bronze salamanders for door handles, statues that look too much like Mayas own worried face, a man wearing sunglasses to hide his radiant purple eyes . . . nothing is what it seems. And what does all that magic want from Maya?
With the help of a friendly boy named Valko, Maya discovers surprises hidden in her family trees brother. And now the shimmering glass Cabinet of Earths, at the heart of all these secrets, has chosen Maya to be its new Keeper. 
As she untangles the ties between the Salamander House, the purple-eyed man, and the Cabinet of Earths, Maya realizes that her own brother may be in terrible danger. To save him, Maya must take on the magical underworld of Paris . . . before it is too late.

My Thoughts
Maya's move to Paris is hard on her but not as hard as possibly losing her mother to another bout of cancer. Starting over in a new school is hard on Maya because she is shy and not at all like her charming younger brother, James. He can cause heads to turn in stores and charm anyone he meets. Maya finds that not all is as it seems as she gets involved with the Society of Philosophical Chemistry and their enigmatic director, Henri de Fourcroy. Maya must prove to be brave as she takes on magic and immortals who do not want to lose their immortality. Maya and her friend Valko are trying to find out what exactly is going on with her Aunt Louise and why no one seems to see her or quickly forgets she exists. How do all these things intersect? Well, Nesbet does a great job of incorporating real places and people to make a fantasy that mixes with science. The Cabinet of Earths holds secrets that Maya must discover but at what price? 
 I love the cover of this book and I must say that it drew me in when I saw it at the library. It is great that the artist captured the door of the Society so accurately. I hate it when it seems that the cover does not represent the book but tween books seem to be great at cover art. I wish we could go back to more illustrations rather than a girl in a fancy dress.
I would recommend this one to those who love fantasy adventure because Nesbet keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to see what Maya will do next. Maya is a strong character that does waver when it comes to doing the right thing but ultimately finds the inner strength the do what is right. I love those kind of characters and think that there should be more of them.

Book Pairings
Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
The Rise of the Darklings: Invisible Order #1 by Paul Crilley 
Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver


  1. This is a very well written, well paced, intelligent novel that will provide thrills and more than a few chills to readers young and old. I loved that this is a stand alone book. In an time where everything seems to be a series, it's nice to see that a story can still be well told in just one volume.

  2. This book is wondrously imaginative and wise, with a compelling young protagonist who finds, in her self-described stubbornness, the strength to handle some wild, magical stuff. Fast-moving, tense and at times downright scary, while having throughout a rare attention and care for the feelings, frustrations and world of this young girl. A great read!


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