BOOK REVIEWS

Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles (Ronan Boyle #1) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-04-13 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 2 user ratings
ISBN:1419734911
LANGUAGE:English

" Reads (to me) like an extended stand-up comedy routine. Not my type of book, but I'm sure there are plenty of readers out there who would love it. With a 15/16 year-old character, it seems like it should be YA, but I'm thinking it would be ok in an elementary school library. It's going to take just the right reader to stick with the Irish terminology and the frequent asides in the form of footnotes. They will be rewarded for their perseverance by the slightly raunchy parts. " said.

"Thomas Lennon has a lot to say. And I'm listening.

In this obviously "1st in the series" middle grader book, we meet Ronan Boyle. He is not your typical secret garda type. He is small and seems to have trouble losing his glasses due to smashing them or having them melt off his face. His parents are in the Joy Vaults which isn't as happy as one might think. Ronan joins the Secret Garda in hopes that he can exonerate his parents. After several *interesting* adventures, we leave off with Ronan, his friend and fellow recruit Log and the 2nd best wolfhound on a new adventure to rescue someone very important to Ronan and the Secret Garda (I would type more about the adventures but they are so fun and strange that you really need to read about them in the book instead)

There are a lot of side notes and footnotes. At first, I thought they may become distracting but I ended up enjoying them. This was a fun and funny read. There was light "bathroom" humor but I also found a few chuckles that were aimed at us older folks. There was a lot of pop culture references and I had to go listen to Ed Sheeran's Shape of You a couple of different times. I also had to go eat a stroopwafel which wasn't really a hardship at all. :) It is obvious that Lennon has a lot going on in his head. I knew when I was halfway through the book that there are going to be more books. I'd be surprised if he didn't start the 2nd book the day after he ended this book.

I would recommend this book to middle school children. I think reluctant readers 10-12 would very much enjoy this. There are many, many references to smoking and drinking. There may be a couple of parents who would not approve of this. I have no problem with it and really, it wasn't the humans smoking and drinking.
" said.

" Thanks to the publishers for my advanced copy. Lennon’s strange and precise voice abounds in this wacky Irisher than Irish adventure for young readers. Lots of Gaelic and smells. Bit too much cliff hanger for me at the end...wide open for much more. " said.

"I cannot deny that, compared to the type of books I normally read, this book was very strange, which I liked. For the most part, I enjoyed this book, but there were some things that bothered me. Such as the title; while there was a Bridge of Riddles, it didn't have anything to do with the climax as far as I could tell. And sometimes things were restated that very clearly stated in the first place, making it unnecessary, but seeing as it's an arc chances are it'll be corrected.

I really enjoyed the main character, Ronan Boyle, the captain, Log, and Lilly and I thought the wee folk very interesting to read about. Thomas Lennon's writing style and story were such that I could never guess what was going to happen next, which isn't something that happens very often with me. Usually, when I read a book, no matter how much I enjoy it, I can guess at least one or two of the things that are going to happen. My favorite part of the entire book would have to be the ending. Personally, I don't mind the cliffhanger because of how it came about.

I both can't wait for the book to actually come out so I can compare notes and for the next book to come out.
" said.

"*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles is a fun, imaginative fantasy that explores the concept of Irish mythology through the adventures of a bumbling young man named Ronan Boyle. I read somewhere that this is an Artemis-Fowl-esque series, and while the fantasy and mythology certain remind me of this series, I love that the main character is a relatable, awkward teen rather than a criminal mastermind.

I really enjoyed this book; the characters are all incredibly quirky and there are moments in here that made me laugh out loud. Lennon does an amazing job in twisting Irish mythology to fit this world he’s created; I have read quite a lot of fantasy based on Irish mythology, and this had a different flavor of fae than I’ve ever experienced.

My only complaint is that not much really happened in this book aside from setting up the world. While that in itself was enjoyable, the plot was rather thin and just when I thought some progress was finally going to be made on the Boyle intrigue, the book ended. Of course, this makes me VERY excited for the next book, I just hope that is actually paid off at some point. Readers who like more action-packed novels might not love this book, but I’m hoping the sequel is more exciting.

This book packs some of my favorite tropes into one book: an awkward teen main character, a boarding-schoolish feel with Boyle training to be a Garda, and a young man in search of redeeming his family. It’s all put together with a wink and a sly smile; this is a book that is pure entertainment and fun that you’re really not supposed to take very seriously. Overall, I enjoyed it, even if I felt it dragged in bits because of the overarching plot not advancing very much.

Also posted on Purple People Readers.
" said.

"Ronan Boyle is the most awkward boy one has ever met, but he joined the Secret Garda(Irish police that handles the miss deeds of magical creatures) to look for a way to prove his parents innocence as they were framed by the wee folk.

You will laugh aloud at the hilarious descriptions of Boyle's adventures and meetings of these magical creatures. You hope he solves the mystery involving his parents framing, only to be left with an intriguing twist at the very end that makes you wish the book was longer.

Looking forward to reading the next book by Thomas Lennon.
" said.

"When I found out that Thomas Lennon, the Thomas Lennon, was writing a middle grade novel…I had to get my hands on it. Unfortunately the best I was able to do was get my eyes on it. Had I been able to get a physical copy, my review would consist of a short video of me, new book goofin’ with this amazing new book.
I’ve been a fan of Lennon since 19 blah biddy blah. You get it, the last century. His sense of humor and skills are delightful and Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles lives up to my expectations in every way. Ronan is an awkward kid, as all really great middle grade characters are. The kind of character building associated with not quite fitting in comes in handy when his parents are arrested for a crime they didn’t commit. Taken under the wing of the unintelligible Captain Fearney, Ronan finds himself called in to participate in a special case….because he’s tall and skinny.
Thus begins Ronan’s time in the Garda Special Unit, under the tutelage of Captain Siobhan de Valera and his adventures as a Garda Special Unit Detective with a side mission of setting his parents free. I don’t want to go into too much detail as the journey awaits for you, but be sure to grab a flask of Jamie, or maybe some unicorn and chips to accompany you on this adventure that has enough whimsy to make the Old Fashioned Guy Blush.
" said.

"15-year-old Ronan Boyle is the youngest member to join the secret Irish Garda Special Unit division assigned to Tir Na Nog - the land of the faeire folk, a place where you’ll find leprechauns, fear gortas (not-quite-dead goblins), unicorns, clurichauns (slightly taller than leprechauns but much nastier), leprepedes, weegees, far darrigs (disgusting-looking little red creatures with snouts and tails) and even more! Ronan joined in order to help free his parents from jail. He’s hoping to learn all he can to prove their innocence but he has no idea how dangerous the journeys are ahead of him.
Lennon has surely kissed the Blarney Stone. The story moves quickly from one hilarious adventure to another and has a very suspenseful ending. It is imaginative and complex, with an amazing number of unusual Irish characters, and footnotes to explain it all. I only wish it had a pronunciation guide as well. There are perhaps a bit too many references to alcoholic drinks but the sophisticated, sometimes gross, humor is laugh out loud funny! Here are a couple of scenes:
Leprechauns love to eat the super-hot pickles at the Pickle Palace because it gives them the “pickle fits”. First the leprechaun turns bright red and smoke blasts from his ears, nose, and behind with a blast that is powerful enough to launch him into the ceiling. It proceeds into giggling and dancing and ends with a burp that often burns off his eyebrows.
All Special Unit vehicles carry a panini press so they can make a sandwich called the Irish Goodbye “a weapons-grade sandwich made with cabbage, spicy Irish mustard, lean corned beef, fear gorta breath, two [CLASSIFIED INGREDIENTS], mayonnaise, and the toenails of woodtrolls on buttered brown bread…The sandwich is basically irresistible. (You can’t even taste the toenails, and yes, there is a vegan version.)”
Middle grade fun with appeal to the gross-humor camp as well as readers with a more sophisticated sense of humor. Thanks to Abrams for the advance proof!
" said.

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