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Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle

Review

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle

Written by George Hagen, illustrated by Scott Bakal

George Hagen's first children's fantasy novel, GABRIEL FINLEY AND THE RAVEN'S RIDDLE, is a tongue-twisting, brain-stretching fantasy, packed with riddles, adventures and speaking ravens. Gabriel Finley is a kind boy who believes that everyone deserves to be a hero, and that with a little prompting, they can be. In his novel, Hagen delivers a fantastical quest, likeable and flawed characters and important messages on the themes of friendship and family. 

GABRIEL FINLEY AND THE RAVEN'S RIDDLE takes off around Gabriel's 12th birthday, when the questions surrounding his father's mysterious disappearance begin to be answered, thanks to a couple new friends and a dancing writing desk. Gabriel's friends include Abby, a spunky girl-next-door, and Paladin, a young raven with whom Gabriel has a special connection. Gabriel and Paladin share a love of riddles and are able to paravolate, a magical occurrence where the boy and the raven become one and go flying over the New York City skyline. 

A tongue-twisting, brain-stretching fantasy, packed with riddles, adventures and speaking ravens.

Together with his raven and his friends, Gabriel sets off on a quest that takes him far beneath the streets of New York to find his father. Over the course of their adventure, Gabriel and his young friends struggle with jealousy, self-doubt and loyalty; defeating evil valravens and solving riddles as they go. The story's climax takes place in Aviopolis, a city full of birds, ruled by the merciless Corax, with whom Gabriel discovers an unexpected bond. 

GABRIEL FINLEY AND THE RAVEN'S RIDDLE is clunky in places, but will appeal to young readers with a love of fantasy and puzzles, all of whom will surely delight in the riddles Hagen has filled his book with.

Reviewed by Lily Philpott on August 27, 2014

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle
Written by George Hagen, illustrated by Scott Bakal

  • Publication Date: September 6, 2016
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling
  • ISBN-10: 0399552227
  • ISBN-13: 9780399552229