Book Review: Conjuror (Orion Chronicles) by John & Carole E. Barrowman

Conjuror is is the first book in the Orion Chronicles by John and  Carole E. Barrowman.  I did not know that this book, and subsequent series,  is a spin off of a previous trilogy starring Em and Matt Calder called Hollow Earth. While I still understood the story and could enjoy the read regardless, I think that those that have already read the earlier series will get much more out of these read than those of us that are coming in cold. 

Sixteen-year-old twins Matt and Em Calder are Animare: they can bring art to life, and travel in time through paintings. They work for Orion - the Animare MI5 - protecting the secrecy of their order and investigating crimes committed by their own kind. It's dangerous work. But when they are sent to Edinburgh to find a teenage boy who can alter reality with his music, they are drawn into something more dangerous still. For this boy, Remy, is the Conjurer's Son. And he carries something that could change humanity for ever.

Conjuror is a book with a wonderful idea, but I had trouble getting lost in the story and connecting to the characters, particularly in the beginning. There were many references to things that must have happened in the Hollow Earth series with Em and Matt which left me floundering a little. I did enjoy Remy's character, and the way they all came together. I also liked that once I figured out who everyone was, most characters are multidimensional, even some of the characters that did not really need to be fully fleshed out to play their part. The world building and how the Animare worked were very well done, and once the book hit its stride it was a nice fantasy read. There was a lot going on, which I expect will be expanded on in they rest of the series, but at times it just felt like a little too many characters and story arcs in play all at once.

Conjuror is a book that I had trouble getting into. I will admit to picking it up based solely on the author, because I love him. However, while it was a good book I was not as wowed as I had hoped to be, most likely because of high hopes and not having read the previous series. 
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