Uncovering Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark
Norah Lukens needs to uncover the truth about the fabled lost city of Cobbogoth. After her archaeologist uncle’s murder, Norah is asked to translate his old research journal for evidence and discovers that his murder was a cover-up for something far more sinister.
When she turns to neighbor and only friend James Riley for help, she realizes that not only is their bitter-sweet past haunting her every step, but James is keeping dangerous secrets. Can Norah discover what they are before its too late to share her own?
Praise for Uncovering Cobbogoth
"With a fascinating protagonist in Norah Lukens, a fully realized, never before seen fantasy world, and a fast paced, compelling story, Uncovering Cobbogoth establishes Hannah L. Clark as a major new voice in American fiction. The richness of the story and the scope of the world she's created screams for a film adaptation. This is a fantasy novel for everyone, even readers not usually drawn to the genre. Highly, highly recommended!"
-Bryce Clark, author of Red Shirt Kids
"This book takes you on a wonderful ride, bringing myth and legend to life. The characters are full and flawed, with a sweet romance woven through the adventure."
- Annette K. Larsen, author of Just Ella
"Uncovering Cobbogoth is an Icelandic tale that will appeal to many Harry Potter series fans […] For those who’ve missed the Harry Potter world, here’s a pretty good alternative!"
- Sharon Haddock, For the Deseret News
"This isn't a typical YA fantasy/scifi/para story like the multitude of vampire or witch or werewolf or mermaid themes that fill bookshelves in stores currently. When after a couple of chapters it became apparent that this wasn't yet another entry into the aforementioned themes, I was downright giddy. And then to find out there wasn't a standard issue love triangle? I wanted to find the author and buy her dinner."
-Radar626, Amazon reviewer
"A friend of mine recommended this book […] I checked it out and I was so pleased! I love this book. I can't wait to read the next one [...] and I am encouraging my daughter to read it as well. If you like fantasy with a little mix of science this book is perfect. I had such a hard time putting this book down just so I could deal with real life and working on promoting my own book. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book."
-Pamela Hall, author
The Legend of the Cobbogothians is really where Uncovering Cobbogoth begins. For as long as Norah can remember, her Uncle Jack has been obsessed with the mythical people. He became an archeologist and world famous Myth-chaser because of the Cobbogothian legends he heard while visiting his Granddad Aegissida’s farm in Iceland.
The Legend of the Cobbogothians
Long ago, at the beginning of time, a peculiar race ruled the earth. They found favor in the eyes of the gods and received great gifts of knowledge and power at their hands. These gifts made them elementalists—masters of earth, wind, fire, water, metal, wood and space. The elementalists thenceforth became rulers of the earth and sky.
With this power came corruption, and the elementalists soon forgot their patron gods. Instead, they turned to worshipping themselves and their own creations. This angered the gods, and in their wrath, the vowed to bring an icy end to the prideful race.
Rumors of the looming destruction were heralded throughout the land, and a final invitation was issued to the elementalists to renounce their fallen ways. Yet only a few heard and heeded. Among them was a man named Cobbogoth. Being a wise and humble servant of the gods, he believed the warnings and led all who would listen deep into the bowels of the earth to wait out the approaching storm.
When the day of destruction was come and the wrath of the gods rained down, the race of elementalists was wiped away, and then came the dawning of a violent and frigid ide age.
It is said that Cobbogoth’s posterity still lives beneath our feet, waiting to rise and rule the earth and sky once more.
Icelandic Bard, 1045 AD
*Translated from the original Old Norse by Dr. Jack A. Lukens of Harvard University, April 1975
Author Hannah L. Clark
Hannah L. Clark lives with her husband and their son in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor’s degree in English and immediately began writing Uncovering Cobbogoth, the first book in a seven book series based on Clark's mythological brain-child, the Icelandic Legend of the Cobbogothians.
Clark loves her family, running, mythology, laughing, soulful bluegrass music, road-trips, studying alternative medicine, retro hairdos, and growing things. Like her heroine Norah, she also kind of believes trees have souls, but must clarify (for her parents' sakes) that she was not raised by hippies. ;-)
James Riley was Norah’s only friend. Their friendship began to blossom when James’ Gram got sick, and Norah started making daily visits to help him care for her. Just when their friendship was on the verge of becoming something more, however, Norah’s Uncle Jack intervened, telling her she could no longer spend time with James unless it was to help with Gram.
Norah was devastated.
Nor? ” James rubbed the sleep from his eyes with the heel of his hand. One look at me, however, and he was wide awake. “What is it? Is it Gram?”
“No. No, not that,” I croaked, guilt rushing through me for causing him more worry.
The panic left his eyes, and he squinted at me.
I shuffled self-consciously. I knew I looked terrible. I’d been up crying half the night after my argument with Uncle Jack about James breaking my heart. Finally, I snuck out my window, climbed down my cherry tree, and headed to the fire station to see James.
“Hey, Riley! Cut the lights, man!”
James glanced back into the dark, communal bedroom where the rest of the night shift firefighters slept.
“Come here.” He took my hand, closed the bedroom door and, in stockinged feet, led me down the hall. A moment later, we were sitting side by side on the stairs. James still held my hand, and I hoped he’d never let go. I watched as he reached into his shirt pocket, fishing around until he found a piece of peppermint gum.
He offered me half. I shook my head, so he stuffed the whole thing in his mouth. Then he turned those kind, piercing eyes on me.
Growing warm under his gaze, I cleared my throat. “I-I’m so sorry to wake you up,” I started. “I hoped you’d still be awake. It’s just . . .”
James mindlessly ran his thumb in circles over my knuckles. I lost my train of thought. Blinking, I took a deep breath and plunged on. “My uncle . . . he wants me to stop spending time with you. I mean, I can still help with Gram and everything, he just doesn’t want us hanging out any other time.” I sucked in another unsteady breath. “But I—I can’t let that happen, James. You’re my only friend.”
James was quiet for what seemed like forever. I prayed he wouldn’t just shrug his broad shoulders and shuffle back to bed.
To my relief, he reached up, rumpling his chocolate curls with his free hand. “Did he give you a reason why?” he asked, avoiding my eyes. I shook my head. “I think he’s afraid you’ll end up hurting me—that you’ll break my heart. You know how protective he is.”
He was silent again, this time longer.
Stupid, Norah! Why had I come here? Why did I think James would even care about this—that it would upset him at all?
Finally, James let out his breath. And the next moment, he was pressing the back of my hand to his lips.
I swallowed my shock. I’d never imagined that his lips could be so warm and soft. The contact sent a shock straight to my heart.
“What do you think?” James mumbled a moment later, still contemplating my hand. “Do you think I could hurt you?”
I wanted to burst into tears all over again. “I don’t think, James, I know. But it would be worth it.”
James chuckled this time, resting his forehead against my temple. “Now that’s a compliment.”
I smiled. Having him so close—smelling the fresh peppermint on his breath—was a fierce mixture of agony and ecstasy. They were feelings I’d never imagined I could feel.
“I’d never hurt you, Nor,” James whispered at last, and his breath tickled my neck. “Not really.”
Overcoming fear to find your courage, understanding sacrifice, and experiencing true, soul-deep love-this book has all of it. Norah finds herself faced with so many challenges, and she rises up to meet them, letting the reader watch her character grow through the book. She really is stronger than she thinks. James...you're going to love him. He's sweet and protective, even if Norah doesn't understand why he says and does certain things. His personality is such that you can't not like him.
The world building was magnificent, with the establishment of a whole myth system behind the Cobbogoth legend.
And while the first half of the book was a bit more calm, the last half...and especially the final quarter...was filled with riveting action and excitement. It just kept building and building, creating much anticipation-and at almost the end one of those I-can't-believe-the-author-would-do-that-to-me moments that put me into emotional overload.
If you're a YA fantasy/adventure lover, you're going to want this book in your library. In my opinion, 13+ would be just fine with this clean, fun adventure.
Five fantastic stars!
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