⭐⭐⭐ out of 5
I realise that I'm not the intended audience for this book and there were good bits in it, but way too much wrong with it too, which is why I don't feel able to award it any more than 3 stars.
It definitely has potential in parts, especially in the high action parts, but there were only 31 *words* of speech in the first 18 pages (and yes, I counted them). It was constant telling and very little showing which got very boring, very quickly. I managed to get to page 18 with so few words of speech and it picked up after that, thankfully. There were other points in the book where the author went back to very little speech and frequently used words that are waaaay too advanced for a middle grade reader.
On top of that, most of the chapters are only 2 or 3 pages long at the start of the book and I didn't even realise they were chapters because they were just emboldened and centralised and the new chapters usually started off exactly where the previous chapter had stopped... even though that was frequently mid-way through a conversation.
It was also obvious in a couple of places that the author had literally just copied and pasted, word for word, what had happened even a page earlier, so it didn't make any kind of sense at all.
It's supposed to be a middle-grade fantasy and yes, there is definitely fantasy involved, but the main character is waaaay too young at only 8.5 years old - a 12 year old would never read a book with a main character so much younger than them... if Eric (the main character) was 13 years old then that would have really opened up the age range for the book and would be more likely to understand some of the vocabulary that is used.
All in all it's an OK book, just needs to be more industry standard. Sorry.