About the Book
Title: Four Fiends (The Countdown), 2nd Edition
Author: Nikki Bennett
Publication Date: February 16, 2014 (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Independent: Firedrake Books LLC
Recommended Ages: 8+
Summary: The Four Guardians of the world have gone missing. They’ve been kidnapped by some of the most diabolical fiends that ever existed. Now, four misfit kids from different parts of the world must band together to save the Guardians. Along the way, they learn to work together, as they confront and conquer their deepest fears.
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* Originally reviewed in May 2013 *
1. What is the story about? This book is about four kids who have to defeat four fiends who have kidnapped the four guardians of the world. They use the magic objects given to them by the Golden Dragon to defeat them.
2. What do you think of the cover and the pictures in the book? The cover was interesting and as for the pictures right before the chapters, some were ok but some were a little weird.
3. Who are the main characters? The main characters are a boy named Pietro from Italy; another boy named Saboru from Japan; Kate, a girl from America; and Jinjing, a girl from Hong Kong.
4. Which of the characters are you most like and why? My favorite character is Kate because she’s interesting and because she was too scared to do her task. I could understand her the best.
5. What were the four myths? Which did you like best and why? The first myth was with the giant monster named Nian. The second myth was about the Jersey Devil. The third myth was about Pele and the volcano. The fourth myth was about Greek gods and goddesses and Pandora’s jar. I liked the one with Pandora’s jar best because I like the Greek mythology. I’m reading a series about the Gods and Goddesses right now [The Goddess Girls by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams].
6. What were the four lessons learned from each of the four stories? The first lesson was to always be honest. The second lesson was about chaos and not being afraid of problems or confrontations. The third lesson was about learning to ignore something when it’s not good for you. The fourth lesson was about not being afraid of the unknown.
7. Overall, how did you like the book? I really, really, really liked this book. I want to read the next one too!
8. Who do you think would like this book? I would recommend this book to kids 7 and up, boys and girls.
Daughter Rating: ★★★★★
What is the story about? Meet the four heroes of the tale: Jinjing is the quiet, shy girl from Hong Kong; Pietro is the boy From Italy who makes up stories no one no longer believes; Kate, from New Jersey, is vain and full of self-confidence; and finally, Saburo is the boy from Japan who can’t keep up with his friends because his legs and hips had been broken in a car accident years before. These four are summoned by the Golden Dragon to rescue the Four Guardians of the world (the Tiger, the Bird, the Dragon, and the Tortoise) who are being held captive by the Four Fiends (Gluttony, Chaos, Ignorance, and Deviousness).
Armed only with mundane everyday items endowed with magical power and their wits, courage, and friendship, the four heroes must do battle with the Fiends and rescue the Guardians before Earth erupts in chaos.
My Thoughts: Wow! Can I just say wow?! I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Nikki Bennett has written a middle grade tale filled with magic and mythology from diverse cultures; interesting and engaging characters who tweens can relate to and empathise with; and an interesting and engaging plot that will keep you glued to the pages until the very end. In short, I LOVED it!
It is clear that Nikki Bennett has devoted much thought to character development in the Four Fiends. There is much diversity in the four characters with regards to gender, culture, personality, strengths, and weaknesses. I think any child reading this book could recognize themselves in at least one of the main characters and likely more than one. Bennett does a great job of providing us insights into each of the characters (as flawed, vulnerable, and uniquely strong) and devotes time in describing how each of them grows and develops as a result of their experiences in their quest. I thought that the character development was excellent.
I loved reading how the mythology from diverse cultures was woven into the story. The book begins with a preface setting up the quest. We are introduced to Chinese mythology with the description of how the Vermillion Bird, Azure Dragon, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise, under the watchful eye and wisdom of the Golden Dragon, each protecting the four corners of the world (south, east, west, and north). Following this, and without giving too much away, Bennett, incorporates Greek, Polynesian/Hawaiian, and even American mythology. I think I’ve been clear in the past about how I feel about myths and folkology. Love it!
I think what I appreciated the most in the book though (aside from my very public love affair with all things mythological) is the messages and themes underlying the book. This book’s target audience is tweens and as we know, this demographic falls somewhere between the innocence of childhood and the emerging independence of adolescence. It is a time when many boys and girls may suffer from a lack of confidence or self-esteem as they bumble their way toward becoming more and more independent. The characters in the book come to terms with their own short-comings as they are faced with the challenge of overcoming these. For example, Jinjing is a shy, awkward girl who lacks self-confidence and yet, she emerges as the leader of the foursome. These characters are excellent role models for tweens.
My bottom line: Four Fiends is a fantastic story, steeped in mythology, strong on character development, and with an intriguing and interesting plot. I could not put this book down because it was THAT good! I can’t wait for Book 2 to come out.I think any tween (boy or girl aged 8+) who loves reading books with elements of fantasy, magic, and mythology would love this book.
* This book was provided to us free-of-charge by the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own. The author is participating in our Book Promotion Services.
More Buzz About the Book
“This was one of the most entertaining reads for the whole family we have found in a long time. The characters are very believable, and I am always a sucker for heroes that have to find their way. The reading is very fluid and easily understood by the little kids when read aloud (sounds silly but anyone trying to do this will tell you it’s not as easy a thing to achieve as it sounds) and the kids all seem to enjoy the story. The history is easily accessible even without a lot of research or background knowledge. The kids are very motivated to research and learn more on their own because this story has captured their interest. I already have many home learning lessons in mind using this book and have begun developing them with my kids. I think this is a book that will be found in classrooms very soon! Great job! I’m looking forward to more soon!!!” ~ 5 Star Review, Mariah W., Amazon
“Excellent read in and of itself, and provides excellent, character-building source material for reading to youngsters. The characters are well written and realistic, and the storyline is cleverly written and intelligent.” ~ 5 Star Review, Alia K., Amazon
“Fantastic read. I loved the characters in this book so much that I re-read to my 9 year old after finishing it. I highly recommend this book for anyone that likes stories about adventure and believing in yourself.” ~ 5 Star Review, Keith, Amazon
About the Author: Nikki Bennett
Nikki Bennett is an author and world traveler currently living in Japan. She loves traveling, and incorporates all the culture and folklore she can from the countries she visits into her stories.
Nikki has two books out right now. Her first book, FOUR FIENDS is a MG fantasy adventure and her newest book, MUKADE ISLAND is a YA adventure/fantasy (think Lord of the Flies meets LOST, it it was set on a different world!)
Find out all about Nikki’s books at www.worldofnikki.com
Website | Author Blog | | | Goodreads
Four Fiends Blog Tour Schedule (2014)
When I Grow Up I Wanna Write a Kids Book (Review)
Coffee & Books & Art (Review)
* Blog Tour Giveaway *
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: May 31, 11:59 pm, 2014
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Nikki Bennett and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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