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The Ring of Five by Eoin McNamee
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The Ring of Five (2010)

by Eoin McNamee

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Danny Caulfield bears a striking resemblance to a Cherb, which at Wilsons, a school that trains cadets to be spys, is something to be hated and killed. After he convinces everyone that he isn't a Cherb, and figures out how he ended up at Wilsons instead of the school he thought he was going to, the adventure really begins. It's a bit hard to follow, because there are all sorts of twists and turns and you're not sure who is really on Danny's side or not, but that's intentional. Danny is supposedly, the fifth, which is the person who can complete the ring of five and make the evil group of spies able to take over two worlds. Although the story had elements that made it interesting, there were too many parts where the story dragged a bit to make me love it. The book is definitely set up to have a sequel IF it is well received. It seems like it was trying to be a Harry Potter knock off, since Danny has two friends, a boy and a girl, from the school he attends. ( )
  JRlibrary | Aug 7, 2011 |
Danny Caulfield’s heterochromatic eyes and pointy facial features are often the targets of his classmates’ jokes, but when his chronically absent parents decide to transfer him to a boarding school, Danny discovers that his appearance might be the key to saving the world. Whisked away in the middle of the night, Danny arrives at Wilsons, a school for spies located between the underworld and our world, where he must learn how to infiltrate an evil army threatening to break through to our realm. While McNamee provides a unique intermingling of fantasy and espionage fiction, the plot does not offer anything unexpected. Many of the events mirror themes present in the Harry Potter series, but the novel lacks the magic that exudes from Rowling’s books, and a paucity of detail regarding the Lower World’s history and characters diminishes reader investment. Despite these deficiencies, the author’s suspenseful tone will tempt readers to pick up the sequel. Questions pertaining to identity and social situations will appeal to a middle-grade audience. Grades 5 through 7. ( )
  rebkamp | Mar 5, 2011 |
Danny Caulfield is a loner. No one seems to stay around too long with him, not even his parents. The kids at school all tease him for his physical abnormalities: Two different colored eyes, one Blue and the other brown, and a triangular shaped face. But things may be changing for Danny when his parents decide to send him to a boarding school called Heston Oaks. The story begins with Danny in his room awaiting a cab to take him to Heston Oaks. His parents are not around to watch him off. From the moment the cab arrives, Danny can tell that things are not right.

His cab driver is a menacing looking man who speeds off the moment Danny gets in the backseat.During the rushed ride in the middle of of the rain, Danny begins to wonder what is happening as he realizes that his surroundings do not look familiar. But the cab then stops in front of a magnificent looking building with many towers, windows, and floors. When Danny walks inside,little does he know that he is about to begin a crazy adventure.

He was not brought to Heston Oaks but to Wilsons, a school that trains its students in the arts of Spying. It is at Wilsons where Danny's life is changed Forever. He befriends Les, a boy that has wings, Dixie who can disappear in quick flashes, and Vandra a physick. There are many other students at Wilson that each possess different abilities as well. They attend classes to improve strategies, disguises, and logic.

Danny seems to fit in well at Wilsons, for he seems to naturally possess all of the qualities of a perfect Spy, even the most dangerous one of all, the ability to betray. But there is more to Wilsons then meets the eye. Someone is trying to murder Danny and a mission is planned out in which he will face many horrible truths and lies.

I loved Danny's character. His imperfections and bravery truly touched my heart. Wilsons is a very intriguing place for a school. In fact, it somewhat reminded me of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series. There are many rooms and secrets within the school. Eoin McNamee's writing is SUPERB! There are so many twists and turns within this book that you have no choice but to keep reading in order to find out what happens next as well as finding out what is truth from lie.

There are SO MANY characters and inventive words within this story. Its a whole world on its own! For those who love Harry Potter or The Series of Unfortunate Events book, you will LOVE this story! I can't wait for the next book in the series!!! ( )
  Euphoria13 | Jul 17, 2010 |
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Kidnapped on his way to boarding school, Danny Caulfield, who has one blue eye and one brown eye, ends up at a mysterious academy of spies, where he is to be trained in the art of espionage in an effort to keep the Upper and Lower worlds from colliding.… (more)

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