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The Lens and the Looker: Book #1 of the…

The Lens and the Looker: Book #1 of the Verona Series (History Camp: the… (edition 2011)

by Lory S. Kaufman

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Title:The Lens and the Looker: Book #1 of the Verona Series (History Camp: the Verona Trilogy)
Authors:Lory S. Kaufman
Info:Fiction Std (2011), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:eBooks, To read

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The Lens and the Looker by Lory S. Kaufman



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The Lens & the Looker starts out in the 24th century and quickly moves to the History Camp mimicking 14th century Verona. They manage to sneak a genie along with them, with the intent of teaching the Elders a lesson, which quickly turns into a huge blessing once they actually end up in 1347 Verona. These teens, along with their mischievous genie Pan, are in for quite the dangerous ride once things get going.

To read the rest of my review, please visit my blog. ( )
  dorolerium | Jun 16, 2014 |
The Lens and the Looker is totally a pleasant surprise!…Not at all as I expected! This is a well-written fantasy for YA. It is written in three different book segments within this one book – “Hard-Time History Camp”; “Hard-Time Reality”; “Stranded”. It is a dystopian and historical tale in one. It begins in the 30th century then includes time travel. I really thought it was going to be another Dystopian/Sci-Fi.

17 year old Hansum, Shamira, – approximately 15 year old-, and 13 year old Lincoln were very difficult children who were always pulling very disruptive pranks so were sent to “Hard-Time History Camp” to be taught a lesson. Notwithstanding,, that lesson was not well-learned which presented a new problem that was soon to go awry. The tree youth go through many experiences they never comprehended possible. However, they were not left to their own concoctions but inconspicuously acquired “Pan”.

The action and adventures are continuous. There is a few words of slight profanity and crudeness but mostly is “cleanly” written. There is even a touch of romance. It is recommended for middle school age children and all YA.

I am eager to read the next sequel ‘The Loved & the Lost. ( )
  LAWonder10 | Jun 13, 2014 |
Original review here: http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/2013/02/indie-book-review-lens-and-looker.ht...

The Lens and the Looker takes place in the 24th century. We start things off with a guy named Hansum. He likes to start trouble and give his professors a run for their money. His professors think he needs to learn a lesson. The kids of this generation have it way too easy. No real responsibilities and no real work. So they send him to History Camp. History Camp is where they send kids to learn how things were back in the past. While at the camp Hansum, he meets two other kids named Lincoln and Shamira. The camp is just full of actors who want to teach the kids something. But the kids have a few things up their sleeve so they could be sent home early. Hansum's mom works for the History Camp, so he knows how to play the game. They sneak in technology into the camp (which isn't allowed) and trick the actors. So while the actors are trying to figure out what to do with the troublesome kids, they meet someone that wants to take them on a real adventure. They may have been sent into the past for real and they have to figure out how they will cope while waiting to be sent back to the future.

This book really took me by surprise. The concept was great. I love the mixture of dystopian meets history. It was brilliant. Hansum and his new found friends are all given jobs in the history camp. Hansum and Lincoln are being taught how to make glasses or “discs for the eyes”. But after their prank, they are taken back into 14th century Italy. They notice things will not be as easy as they thought. I love all things they had to face while stuck in the past. There skills with creating lens makes a huge impact in the past. While there, Pan (the technology genie) tells them to create the telescope. The telescope isn't to be created until hundreds of years from now. So this would force the History Camp makers to bring them back to the 24th century. It is quite a mystery wondering if the History Camp makers will show up or whether they will stop them. Their inventions could change the fabric of history completely.

We also have the story of the kids and the family they are living with. They are brought in as orphans to serve a family that is a bit down on their luck. All three of the kids have their own special talents. Their talents earn them much love amongst the family, but jealousy and greed amongst others. The kids have to team together to not only save the family, but each other.

I had a lot of fun with these characters. Hansum, Lincoln, and Shamira were a blast together. I liked them more and more as the book went on. Hansum was suppose to be the rebellious teenager. I wasn't 100% on board with that. I just didn't get why he was that way. It is never really explained. Same thing goes for the other kids. But I love how close they became. We also have Ugilino, he is in love with the Master's daughter, Guilietta, and he hates that she has taken notice of Hansum and not him. I felt really sorry for him in this book. He was treated so badly because of his looks and I think that is why he acted the way he acted. I hope to see more of him in the other books and that he can be redeemed. I wish I can tell you guys the whole story, but this is a book that can be easily spoiled.

Overall, I say check this book out. It does start off quite slow and it can be a bit verbose in parts. But it really picks up by Book 3 (the book is split up into books or sections). Section 3 is definitely the best part. This book is full of mischief, laughs, and adventure. It also has its fair share of gross out moments which were sometimes quite funny. I love this idea of mixing science fiction and history. I know sometimes time travel reads can get a little crazy and confusing, but this did a good job. Kaufman has a great writing style and I am looking forward to reading his other works. This book is imaginative and fun. Definitely worth reading. ( )
  harleyquinn0887 | Apr 5, 2013 |
I'm a sucker for a good time travel story, especially when it deals with Italy or Italy like settings. 'The Lens and the Looker' is a solid read that is definitely something to consider if you are in the mood for a time traveling adventure aimed at Juvi/YA audiences.

The good bits? The characters, for one thing. Both main and secondary, the characters in 'The Lens and the Looker' are likable, entertaining, and have purpose. Author Lory S. Kaufman created noticeable character growth between the first and last page-- something that isn't always found in many juvi/ya books!

As mentioned before, the setting does not disappoint. Kaufman's descriptions of Verona and Italy in general are done well. Having been to Italy, I know a bit about the rich, vastness that is the beautiful country and Kaufman's descriptions rang true to me!

I don't know if I would consider this 'dystopian', but it is clearly sci-fi due to the time travel element and Genie. The main concept is dystopian and the idea of History Camps is quite interesting but once they skip to the time traveling, it goes straight to sci-fi.

My main issue with 'The Lens and the Looker' is the writing style. My own personal reading preferences lead towards books that don't carry a lot of long descriptive paragraphs with dialogue between each one. I like quick dialogue and quick descriptive lines that keep the action moving and give just the right amount of description. 'The Lens and the Looker' has good dialogue, but the long descriptions made me jump a bit, sometimes missing important details. Course, some people love long descriptions (like Tolkien readers!), but me, not so much.

All things considered, 'The Lens and the Looker' is a good read. If you are in the mood for time travel and don't mind slightly too long descriptive passages, this is something you may want to consider! 'The Lens and the Looker' gets 3 out of 5 stars! ( )
  Kewpie83 | Apr 3, 2013 |
Originally posted on my blog: http://book-spark.blogspot.com/2012/01/dnf-review-lens-and-looker.html

Review: The Lens and the Looker is original, no doubt, but it's way too detailed. When the boys are taken in to be apprenticed by the lens maker, you have to read all about the process of the making an eyepiece. You have to read all this unnecessary details about Shamira's first experience in a market. And when the guy from the future shows up to take the kids back to 13th century Verona, he talks in rhyme. Now if there's one thing I will never read by choice, it's poetry. Whether it be rhymed, unrhymed, or iambic pentameter, I can't stand poems. And the man's constant spouting of short rhymes was the last straw for me. Couldn't get any further.

Additionally, the author wrote in a strange narration style. It seemed to want to mimic classics, but instead ended up being just plain stuffy and insipid. I tried numerous times to pick it up and always ended up putting it back down after a few pages. The characters are actually pretty interesting though not necesarily lovable. There was nothing to make a connection with any of them. The storyline, as much as I read of it, was quite original. That was probably the only strong point I can mention.

Bottom Line: Don't let the cover fool you! It's nowhere near as good as it seems on the outside.
Recommended? NO! ( )
  anaavu | Jul 10, 2012 |
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Book description

Young Adult, Post-Dystopian Fiction

It's the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s), have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth's distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan.

In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don't have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities.

These three "hard cases" refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It's hardly the ideal environment to fall in love - but that's exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them - or it could change history.

Series Overview:

The Lens and the Looker is the first book of The Verona Trilogy. It's followed by The Bronze and the Brimstone and The Loved and the Lost.

The series takes readers along on the life-changing journey of three 24th century teens. While the three protagonists appear quite immature in the first half of The Lens and the Looker, this is not a series aimed exclusively at young teens. Lory Kaufman says he writes for readers 13 to 113, (and precocious 12-year-olds) This is borne out by the fact that about half the readership of the series is adult.

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