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Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton
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Endymion Spring (original 2006; edition 2008)

by Matthew Skelton

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8692610,234 (3.52)32
Member:mamaove
Title:Endymion Spring
Authors:Matthew Skelton
Info:Delacorte Books for Young Readers (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 392 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton (2006)

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» See also 32 mentions

English (24)  Dutch (2)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Magnificent! I loved it. The story drew me in. The book picked the boy to bring it to life and to bring it to its end. There was action and adventure along with some history of Johann Gutenberg and his printing press. There is the madness of adults who want the book for the knowledge and power it gives. This is one of those rare books that stays with you. It opens your imagination to what you would do if you got this book. I loved Blake as he tries to discover the secret of the book and figure out the clues that appear to him in the book. I also enjoyed the story of the blank book. I enjoyed going back to Endymion Spring in the mid-1400's to learn how the book came to be but I especially enjoyed Blake taking the book and the clues and trying to figure out what he was to do. One of my top 10 reads! ( )
  Sheila1957 | Mar 2, 2014 |
Whew! That took quite a while! I'm just listening to the "exclusive interview" with Matthew Skelton... Okay, all done.

Well, this book was really interesting, but somehow it wasn't so gripping as to motivate me to clean my house, like really good audiobooks do... ;) (Any excuse to keep reading, you see...)

The book weaves two stories together: one set at present-day Oxford University and the other in 15th century Germany.

The Oxford part of the story is about Blake, a young boy who finds a blank book in the library... or more accurately, the book finds him. And really, the book isn't TOTALLY blank, but will only release its contents (which are quite cryptic in nature) to someone of pure heart, whom it deems "worthy".

The Germany portion of the story is about a young printer's devil named Endymion Spring, who is working for the great Johann Gutenberg on printing the Bible. Endymion has to hide the book in order to keep it out of the hands of Johann Fust (Faust)... so he treks to the libraries of Oxford, which are supposed to rival the Great Library at Alexandria, to find a hiding place.

These stories are also interwoven with Blake's relationship with his younger sister, Duck, and their shared concern about their parents' seemingly crumbling relationship. Their mother is there at Oxford researching Faust, and their father, who is back in America... we don't really get to know a lot about him other than he has some interesting ideas concerning some of the topics that arise in the book.

Overall, the book sort of reminded me of Cornelia Funke's [b:Inkheart|28194|Inkheart (Inkheart, #1)|Cornelia Funke|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266454362s/28194.jpg|2628323] series, except that Inkheart compelled me a lot more than Endymion Spring. I don't know... ES was interesting... but the writing seemed a bit stilted to me—it just didn't flow sometimes... and I wanted some additional details at times... I sorta felt like I was being left hanging. All of a sudden, I'd be like, "Wait... what?? How did THAT happen?" Maybe I wasn't paying as much attention to the audiobook as I should have been... I dunno. I just thought it could have been better—more cohesive. ( )
  saraferrell | Apr 3, 2013 |
I picked this book up, because, as a librarian, it is rather a prerequisite to enjoy metafiction, books about books. This has at times betrayed me (ex. The Grand Complication incident), but often works out in my favor, as with Endymion Spring. The weaving of the sections set in the past (1453 with Endymion Spring) and the present (Blake) is done expertly. The book conveys a true love of libraries and of books themselves. It does a marvelous job also of blending fantasy and historical fiction, weaving magic into a tale with a basis in truth. The characters are a bit one dimensional, but still likable (particularly Duck with her yellow raincoat and curiosity). I recommend this book to lovers of metafiction (people who liked Inkheart, I'm talking, or typing, to you). ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
Made from the skin of an ancient dragon and hidden deep in the labyrinth of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Endymion Spring—the mythical book of all knowledge—has finally chosen its keeper: an unsuspecting young American boy named Blake Winters. Protagonist Blake and his little sister Duck spend their days in the cavernous British library while their mother works on her latest paper. One fateful day, Blake is literally bitten by the enigmatic book, immersing him into the adventure of a lifetime. Skelton artfully creates an entertaining story chocked full of suspense, intrigue, historical fiction, and fantasy. Segmented into 26 moderate-length chapters, readers travel back and forth through time and place as the plights of Blake and Duck mirror those of Johannes Gutenberg’s young apprentice, Endymion, who’s body and soul were literally merged with the book over 500 years before. Descriptive language and eloquent literary conventions convey vivid impressions of sites, sounds, and smells throughout the well-developed plot. Though middle-level readers may struggle with the relatively advanced vocabulary, a preponderance of context clues coupled with clearly articulated dialog and a variety of organizational cues (table of contents, chapter titles with location information, brief summary when shifting among time eras) enhance comprehension. With its superb marriage of mystical power, fantastic responsibility, and the tribulations of a typical adolescent boy, this dramatic novel transcends age groups and may appeal to even the most reluctant readers. ( )
  paulavev | Oct 22, 2012 |
Unfortunately, the description of this book seemed to be more intriguing than the story itself. I'd seen a good review of this book a few years ago & was anxious to obtain a copy, which I did, & then it sat on my bookshelf for a while. Finally delved into it & when all was said & done, I was disappointed. It sounded promising, involving a mysterious trunk, opened only when "the fangs of its serpent-head clasp taste blood." Inside the trunk is a magical type paper, made of dragon skin. The book alternates between time periods, and centuries later, a young boy in Oxford discovers a book that when touched, pierces his finger. Thus begins a quest to discover the book's secret. I suppose I need to keep in mind that this was written for a young audience. However, the ending felt unsatisfactory to me, and I would expect it might be the same for a young reader. As a sidenote, I listened to this on audio, which included an author "interview" at the end, which I found incredibly annoying & could've done without. ( )
  indygo88 | Mar 17, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
With all this in its favour, then, why didn't Endymion Spring fire me with the same enthusiasm that apparently triggered "one of the fiercest bidding wars in children's publishing"? I suppose the answer lies in how the story's told. This is a book that promises much. There are some undeniably intriguing ideas, but it is the back story that is far more gripping and tightly written.
 

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Skelton, Matthewmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
"You've stumbled on to something much larger than you can possibly imagine."

In the dead of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snow-covered streets. The chest, covered in images of mythical beasts, can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent's-head clasp taste blood.

Centuries later, in an Oxford library, a boy touches a strange book and feels something pierce his finger. The volume is blank, wordless, but its paper has fine veins running through it and seems to quiver, as if it's alive. Words begin to appear on the page--words no one but the boy can see.

And so unfolds a timeless secret . . . .
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385733801, Hardcover)

"You've stumbled on to something much larger than you can possibly imagine."

In the dead of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snow-covered streets. The chest, covered in images of mythical beasts, can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent's-head clasp taste blood.

Centuries later, in an Oxford library, a boy touches a strange book and feels something pierce his finger. The volume is blank, wordless, but its paper has fine veins running through it and seems to quiver, as if it's alive. Words begin to appear on the page--words no one but the boy can see.

And so unfolds a timeless secret . . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:02 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Having reluctantly accompanied his academic mother and pesky younger sister to Oxford, twelve-year-old Blake Winters is at loose ends until he stumbles across an ancient and magical book, secretely brought to England in 1453 by Gutenberg's mute apprentice to save it from evil forces, and which now draws Blake into a dangerous and life-threatening quest.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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