Friday, February 27, 2015

Review of The Camelot Kids by Ben Zackheim

The Camelot Kids
by Ben Zackheim
Book 1 in The Camelot Kids Series
514 Pages

From the back of the book:
What would you do if an odd girl in  cloak told you, "You know you're a descendant of King Arthur's knight, Lancelot, right?" You'd probably do the same thing as 14-year-old New Yorker Simon Sharp does. Back away nice and slow. But Simon learns the truth when he's kidnapped by a drunk troll, rescued by a 7-foot mad named Merlin, and thrown into training with 149 other heirs of the Knights of the Round Table. Can Simon survive a prophecy that predicts the world will be saved through its destruction?

The Short:
I don't think I have had such a fun time with a book since I read Percy Jackson. To put this simply: I loved this book. It was very well paced, and the world was magnificent. I am just blown away. Throughout the book there are illustrations of things that are particularly hard to imagine, and they were all beautiful. I do know somethings about Arthurian legends, and this book just made me want to read more about King Arthur. This book was just great.

The Good:

  • Like I said, the illustrations in this book were beautiful, and easy to understand. I am really impressed with the artwork that was put into this book, and it just really enhanced the story. 
  • This was just a good story. There were no real flaws with its plot, and I really appreciated that. It did take a little bit to get into the book, however, but after the story picked up, and Simon moved to Scotland, it got very hard to put down. 
  • I really liked most of the main characters, and the author did a very goos job of creating them. The thing that really got me about this story was how in depth you got to understand the main characters.
  • I loved the world. I really liked how everything was described, and that there was a lot of incorporation of the Arthurian legends. I did learn some about King Arthur's reign, and that was cool. Another great thing along these lines was that they made some histories up. It was not all classic King Arthur, but there was some details about the world and the History of Camelot that was long after Arthur's reign, and I really appreciated that.
  • Just the magic in this story was so cool! It was just everything that you could want in a magic system, and a magical world: dragons, spells, knights, elves, trolls, and wizards. I just thought it was great.
  • If there is only one thing that I can appreciate about the physical book, it would be the overall quality of it. I'm not just talking about the words right now (even though those were fantastic). What I mean is the paper and the cover and the binding. It was just very well done especially for a self published book. I can really tell that that author spend a long time creating the cover, and making sure the book works well as a book. I am giving the author so much respect for this aspect of the book.
  • The humor in this was lovely. All the sarcasm was well placed, and very well done. You were never really prepared for what was going to come out of Merlin's or Maille's mouth next, but whatever it was, it was always entertaining. 
The Bad:
  • The amount of times that someone winked at Simon was insane. It was as if every time someone looked at Simon, they winked at him. I didn't really notice it as first, but after a wink every other page, it was hard not to notice it. If I got a dollar for every time someone winked at Simon, I could buy myself the second book. 
  • I really wish we got to see more of the side characters. I hope in the next book there will be more characterization of the rest of the heirs to the Knights of the Round Table. Even Josh and Russ who were not that minor of characters didn't get much of a personality. I am really curious to see if the other heirs will act a lot like their more famous predecessors. 
  • There were a few problems that I had with the pictures. Yes, they were beautiful, but I just wanted a few more of them. They were very well spaced, but it would have really helped the novel to have added even five more pictures. Also, some of the pictures were placed incorrectly. There would be a random picture and then five or so pages later it would have been relevant and would have made sense. 
  • I really wish the author did more with the whole Arthurian legends thing. He did incorporate it a ton, but it could have been more, and I think I would have appreciated the story a whole lot more if I would have been learning about the Knight of the Round Table while reading this epic quest. 
The Rating:

I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one.


  1. I think the illustrations in a book like this are just genius! I'm so glad they worked so well with the book overall.

    And who doesn't love Arthurian legends? :)

    Thanks for being on the tour!

    1. I'm not sure if its possible to not like King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Its just so interesting.