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Publisher's Summary

Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don't read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn't around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar. Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world. Twins Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather's inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins must follow a mysterious trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall. Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather's greatest secret - a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality.
©2013 Chad Morris (P)2013 Shadow Mountain
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Critic Reviews

"A fantastical futuristic read that should engage kids and families." (Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times best-selling author)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Douglas on 04-28-13

Harry Potter meets DaVanci Code -Young Adult title

Any additional comments?

The year is 2074 and technological advancements have led to the creation of the most advanced secondary school in the world. Imagine viewing history in real-time with revolving viewpoints, where you control every aspect and are able to watch the most important events unfold in front of you. Imagine a virtual system that allows you to become an avatar and experience the world as an animal. All things are possible at Cragbridge Hall…
Enter the grandchildren of the school’s founder and inventor of these wondrous technologies and this sets an adolescent struggle to prove you belong. But it doesn’t take long before this desire to measure up against one’s peers turns into an adventure in which failure is not an option and failure to measure up could have catastrophic results.
Very entertaining it’s ability to weave history into the adventure and overall a great fun listen for all those young at heart!!! Highly recommend!

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Marcos on 06-28-14

Interesting setting, poor, lazy story

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Maybe female highschoolers, but even they could use a more entertaining "slice-of-life" story.

What could Chad Morris have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Maybe a bit more acting, aside from just emulating the voices. Too many characters sounded like they didn't even care they were in the story, and his tone as a third-person narrator was too monotonous, specially at the first third of the book.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kirby Heyborne?

My first thought was Dana Stabenow, though I don't think she ever read anything like this.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Cragbridge Hall, Book 1?

I might trim a bit at the beginning, but the book suffers more from lack of content than excess.

Any additional comments?

Took a couple of hours to get hooked on this. All you get for that time is a whiny, stupid protagonist (Abby) that can't stand up for herself and repeatedly acts unreasonably. For two hours, I was listening to a "slice-of-life" in a futuristic high school from the perspective of a character I wound up never caring for. Between that and the uninspired narration, I was about to return this book. After all that time, I still had no reason to care for the story.

Then the book actually started towards its main plot point, and Abby stopped whining as much. From there to the end, I found just enough to keep me reading. There were some fun moments, but those belonged to Rafael, a brazilian teacher's assistant, and Derek, Abby's twin brother.

In the end, I felt the book was too straightforward. In spite of all the odds, the immense stakes and the extremely rich, powerful and influential enemy, the only things that really stood between the characters and the conclusion were about a dozen henchmen with half a brain and Cragbridge's challenges. The only student against them only mattered for a bad night's sleep and a couple of blushing moments at the beginning of the book, then she disappeared. It felt like the villain barely even tried to win, or, more practically speaking, the author was trying to keep his own job of concluding the book simple.

I won't say I regret listening to the book, but I didn't get much out of it. Since I already got through the first book, I might give the sequel a go on account of it supposedly being centered around the avatars, but not anytime soon.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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