Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle by George Hagen.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 4 stars, I liked it a lot.
Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle is the story of nearly twelve year old Gabriel. His father is missing and has been for 3 years, his aunt is sure he will be back someday, he is missing, not dead. Gabriel and his talking raven friend Paladin travel to Aviopolis to search for his father. Every step they take they are faced with riddles, good thing Gabriel has been learning riddles his whole life. They have to solve every riddle they are faced with or they have no hope of finding Gabriel's father or fighting the evil that is holding him!
This is George Hagen's first novel for children. It is a very good story. Gabriel Finley is a fairly loveable lead character. He is everything that a good role model should be; brave, strong, honest and trustworthy. He isn't perfect, he definitely has his faults but they serve to make him a well rounded character. His best moments come when he faces his faults and overcomes them.
I enjoyed this book quite a lot. The story moves along at a good pace. The characters are interesting and likeable. The villain is sufficiently scary but not an inhuman monster who is completely alien. Children reading this book can learn many valuable lessons from Gabriel and his friends. "Don't assume you know what someone's home life is like." "Spying on people will hurt both you and them." "Being kind to someone is free and you may make an unlikely friend."
If you are a fan of books such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson you should check this book out. You can find more information about this book on the publisher's website here.
I was given a copy of this book by netgalley in exchange for an honest review.