Book Review: The Imaginarium of the Innocent by H.A. Betancourt

Title: The Imaginarium of the Innocent
Author: H.A. Betancourt
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

While young Wendy and her brothers were taken to Neverland by Peter Pan, Alice fell through a rabbit hole and the Pevensie siblings crossed over to Narnia, another boy was taken to another fantastic place: his own heart.

Great losses crumble the worlds of even the steadiest individuals. In The Imaginarium of the Innocent, ten-year-old Tobias Young’s sense of home is torn from him in one night of wartime devastation in Belgium. Instead of security, love and peace, Toby now faces deep despair and cold numbness. In the aftermath of the destruction of his soul, he is crippled and orphaned in London.Not only does Toby struggle to accept his handicap, he battles the will to be happy. With the help of a magical soaring eagle, Eoloswing, Toby enters the endangered Imaginarium as the Nightingale—a young man destined to save his newfound friends from the evil of the Hopeslayer. As Toby searches for answers and happiness—with his new roommate and his sister—in both the orphanage and the gorgeous and captivating floating island of dreams, he must learn to address his own heart and remember to retain his own Spark of Elan.

In The Imaginarium of the Innocent, ten-year-old Tobias Young loses his home, innocence and family in one horrible night during the war. As his parents die in front of him, Toby is left with nothing but despair and numbness as he struggles to survive, his soul shattered, his world forever destroyed. In the aftermath of that horrible, devastating night, he finds himself in London, crippled and now an orphan.

Not only does he now have to learn to live with a handicap, but he also has to come to terms with his horrible loss, and learn to be happy again, although he seems to have lost the will for that. But happiness and magic tend to find their way, even when you least expect it.

With the help of a magical eagle, Eoloswing, Toby becomes the Nightingale in the world of the Imaginarium – a young man destined to save his friends.

This is a captivating book that is both devastating and haunting, yet also carries with it a message of hope and of salvation. The first few chapters were horrible to read because they meant such tragedy for Toby, and they showed the true horrors of war. Toby is a strong young man, a brave one too, and his strength really shows as the book progresses. However, the book isn’t all doom and gloom, it also shows a magical world where hope overcomes all terrors, and where one boy learns to be happy again.


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