Reviews of Fathom Five

February 16, 2009

Stella Matutina: 3.5 Stars

On the surface, it’s a quick, fun story, but readers who want a little more will appreciate the deeper themes of loneliness and romantic confusion. I’d certainly recommend it to kids, and I think it’s got more crossover appeal for adults as well. Like THE UNWRITTEN GIRL, it’s marketed as YA, but I’d say it straddles the line between YA and middle grade in terms of tone and feel. I’m excited to share it with my little cousins.

Read the full review here.


October 16, 2008

What If Magazine: Unusual, Unique, Intriguing and Magnificent

Fathom Five is a deep and intriguing book that captures your attention from the first sentence. It is full of suspense, thrills, and hidden truths. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys suspense and mystery books. Fathom Five teachers the reader a lesson about what is important in life, and how vital it is to cherish and love those around you… …Written by James Bow, an extraordinary author, Fathom Five is a memorable book that I truly enjoyed.

Reviewed by Samantha Boynton, 13, in What If Magazine’s Fall 2008 issue.


August 12, 2008

Edge of the Forest - The Best in New Fantasy

Fathom Five works well as a stand-alone, although it’s technically a sequel to Bow’s first novel, The Unwritten Girl. There were references to the earlier book, but not so much that it was necessary to have read it in order to get the story in this one. The story itself is an interesting one, drawing on everyone’s fears and uncertainties of being alone and exploring the lengths a person will go to in order to feel accepted. It also draws upon the strength of friendship and love and the power they have. It’s always nice to see the girl doing the rescuing; Rosemary has a lot of strength and drive, and isn’t willing to wait or take no for an answer, all of which get her both into and out of somewhat dangerous situations.

Read more here


January 10, 2008

A Gaggle of Book Reviews: Highly Recommended

I highly recommend James Bow’s The Unwritten Books. Both The Unwritten Girl and Fathom Five are wonderful Young Adult fantasy novels, and would be attractive to both boys and girls. The fantasy inside James Bow’s novels aren’t the type of fantasy that has received a lot of movie attention of late, so teens and tweens who say “I don’t like fantasy” should like these! If you’re an adult, don’t pass these up because they’re labeled Young Adult. You can always buy and read them, then donate them to the Young Adult section of the library!

Read the full review here…


December 23, 2007

Reading YA Readers' Rants: "action, non-sappy romance, and theme of knowing where one belongs"

Even though Fathom Five is the first of The Unwritten Books that I’ve read, I really enjoyed it. Peter and Rosemary’s relationship rings true, and thus engaged, the reader wants to know everything about them, and roots fiercely for humanity to prevail.

Read the full review


November 22, 2007

Wands and Words

Fathom Five is an exciting book and a quick read. The teen relationship issues feel real, and the story is well-paced. This isn’t just a relationship book, however. There’s plenty of action, and a theme of belonging and finding your place in the world. I highly recommend this book for teens who like fast-paced fantasy with realistic teen characters dealing with coming of age issues.

Read the full review.


November 14, 2007

Canadian Children's Book News: We Recommend

“…Both The Unwritten Girl and Fathom Five are interesting novels of fantasy. It is obvious that Bow’s writing has matured as he continues to create fantastic stories for children. The beauty of the Unwritten Books series is that they do not have to be read in order. Both books stand alone as separate adventures, partly to accommodate the fact that the characters are pre-teens in The Unwritten Girl, making it suitable for ages nine to twelve, but full teenagers in Fathom Five, more suitable for older readers. In addition, the books’ focus on both a male and female character so both boys and girls will be able to relate to, and find equal pleasure in, reading this series.”

Excerpt from Fall 2007 issue of Canadian Children’s Book News.


October 7, 2007

Mad Jenny Flint

I really enjoyed this book. There is an incredible amount of plot packed into the rather small volume, but it does not feel rushed. Bow manages to give us character development, and some lovely scenery and moments in amongst the fast-paced action.

Highly recommended, both as a book in the series and a stand alone. This author has really developed in the space of the two published books, and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next.

Read the whole review.


August 25, 2007

Teens Read Too: 5 Stars

James Bow is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors. While part of me misses the time with Rosemary and Peter between the two books, it’s really just because I like the characters so very much! The jump in time is done so well that you, as the reader, don’t really question it. And the characters themselves are precisely where I would have imagined them a few years later.

Read the full review.


June 27, 2007

Parabolic Reflections

In the YA urban fantasy novel Fathom Five, as in its prequel The Unwritten Girl (2006), author James Bow manages to pull off a feat approaching dimensional transcendence — packing a generous helping of plot into a mere 200 pages. But at the same time, he never drops the ball on characterization or prose, either. His style is lucid, with some lovely turns of phrase and glints of wry humor; and the characters he introduces to us are sympathetic, interesting and well drawn.

Read the full review.


May 28, 2007

Bartspace (UK)

the book is… a cracking read, and hurtles along at a fabulous pace.

For me the highlights are the scenes either side of the main story, were we get to see Peter and Rosemary in more relaxed frame of mind, if we don’t get to like the characters here, then the rest of the story would never work, thankfully James has more than made sure you care about his characters here, and his writing has some lovely light touches as the two’s friendship, blossoms into something stronger.

Read the full review here.