Gabriel is a boy who has wished for his father to return home for the past three years, ever since he mysteriously disappeared. Now he has turned 12 and strange things are happening. His aunt's childhood friend brings her daughter and moves in with Gabriel and Aunt Jaz because there has been a fire in the friend's home and they have to find a new place to live. The friend, Trudy, takes over the cooking and serves things for dinner that smell like old sweat socks. Not a pleasant development. But, he also finds out that he is an <i>amicus</i> to a raven, that he can form a telepathic bond with the raven Paladin who lives in the nest outside his house. Then his aunt explains that his father and uncle had the same ability and that could be part of the mystery surrounding his father's disappearance. Together with Trudy's daughter Pamela, his new neighbor Abby, and his classmate Somes, Gabriel must find the legendary city of Aviopolis,
This story has many elements to attract readers, a major quest, animal companions, good friends, a villain who's easy to dislike, and even a magical dancing desk (you don't see many of those). Folks who enjoys stories with boys searching for missing fathers like Charlie Bone, or clever riddles, should read Gabriel's story.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. The book will be released in stores October 28, 2104. You may visit the author's website for more background on Mr. Hagen.