Read Advent by James Treadwell Online


Once there were virtues in the stars and mermaids in the seas; but then a gift was lost, and all of that became no more than the stuff of fantasy. What if it came back? Everyone tells fifteen-year-old Gavin that the things he sees aren't really there. He hardly believes himself any more....

Title : Advent
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781444728460
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 448 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Advent Reviews

  • A.E. Shaw
    2019-06-12 07:02

    Oh, no. I didn't enjoy this for a moment, and yet, if you'd told me there was a book written by someone with an excellent command of language, that mashed up Arthurian legend with Faust, the Greeks and still more myth, I'd probably have bitten your hand off to read it. I've been trying to work out what it is I didn't love, indeed, actively disliked, and the best I can do is an analogy. It's like walking into an old shed, and on first glance, it seems rammed with stuff, full to the brim of fascinating things, and you can't wait to start investigating, pulling one thing after another off worn old shelves to see what lies beneath it, and beneath that, and you're certain you're in for the most wonderful of afternoons, but the first thing you grab is something you already own, only in worse condition, and then the second thing you get is soggy and ruined, and the third thing you find is something you hate, and, bit by bit, you realise that the shed is full of nothing you want at all, and it is extra-disappointing because you'd been so excited at the start. I concede that, even in the beginning, the writing didn't help me - the dialogue felt tired and hollow, and the characters were irritating - and then the jumble of myth kicked in and it became, frankly, all too much for no apparent reason, other than that the author wanted to display all the things they'd known and been interested by, all at once. I just didn't understand why most of the things, and didn't feel any pull to keep turning the pages: I had to make myself finish this, and ended up doing so fairly fast, but because I wanted it to be over, rather than because I was curious about where it was going. So, in conclusion, I don't think I'll put myself through the rest of the series, as it isn't for me. I'm not sorry to have read it, for there were a few good images and turns of phrase, and it's an interesting idea I'd always have been curious about otherwise, but, at the same time, I'll always be disappointed in what it turned out to be, having been so excited.

  • Lou
    2019-05-18 10:56

    This is a deep cerebral story that involves a young boy and magic. No this is has no similarities with Harry Potter, it has a world of its own. He transports you at times to the origins of this magic world and has included ancient mythology. The boy must be taken upon and accustomed to new ways and abilities. I sense the next book in the series to include even more adventure. This is really tailored for an adult audience, the author has created a richly filled world of beyond the realm of what we see. Review also @ blog.

  • Grady McCallie
    2019-05-24 04:50

    The first half of Advent is terrific: a young man, cursed or blessed with a kind of second sight all his life, is sent off to the country to spend a week with his eccentric aunt. When he arrives, she isn't there, and he stumbles from one encounter to the next, each increasingly bizarre. The early chapters pay homage to such past children's fantasy classics as the Box of Delights and the Chronicles of Narnia, while building a much more adult-oriented plot around Arthurian legends and the story of Dr. Faustus. Treadwell makes Gavin Stokes a believable character, and layers the tension incrementally, broken only occasionally by descriptions of the magically beautiful rural landscape where most of the story unfolds. The narrative structure -- story moving forward in the present while moving backwards in the past -- adds to the suspense.Unfortunately, from about halfway through, the story runs downhill. Treadwell steps away from the third-person limited point of view, switching to multiple characters and omniscient views, a choice that shatters the subjective sense of unease and mystery constructed so carefully in the book's first half. The moments of transcendent beauty stop, and the plot steams along through unrelieved and increasingly apocalyptic gloom - except it doesn't actually feel like the end of the world, just a really dreary, cold day. The characters interact mechanically: A, B, and C chance upon each other and fight; A escapes and runs into D; B dies in the snow; D meets C and E, and so on. Coincidences and (bad) luck are freely deployed to get everyone to their scenes on time. By the end of the book, the plots all reach their tragic or other conclusions, but perversely, the magic has drained out of the reading long before then.

  • Catie
    2019-06-04 06:57

    I got to 60%, and I just couldn't drum up the enthusiasm to go any further. I think about half of this book could have been edited out - pages and pages of description that is well-written and sometimes beautiful but is largely irrelevant to the story. I lost patience. If you like stories that really take their time, mythology, and eerie old mansions then this might be for you! I am giving up.

  • Tina Rath
    2019-05-23 11:02

    This was actually published in February this year, but I have only recently seen it reviewed (in the Fortean Times, as it happens) and as soon as I did I downloaded it onto my Kindle and read the lot, staying up until after midnight to finish it. I love this book. I was rather surprised by some of the reviews which suggest it is too long (no! I would have liked more), with too much description and even what one reviewer called purple prose. I like the style. I was hooked immediately by the main character – Gavin (and there is a reason for his name), a schoolboy who hears and sees things that other people don’t. After a lifetime of, Come off it, Gav, and You’re too old for that kind of thing now, from his highly unsympathetic father, and rather helpless mother he comes out to his headmaster who promptly suggests that the school is not the best place for him and he is bundled off to Cornwall to stay with an Aunt. Intercut with his story is that of a sixteenth century magus who is about to leave his native Germany to wait out the tumults of the Reformation in a backwater off the French coast called England, and in anticipation of this has changed his name to John Fiste…but the alert reader will probably guess who he is, just as they will identify ‘Miss Grey’, the woman Gavin sees so often - although no one else does - but hears only in dreams until she appears to him on the train with the terrifying cry of Otototoi! – not a good omen for his journey. Gradually the journeys of the magus and the boy come together, in a series of terrifying events and the book ends with death and what may be the first snows of Fimbulwinter (the three years of winter that come before Ragnarok) sweep across Cornwall.There are two more volumes and if the author can keep up the standards of his first I shall be very happy indeed.

  • Andrew Lennon
    2019-05-30 13:01

    No, I'm sorry.I started off liking this book, but then all of a sudden when it jumped 500 years into the past and started harping on about this strange Wizard trying to save his soul for eternity I lost interest.Should have just stuck with Gavin seeing "things/ghosts" etc, I liked him.Anyway I received this book in a free giveaway so I can't really complain.Maybe one for the more avid fantasy readers, just not for me I'm afraid.All reviews can be found at

  • Eve
    2019-05-24 05:00

    The magic in Advent by James Treadwell is strange, dark, and ancient, but has an air of familiarity. Treadwell weaves Arthurian legends, Greek and Celtic mythologies, and Faustian bargains in inventive ways to make for a rich and complex world. Advent reminded me very much of when I first started reading The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, a similarity capitalized upon by the book's tagline "Magic is rising." The strong Celtic imagery and setting, a prophecy involving a teenage boy, an omnipresent, growing sense of supernatural menace presaging catastrophe. In fact, much of Advent can be classified as young adult, as one of its two main storylines involves Gavin, a teenage boy who has always felt different, mainly because from a very young age he sees a creepy woman he calls Miss Grey, whom no one else can see. Shipped off to Cornwall by his exasperated parents, Gavin arrives at his aunt's cottage in Pendurra, only to find is aunt is missing. Her disappearance and the strange inhabitants of Pendurra are only the beginning, the advent of a prophecy suddenly coming to terrifying fruition involving Miss Grey. Old, dark magic is seeping out into the ordinary world and a centuries old magician will stop at nothing to get it back. The adult part of Advent and its most compelling for me is the alternate narrative of the magician, Johannes Faust. The book begins with one image of Faust - cold, grasping, evil. Treadwell goes backwards, scene by scene, until the magician's full background is revealed, which at its core is a surprisingly bittersweet love story, ruined when he is seduced by power."On a wild night in deep winter in the year 1537, the greatest magus in the world gathered together and dismissed his household servants, wrapped himself in his traveling cloak, took his staff in one hand and in the other a small wooden box sealed with pitch and clasped with silver, and stepped out into the whirling sleet, bound for the harbor and---so he expected---immortality."..."Beneath his cloak, the magus kept a tight grip on the box. Inside it, padded around with wool, was a calfskin pouch pricked out with marks of warding and asylum. Inside the pouch were two things: a small oval mirror in a velvet sheath , and a ring which appeared to be carved of wood, though it was not."Inside the mirror was a share of the magus's soul. Inside the ring was all the magic in the world."Advent culminates in spectacular, heart-racing climactic scenes, which although ends in some resolution, is only the first of a planned trilogy.

  • Daniel Withrow
    2019-05-28 05:47

    My wife mentioned Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising series as a comparison to this book, and I think that holds up. Sure, it's Yet Another Book about the return of magic to our world, starring a disaffected teenage boy. But unlike many books in that subgenre, its magic is compelling and interesting, not videogamy. In part that's because the magic is deeply rooted in culture: the book is set in west Great Britain, and though I'm totally ignorant about west Great Britain rural culture, the author obviously isn't: the book has a tremendous sense of place. In part it's because the magic serves the narrative, not the other way around. Early in the story the protagonist mentions the teacher who introduced him to the slow-burn Victorian novel, the kind that starts off with very little action but eventually tears along at a driving pace. This mention is a sly self-reference. The first part of the book is very slow, taking its time about establishing character and mood. Eventually, though, when all the players are on stage, it begins.Great fun.

  • Allison Barron
    2019-05-19 12:11

    Advent was a book I looked forward to reading for its wonderfully strange world seeped in mythology. The world was intriguing and made me think odd creatures and magic really could be lying in wait at the far corners of the earth. As much as I wanted to love the story, however, I just couldn't get into it. It started extremely slow, with pages and pages about Gavin traveling to his aunt's house and then meeting the people in Pendurra. Although there was the mystery of why Gavin was seeing something that no one else could, I feel like the questions this brought up were dragged on for far to long without any answers.I think this book could have been cut down to half its length and still hold the important points of the story. The mysteries were initially interesting and the prose beautiful, but my curiosity fizzled out as I had to slog through pages of unimportant events.The chapters in Advent alternate between Gavin's perspective in the present and Johann Faust's perspective in the past. I found myself constantly skimming the sections on Faust, as they bored me. I just couldn't get into his story, and wanted to get back to solving the mysteries in Gavin's life. I did really enjoy Horace, and wish Treadwell would have fleshed out his character and his relationship with Gavin more.Advent did pick up at the end, but that was too late for me. Do not write it off, though, for others have picked up this book and loved it. If you like mythology and lovely prose, you may very well enjoy this book where I didn't.

  • Петър Панчев
    2019-06-12 08:02

    Забравената магия се завръща(Цялото ревю е тук: Захванал съм се с приятната задача да прочета доста тийнейджърски и детски книги в жанра фентъзи и антиутопия. „Гавин и завръщането на магията“ („AMG Publishing“, 2015, с превод на Цветелина Тенекеджиева) влиза точно в тази категория. Макар да е по-непретенциозна, книгата на Джеймс Тредуел се вмъкна съвсем намясто сред по-ексклузивните си посестрими, прочетени от мен. Чете се доста бързичко, въпреки 550-те си страници, което предразполага към отморяване, за разлика от тези с добре разработените фентъзи светове и стотици герои. Това обаче изобщо не е пречка за разгръщането на една мистериозна история с някои елементи от различните жанрови вариации на фентъзито. На места си беше мудна и прекалено обяснителна, особено в диалозите, но е така, когато имаш за герои хлапета с развинтена или не достатъчно развинтена фантазия, което си е нормално, ако са расли в различна среда и възпитавани по различен начин. Такива са Гавин и Марина в романа. (Продължава в блога:

  • Andy
    2019-06-12 09:04

    I dont very oft not finish a book BUT guess what? 100pg's in & i could take no more. Nothing really happens & it jus crawls along going nowhere which is a shame as the synopsis for it sounds like a decent read. never mind, Joe Abercrombie's First law Trilogy more than made up for it.

  • TheBookSmugglers
    2019-05-20 04:44

    Original review posted on The Book SmugglersAna’s Take:England, 1537. Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age hurries to board the ship that will take him to new shores. He carries with him a box which contains a mirror safeguarding part of his soul and a small ring that holds all the magic on the world. Tragically, the ship sinks and magic disappears from the world.England, present day. Fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes is about to embark on a journey which will change his life forever. He is to spend the week with his aunt in Cornwall, where he hopes he can just relax and be himself for a few days. Because Gavin has a secret: he sees things that are not supposed to exist – or so he has been told his entire life. Gavin arrives at his aunt’s house but she is not there to greet him. Instead, he meets people and witness events that tell him that the impossible do exist and that all his life he has been lied to.The story alternate between the two storylines – the first receding in time all the way back to when Faust’s actions set everything in motion; the latter progressing toward the inevitable moment in which the characters will feel the consequences of those actions.In terms of plot, the whole thing about the ring is slightly well, familiar. When I was trying to summarise the plot above I actually wrote down the following as a joke: “the One Ring then disappears from history until the time comes for it to resurface and be joined with its master”. Except this is not a joke at all and is in fact, what happens in the novel. That said, I actually did love the clever way that the author mixed the tale of Faust with the story of the prophetess Cassandra of Troy.And Advent starts really well in as an almost old-fashioned tale of Horror. Gavin’s first hours into his journey when he sees the ghostly presence of Mrs Grey (the lady who has appeared to him since he was a small boy and has been a constant companion and an almost-friend all his life) in the train, his arrival at his aunt’s empty house and the ensuing hours of abject fear were thrilling, scary and truly intriguing.Unfortunately, Advent soon starts to show its two biggest problems: the sluggish pace (nothing really happens in the first couple hundred pages) and the frustrating way in which its main storyline is unravelled – and the former is most definitely exacerbated by the latter. This is a story build around mysteries: who is Gavin? Where is his aunt? What is happening to the world? Who is Mrs Grey? EVERYBODY but Gavin seems to know more than what they tell him – and the book is populated with a bunch of characters that are somewhat involved in this mystery. The problem for me is how the story not only unravels around half-truths but also via cryptic half conversations and even half-sentences that are contrived and forced. Frustrating doesn’t even start to cover it.This becomes truly and well aggravating when around chapter 21, all of a sudden we have a whole chapter which is an immense expository chapter containing back-story which basically tells point blank everything about most of the mysterious characters.Toward the end I was skimming through hoping it would all be finished soon. Ultimately, Advent and I simply did not click and I nearly put the book down several times.Thea’s Take:Oh my god, this book was SO BORING.That is my first reaction and coherent thought when attempting to write about the novel. Maybe it’s unfair to begin a review this way. Let me start with the good:Advent tells the parallel stories of the World’s Greatest Magus in the early sixteenth century (who has, apparently, created the One Ring); meanwhile, hundreds of years in the future, Advent also chronicles the adventures of a teenage boy named Gavin, who has always been different.To Ana’s point, Advent starts off with incredible promise – I loved the early chapters, as we learn about Gavin and his own peculiar abilities, the ever-present figure of Mrs. Gray, and his sojourn to Pendurra. From a macro-perspective, the storyline for Advent is quite good (if familiar). We have a lonely young man with peculiar abilities, a precocious yet innocent young girl with similar abilities, an older woman that has just been canned from her job who can hear things that no one else can…and of course, we have the story in the background of the Greatest Magician of All Time and his hubris. Tensions build and strange things happen, all leading to an ultimate conflict.Unfortunately, on a reading level, Advent is hardly so entertaining. The pacing is painfully uneven, the prose plodding and unsatisfactory, the level of character development dramatically hampered by the level of repetition. The early chapters are fantastic – and as Ana says, you really get a feel for Gavin and how utterly alone he is, and the terror he can and does experience. That said, the exposition goes on and on and on, and nothing much happens (or it happens excruciatingly slowly) after Gavin’s first night at Pendurra. The conversations between characters are repeated ad nauseam with no actual purpose; the interstitial chapters involving the Greatest!Magician!EVER! (as he reminds us – every, freaking, chapter) are more of the same.I will never understand this “literary fantasty” which basically equates to sucking all the life out of genre fiction and making it as dull, soulless, and repetitive as possible.Needless to say, Advent did not work for me. Once the glow of the early chapters waned, I could not bring myself to finish the book.

  • Kestrell
    2019-06-06 05:55

    In the past few years, I've almost entirely ceased to enjoy fantasy fiction, as most of it seems preoccupied with vacuous prettiness constructed from the same old cliches. Therefor, I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed _Advent_, which reminded me quite a bit of The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper, as it contains much of the same sense of the uncanny. This is not a cutesy tame magic. Also, the writing is dark and lovely. I can understand why some people thought this book was a bit slow, because if you like your fantasy full of wizard duels and battle scenes, this would not be the book for you. The author doesn't always explain everyone's backstory and motivations in detail, but leaves it up to the reader to do some of the imagining. There is lots of moral ambiguity or, rather, few characters are pure wish-fulfillment. All of these things are positives in my book but, again, probably not everyone's cup of tea.I'm already very impatient for the next book in this series.

  • Hasham Rasool
    2019-06-09 06:11

    I really liked this book. It was good book to read it. Alhamdulillah. I am not sure if I will carry on this series.

  • Allison Campbell
    2019-06-05 09:04

    ADVENT by James Treadwell: I love fantasy. I re-read LORD OF THE RINGS every couple of years. I excel at suspension of disbelief and immersing myself in alternate worlds. So I expected to fall in love with ADVENT, the first in a trilogy that weaves together the Faust legend, Greek mythology including the always-fascinating Cassandra, and Celtic folklore, all propelled by a confused teenager who has always conversed with people who aren't there. It may be that in the context of the entire trilogy, ADVENT makes sense, but as a novel in its own right, it was a sprawling (though often beautifully written) mess with frustrating pacing. Perhaps my expectations were too high.Gavin, the teenaged boy sent to live with his nutty aunt at the mysterious estate of Pendurra, is a likable child, poised to learn more about his gifts in a classic coming-of-age fantasy arc. This part of the story was engaging. Gavin has been told his entire childhood that the people who are most real to him are imaginary, so he has a distrust of adults. When his aunt, always a favorite and the one most interested in and accepting of his strangeness, fails to pick him up at the train station, a batty professor gives him a lift to Pendurra, and she is the first person he has encountered who shares his visions. Their interactions are some of the best moments in the novel. As they approach the mysterious estate, Gavin describes it beautifully:"Beneath them, a pair of rough stone posts flanked a driveway leading off into wooded blackness. Beside the driveway, a little way beyond the gateposts, was a house. Hester Lightfoot had cut off the engine and was getting out. Still slightly dizzy, Gavin followed. A gusting wind blew about. There was nothing to hinder it. In all directions, the land fell away gently. Gav thought he knew now what it had been like for the first man on the moon, his foot touching down on the rim of another world, suspended in empty space. He saw a word carved in the nearer gatepost: Pendurra."This is typical of the expansive, evocative language Treadwell uses in descriptions from Gav's point of view, and one of the book's highlights. It is less successful in the sections from the sixteenth century. The "greatest magus in the world" (as he is referred to in practically every mention of him) is bombastic and not terribly interesting. Once I'd ascertained that not much essential was conveyed through his ramblings, I began skimming these parts and was happier for it. Pendurra through Gav's eyes is mysterious, magical, downright creepy. He meets the odd child who lives there, Marina, and learns odd tidbits about the estate: a river where Marina sees a woman, a chapel housing water with healing powers, and Marina herself: oddly innocent and unaware of the outside world.Besides the annoying ramblings of "the greatest magus in the world" (early on, I began rolling my eyes whenever I read that phrase), the compelling story of Gavin discovering the truth about Pendurra and about himself is interrupted by large chunks of backstory dumped into the narrative and interrupting the action. I can only imagine that the author delighted in his world-building and couldn't bear to keep it from the reader, but glimpses of backstory worked directly into the narrative would have been far less disruptive, repetitive, and redundant. At one point, in the midst of the book's climax, the reader's interest is derailed by page after page of an internal history lesson, much of which could have been inferred with the inclusion of the few actually relevant details in the narrative. More than halfway through the novel, we begin reading passages from the point of view of Horace, a tangential character and friend to Marina, which add absolutely nothing except to distract from the story. The points of view of random people from the neighboring village, a confused priest, and a journalist staying at the inn are thrown in for good measure. But Gavin is really the only fully-formed character. Marina is vague and out of touch with reality (I wanted to smack her when she dithers as Gav is trying to save her life) and we don't learn much about the professor or Marina's father.The less said about the ending, the better. It's no doubt the perfect set-up for book two, but when the end finally comes (and it's a long time coming - at 65% of the way through the book (according to my Kindle), the climax begins, but the endless exposition and unnecessary point of view switching bogs it down) it is abrupt and feels entirely contrived, with a previously unknown character the sudden focus. I am sure the next book centers on this girl, but I don't see myself sticking around to find out how the trilogy weaves together all these threads. I'm not sure to whom I would recommend this book. Die-hard fantasy fans with a high tolerance for exposition? Ultimately, the promise of the book's beautiful language and compelling coming-of-age story wasn't realized for me, and I was relieved to see the last page.Source disclosure: I received an e-galley of this title from the publisher.Allison Campbell, On My Bookshelf

  • Shaz Goodwin
    2019-06-11 09:54

    This amazing world that debut author James Treadwell has created begins in 1537 where we meet Johannes Faust as he prepares to set sail for England. The next chapter we meet Gavin Stokes who is on the train that will take him to his aunt Gwen in Cornwall. On the train he meets Professor Hester Lightfoot (who is a key character in certain events) and we’re introduced to the ghost of Miss Grey … who used to be accepted as Gavin’s ‘invisible friend’ when younger but is not accepted by his family now. On reaching the lodge where Gwen lives on the Pendurra estate, he finds it empty although the fire is lit and there are signs of recent habitation. What follows is a quest that intrigues and entrances and is completely absorbing.The story is told by weaving backwards and forwards in time with one difference – the timeline in 1537 regresses so the further you read on in the story, the more intrigue there is because you have an answer but you don’t know the why or the circumstances. When we get to the timelines merging into present day is the time when spirit becomes flesh and the world changes beyond recognition.The environment is perfect for the suspense. We have Pendurra, which is an isolated estate with woods leading down to the river and the sea. There is something different about the land and there is gossip and rumours about it’s owner, Tristram Urem. It is October so the nature around us is bare and stagnant. During the conflict there is snow but not just flakes drifting down, blizzard conditions that blanket everything. There is physical endurance that almost goes beyond what a body can bear.The magic runs throughout Advent. I loved it that the author goes back to a time when science was parting from magic – whereas at one point they belonged together, man chose to believe only that which he could see. This is quite a key factor, the absence of magic, not only in 1537 but also in the present world.Following our hero Gavin through the story, we see him at first as afraid of himself but there comes a point when he experiences a re-birth (symbolised by taking on the mantle of his name). It is in the depths of his misery with no-where left to go when he finds strength and purpose.There is a mixture of characters both adult and children although it is the children who are the leads. The magical beings all portray characteristics that are common in myth. At one point in the story I was cheering for Corbo but at another, felt totally betrayed!If you have ever been interested in magic/alchemy/myth you may have come across Johannes Faust and his quest for immortality. The author uses this in such a creative way and is central to the story. The author also uses the symbolism of a ring – from time immemorial the hole in the centre has represented a gateway or door and the circle is a perfect expression of infinity – no beginning and no end. This is cleverly crafted as an integral part of the story. You may also have read about the music of the spheres … I loved the way Treadwell wove this into the tale.The ending ties up with a physical place that Gavin mentions only once (if my recollection is correct) but with a different family and the scene is still on a mystical level. It is so far away from the place we have just left though I can’t begin to image what the connection actually is – why are we there? and does Gavin and Marina appear? What about Harold? This leaves me with so many questions … I so need to read the second story!The language used in Advent is mature and the story gripping and fast paced enough that adult readers will enjoy this world just as much as a teen reader. If you loved A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness you will love this too!

  • Karen Rye
    2019-05-28 11:56

    Set in the present day, Advent is about the return of the forgotten magic.  The main protagonist is a fifteen year old boy, Gavin, who knows that there is something different about him, but has spent most of his life trying to conform to the expectations of the adults around him.  He has learnt to studiously ignore the ghostly Miss Grey who never speaks and scares him senseless half the time, but he knows she's there.  Eventually he tries to explain this and other magical concerns to one of his school teachers - and gets suspended for his troubles! His frustrated parents have a holiday booked, so Gavin is packed off to Cornwall to stay with Aunt Gwen, who he hasn't seen for years.Interspersed with Gavin's story are chapters set in 1537 about the greatest magus in the world.  The story in these chapters unfolds in reverse, which allows both stories to unfold in parallel.  The arrogant magus comes into possession of a simple wooden ring that contains all the magic in the world.  The magus has enslaved sinister spirits to do his business and has created a copy of his soul so that should he die, he may be reborn again.  As in all good stories, the tragedy unfolds and the ring and mirror are lost at the time of the magician's death, only to be found again in the present day by Gavin's own Auntie Gwen.  Which explains why she is missing when Gavin arrives in Cornwall... And why he is thrown into a dawning new world where everything he has tried hard to not see or believe in, is finally real.  Where he will finally learn truths about himself and the world that he didn't even know he needed to learn.The main protagonists are supported by a cast of literal and mythical beings and creatures, ranging from Cassandra the prophetess to Mermaids.  There are nods to Arthurian legend and Faust and a (slightly incongruous) appearance by a killer whale!  This is pacy and stirring writing, gripping and with exquisite timing in switches between Gavin's story and the unfolding magus story.  The language is mature and the writer doesn't shy away from adult themes.  A thrilling YA novel, sure to have a ready adult audience too.

  • Joe Jones
    2019-05-25 12:01

    Gavin is a 15 year old teenager living in England who just doesn't fit in. His problem is he sees things that are not there, in particular a woman he calls Miss Grey. When he is shipped off to visit his Aunt for a week, Gavin's imaginary world quickly intrudes into the real one. He then has to figure out just what is going on and who he really is before it is too late. This is book one of a new trilogy that is a mash up of the Faust and Gawain legends. I'm still trying to decide if this is supposed to be a Teen book or an Adult one. Either way I did really enjoy it and look forward to reading the next in the series. I did have a few problems with the book though. The pacing was a bit slow for me in some parts. Also, while the book is well written, the language really impeded the flow of the book at times. I found myself having to go back and reread parts to make sure I understood what was going on. Overall, I still give it a 4 rating because of how the author was able to immerse me in his world and create characters I truly want to see what happens to next. Isn't that all we really want from a good book?

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-05-18 12:45

    I read this a while ago and am only just getting around to writing a review - but I loved it - such a great story.There is a touch of the "old school" fairytale about this one - Gavin being an excellent protagonist who stumbles through some rather strange happenings and captures your heart. If Agatha Christie were to write Young Adult Fantasy I think this is pretty much how it would read - beautiful writing, sense of place and world building with a charming and often witty prose plus some terrific characters.It is steeped in mythology and we have two timelines to follow that eventually merge - it is cleverly constructed whilst keeping its other worldly charm firmly in place. As the tales intertwine and we move backwards and forwards it is fascinating and compelling - a magical story about magic returning.A gorgeous story with a modern twist, I recommend this for anyone who loves a darn good yarn that you can lose yourself in for a couple of hours and emerge from smiling.Happy Reading Folks!

  • Kirsty
    2019-06-11 04:48

    Giving up on this one for now as really not my sort of book despite being beautifully written. Learning more and more than fantasy and me don't mix.

  • Annie
    2019-06-07 11:44

    First Look:  Initially, I was attracted to the cool cover.  The premise involving the Faust legend intrigued me as well. Setting:  Pendurra was oddly backwards.  It was supposed to be, a little, I presume, but it seemed too much so.  I mean, didn't they have a gas station, at least, or anyplace like that where Gavin could have gone for help?  It seemed like the whole village was very out of touch with the modern world.  This would make sense, in context, but the author never really let me know for sure, so now I'm left wondering. Characters:Gavin didn't act fifteen.  If I wasn't told his age, I would have put him more around twelve.  His decisions, his language, everything--he came off as immature.  A major factor in this, for me, was his swearing.  It didn't seem like the say-it-without-thinking that would be typical of a fifteen-year-old boy accustomed to swearing.  It seemed more like a twelve-year-old's version of experimenting with swear words and throwing them around awkwardly.  (I go to a public high school--I can tell who is used to swearing all the time, and who isn't.)He also made some pretty dumb decisions.  The most obvious one was staying in Pendurra, and not getting help.  His aunt didn't show up as planned for days, and no one could find her.  The most logical thing to do in that situation is call the police.  Not dither around and bond creepily (we'll talk about that in a minute) with twelve-year-olds.  Also, disturbing, unsafe things are happening all over the place.  And Gavin stayed.  A sane person with any amount of common sense would have gotten out of that place as fast as possible.Marina had an eight-year-old's mind inside a twelve-year-old body.  I got the vague sense that she was young for her age, but this seemed excessive.  She was completely clueless about the world around her, and it was frustrating.  It wasn't realistic.  And then Gavin made a few remarks that almost made it sound like he was romantically interested in her.  Um, what?  A fifteen-year-old boy with more-than-friend feelings toward a twelve-year-old girl is downright creepy, and is firmly in get-professional-help territory. Plot:  The first half was so slow; I couldn't bring myself to stay interested. The second half was so weird and convoluted that most of the time I had no idea what was going on.   After about page 200, it was just strange after strange after strange, and none of it was ever explained.  The introduction of mythical(?) creatures and beings was jarring.  I could have accepted it if there had been a reason or motivation behind it, but there wasn't.  The author gave me nothing to hold on to.The occasional Faust chapters didn't make much sense, either.  They weren't connected enough for me to discern any kind of storyline, or any reasoning as to why the chapters were place where they were.  And I know I've mentioned this before, but...why didn't Gavin just go back to his parents?  They may have hated him, but at least they weren't trying to kill him! Uniqueness:  Let's take a look at this: simple-looking ring, has magic properties, is both a gift and a burden, lost to mankind for many centuries until it was reclaimed by a young seemingly-nobody...  Um, Tolkien published this same story in 1954, except that I liked it a thousand times more.Writing:  The writing, in places, was actually quite lovely.  (Here's my obligatory nice comment.)  It was offset, though, by the fact that it took forever for anything to happen.  It seemed to me that this wasn't so much a plot-pacing issue as a narration-pacing issue.  There's a difference.  Though the plot was also quite slow, the narration didn't help.  Sentences and paragraphs were quite long, which made for the feeling of slower reading.  Also, there were some run-on sentences, for no good reason.  These are just flat-out incorrect. Likes: ... Not-so-great: I think we all know what I didn't like. Overall: This is a strange and convoluted story.  The main character acted five years younger than his age, and wasn't likable or developed.  At about page 200 it got bizarre and didn't make much sense.  Before that, hardly anything happened.  I didn't like this book, and I don't recommend it. Similar Books: It involves the Faust legend in the modern world like Endymion Spring, the same type of magic and mythology as The Raven Boys, and reminds me a little of Prophecy of the Sisters.Unofficial revew: No. I considered giving this up after 100 pages, but I didn't. I should have.I'll post a full rant review later, but for now you should know these things:1. That ending. What the... What happened? I completely lost it somewhere around page 200. I had not much clue left as to what was happening and I didn't really care. 2. You know what any logical person does when they're in a place that isn't their home, has creepy dangerous stuff happening all over the place, and that they aren't obligated to in any way? THEY GET OUT. Why didn't Gavin just leave?3. If a person has been called Gavin his entire life, he's not going to be able to flawlessly switch to Gawain without some adjustment.4. And more...

  • Amber (Books of Amber)
    2019-06-01 04:56

    Pretty boring, I'm sorry to say. I just couldn't get into it. Full review here: beginning of Advent was very intriguing, as the author mixes flashback chapters with the present day, and it was enough to keep me reading steadily for the first fifty to seventy pages. The flashbacks were very enjoyable, and while I didn't enjoy the present day stuff as much, I was still looking forward to finding out more about the book.After the first one hundred pages or so, I feel that the pacing began to slow down and I started to lose interest very quickly. Because I received this book for review, I kept going with it but if I had purchased it then I probably would have given up about 200 pages in.I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters, even the main protagonist. None of them really stood out to me, so I wasn't able to invest in their storylines.On the plus side, I really enjoyed James Treadwell's writing style. The book was beautifully written with lots of descriptions, which I love. It's a shame that I didn't enjoy the plot, because I would definitely have ended up really liking it if the pacing was better. Who needs to connect to the main characters, right?So I won't be reading the rest of this trilogy, but I would definitely be willing to give James Treadwell's other future works a try one day.

  • Yolanda Sfetsos
    2019-06-07 10:12

    When I found out about this book, I was instantly intrigued. A teenage boy and lost magic, sounds awesome right? Actually, I couldn't wait to get stuck into it...Gavin is fifteen, and he isn't exactly your average teenager. He sees things other people don't, and his parents don't understand him. Actually, they don't seem to want him around them. So when he gets on a train and heads to Cornwall to stay with his aunt, he's actually happy to get away from them. However, when he gets to his destination his aunt isn't there to meet him. She's not even at her house. Soon, Gavin realises that something strange is going on. And a girl called Marina, only gets him deeper into the mystery of magic.Advent seemed like an intriguing young adult fantasy with a nice mix of mythology, but it didn't work for me. It started out well enough, but I quickly lost interest. I read the first 50 pages or so pretty quickly, but after that I couldn't read anymore than a few pages at a time before skimming ahead, and then losing interest in it completely. I'm not quite sure why, but I just couldn't connect with the characters, the story, or even the world.Unfortunately, it wasn't for me. I really wanted to like this book, but it didn't work for me. :(

  • Sarah (Workaday Reads)
    2019-06-03 05:58

    I feel so torn about this book. On one hand I really liked Gavin’s character and found his story quite engaging and interesting, and parts of it were told with a very magical prose, but on the other hand, Gavin’s story is interspersed with Johann’s narration, and this part had me very confused and uninterested.Writing my review several weeks after reading the book is a bad idea here as most of the story has faded in my memory, which is never a great sign. I know there were parts that had a very magical feel, and I can almost recapture the floaty feeling reading it gave me, which I really loved. It makes me want to continue the series, even if I didn’t love the whole book.The parts I didn’t love were mostly Johann’s back story. I was so confused at times while reading it, and it didn’t seem to really impact the rest of the story. I think it was a little extraneous and wasn’t needed as it didn’t fit the feel of the rest of the book.Overall, I wanted to love this book, and while I really liked parts, the book didn’t come together as a whole. I am hoping that since this was the start of a trilogy, the rest of the series sticks with the magical prose of Gavin, with Johann’s story being less in focus.

  • Lia Marcoux
    2019-06-07 10:59

    James Treadwell's writing is very strong, but the narrative is not. For the first one hundred pages I had that aw-yeah-air-guitar feeling of being in good hands, which dwindled as...nothing happened, and kept happening in similarly-described ways. I like long books but the content didn't require over 400 pages. Bafflingly he included one of the most interesting parts of an unrelated story over three pages at the very end. What? It's just, this book was boring. It had really great moments but then it had the same moment a thousand times and that moment was b-o-r-i-n-g.That being said, the strongest part of the narrative is that the magic truly feels dangerous. Most interesting, the defense against ancient powerful magic is sometimes simply physical - closing a door, running. And the magical creatures also have physical strength. Also, the "ordinary" characters are threatened by magic, as well as the extraordinary ones. The ideas were sound, but it could have used a 150-page haircut.

  • Yoana Divine
    2019-05-26 08:48

    Цялото ревю:,,Гавин и завръщането на магията'' на Джеймс Тредуел е чудата книга с атмосфера, наситена с напрежение и злокобност. Четейки този пълен с мистерии роман, ще се гмурнете в един различен свят на тъмни магии и мрачни тайни, в лудо и опасно приключение.Начинът на писане на автора е красив, ненатоварващ и все пак описателен, но не ми хареса, че действието понякога се развива прекалено бавно и сякаш се отделя твърде много време на неща и моменти, които не са истински съществени за историята и съвсем лесно биха могли да бъдат посъкратени.Това е една пъстра и вълнуваща книга, която на моменти ще ви кара да настръхвате и която ще съпреживеете с героите.

  • Helen
    2019-06-01 07:57

    Seriously, I never thought I'd say this about a book, but this is a story that would have been better without the fantasy and magic.Gavin is 15 and he sees things that everyone tells him aren't really there. Mainly a woman he calls Miss Grey. His parents are fed up with him and angry because they think he's pretending, and when he finally told a teacher about the things he's being seeing he's suspended.Am I being naive but why would his school even suspend him for this? Why wouldn't they talk to his parents and try to get him to go to the doctors or a psychiatrist?Anyway, when he gets to Cornwall his aunt has disappeared, and he meets some unusual people while he's looking for her at the house where she works as a housekeeper or something. What he doesn't do is go to the police though. Oh no, that would be far too sensible and require some actual action on his part.It's very slow moving, we barely cover two days, and it's a longish book. People were saying random things that didn't seem to fit with the story, and having long conversations without actually saying anything. There's a lot of random rhymes dropped all over the place that are supposed to help or provide clues, but actually just waste time. Gavin doesn't listen to them anyway and he doesn't actually do anything. Things just happen to him and even the ending wasn't anything to do with him. His reason for being in the story is never explained. We're told that he's special, but not why, or what he's supposed to do. We do get a lot of page time spent on him walking around without shoes on though. My favourite parts were when Gavin was travelling to Cornwall and when he had just arrived. I think the story of Gavin as a teenager who sees things and has been sent away because his family can't cope with him worked better than when the magic and fantasy were introduced. I like the almost simplistic writing style for this bit, but then when the fantasy side comes in it gets very dramatic and overblown, and kinda confusing.So overall it's just a boring, confusing mess. I can't understand why it's over 600 pages long when nothing happens.

  • Laura
    2019-06-04 05:07

    Ugh, bloody awful. I fought this book the whole way through. Every time I thought 'Screw this I'm done' something sort of interesting would happen and I would force myself to stick it out a bit longer... and now there's a month's worth of reading I won't get back. I can't imagine how this continues on for 2 more books. Count me out.

  • Joanne Sheppard
    2019-05-25 11:59

    Set in Cornwall and steeped in a strange concoction of folklore from Greek myth to Faust via Arthurian legend, James Treadwell’s Advent is an eerie fantasy in the tradition of Alan Garner and Susan Cooper, in which ancient magic surges back into being in modern day rural England.It’s apparently aimed at a young adult readership – at least, that was the section in which I found it at Waterstone’s and the main character is a misunderstood 15-year-old. But, like Garner’s Red Shift and The Owl Service, its plot and themes are complex and multi-layered with a huge sense of historic scale, and it more than stands up to an adult readership. In fact, I would guess that some younger teenagers might struggle with elements of Advent (although that is, of course, no reason for them not to read it; I’m all for younger readers being challenged and accepting that sometimes the most valuable reads are the ones you don’t quite understand). If I have any criticisms of Advent, it’s that there are times when some of the elements just didn’t seem to gel quite as cohesively as I wanted them to – although I can’t say I didn’t enjoy each part individually – and there were one or two times when I felt the flashback sections about a mysterious magus (who turns to be a familiar character from literature and legend) were just a little too overblown in their angsty seriousness. However, the gradual descent of the magus from a dedicated, experimental scholar into something desperate, bitter and rotten-to-the-core is chilling and impressive. Gavin – or Gawain, as he later becomes – is a wholly likeable protagonist. A confused, lonely teenage boy whose relationship with his parents is difficult at best, it would have been easy to make him self-pitying, brattish or, horror of horrors, just a little bit emo. But Treadwell never falls into this trap. Gavin, who has been seeing things all his life that aren’t really there, is struggling through his teens trying to do the right thing, trying not to disappoint; at the same time, he’s realistically angry that his parents and teachers would rather he was superficially ‘normal’ than truthful.Other characters are fun too, particularly the secretive, cunning little Horace Jia and ‘nutty professor’ Hester Lightfoot. The inhabitants of Pendurra, the vast Cornish mansion to which Gavin is sent to stay with his kind, eccentric Auntie Gwen, were perhaps not quite as three-dimensional as I would have liked, but Advent isn’t really ‘their’ story (not yet anyway – it’s apparently the first in a trilogy) so perhaps that’s understandable. Auntie Gwen herself, however, practically leaps off the page, which for reasons that become clear as you read the book, is a particularly clever feat on Treadwell’s part.Undoubtedly my favourite supporting players, though, are Corbo and Holly. One a sinister, croaking man-crow and the other the living spirit of a tree, they are the reluctant servants of evil. Fabulously other-worldly in some ways and yet simultaneously intrinsically of this world in others, they are brilliantly memorable fantasy creations.After a mysterious yet pleasantly ambling start, Advent builds into fast-paced action and tension towards its end. It’s a long read for a young adult novel, at over 400 pages, and I’ve seen other reviews claiming it needed a tighter edit – but I never felt that was so. For me, almost every word was a pleasure, and the slow build of the beginning was a masterclass in building the atmosphere and eeriness that makes this book special.The final chapter seems to be very much part of the second book in the planned trilogy. In fact, I’d almost rather it had been left out altogether for that reason, or perhaps just ‘trailed’ as a teaser as is common for sequels these days, but that’s rather beside the point: I thoroughly enjoyed Advent and am only aggrieved that I’ll have to wait before I can get stuck into the as-yet-unpublished book two.

  • Donna
    2019-06-03 07:51

    ADVENT was one of those books that I DESPERATELY wanted to like but no matter how hard I tried it just kept falling short. Ultimately I can add this one to my hearty DNF pile as of late. I tried to hard to like this one. I kept giving it the benefit of the doubt but by the time things started picking up I was too tired of trying to care and couldn't muster the want to keep it up.Gavin's a character that wallows in his own self pity for about two thirds of the book, constantly harping on how no one understands him, how alone he is, how he keeps seeing Mrs. Grey everywhere. Alternatively Johann is the same exact way, stuck in a time loop of cyclical proportions because every time the plot snaps back to his 1537 it was telling the same damn story over and over again. He loved a woman that gave him power and kept trying to find her. She spurned him. Over and over again. I was tired of it. I didn't understand why the story couldn't just move on. Gav really needed to get over his shit far sooner than when he did and Johann had a lot of women issues that just grated on me. Plus his story was redundant.The story finally starts to get somewhere by about page 300. It reads like it was duct taped together after a drunken night out. I'm not sure who decided on the order of the chapters but if the story actually started where the story was finally getting good I probably would have stuck around for the whole thing. This one random chapter, somewhere between half way and two third of the way finished, completely sucked me in. It gave the appropriate amount of backstory to the people living at Pendurra, and it's amazing backstory to boot. It answers a lot of the whys that had been swimming around for the length of the plot up until that point and it's actually incredibly interesting. Unfortunately for the book it was too little too late. Up until that point I had put forth so much effort to try and care that when I actually could my brain just wasn't up to it.I get it. I know it's not technically YA although the protagonist is a fifteen-year-old boy, which is why I kept giving it the benefit of the doubt. I expected the plot to take a little longer to get into but I wasn't expecting so long. I didn't think the same point would get beaten over my head for nearly 300 pages until something finally happened. All I wanted was a good fantasy to read and judging by the blurb this rightly could have been it. Maybe it's my fault for setting my expectations far too high. Or maybe it's the book's for taking FOREVER to get the eff on with it. I need something more than an emo boy and his invisible issues whining about his life. Or the chauvinist masturbating to the sound of his own awesomeness.I just couldn't do it. I wanted to but I couldn't. I'd been set up and set up and set up too many times up until the turning point to being open and willing to get set up again. No thanks. Maybe when my care returns I'll try finishing up the rest of it but right now I need something that hooks me in from the beginning; not something that takes me nearly the entire book to go YES.