Advent by James Treadwell
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 14 Critic Reviews



A drowning, a magician’s curse, and a centuries-old secret.

1537. A man hurries through city streets in a gathering snowstorm, clutching a box in one hand. He is Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age. The box he carries contains a mirror safeguarding a portion of his soul and a small ring containing all the magic in the world. Together, they comprise something unimaginably dangerous.

London, the present day. Fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes is boarding a train to the countryside to live with his aunt. His school and his parents can’t cope with him and the things he sees, things they tell him don’t really exist. At Pendurra, Gavin finds people who are like him, who see things too. They all make the same strange claim: magic exists, it’s leaking back into our world, and it’s bringing something terrible with it.

First in an astonishingly imaginative fantasy trilogy, Advent describes how magic was lost to humanity, and how a fifteen-year-old boy discovers that its return is his inheritance. It begins in a world recognizably our own, and ends an extraordinarily long way from where it started—somewhere much bigger, stranger, and richer.

About James Treadwell

See more books from this Author
James Treadwell was lecturer and junior research fellow at the University of Oxford, and assistant professor of English at McGill University. He is the author of Autobiographical Writing and British Literature, 1783–1834 and Interpreting Wagner. He lives in London, England.
Published July 3, 2012 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books. 466 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Advent

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

She asks Gavin to take her burden, that being “There will be fire and blood…The world will find it a bitter weight.” The book thereafter romps toward a surrealistic and fantastical conclusion filled with dryads and pukas, mermaids and a giant talking crow, trees that come alive, malevolent angels...

Jun 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Debut novelist Treadwell ties together the fear and wonder of magic and adolescence in this revealing tale of age-old ambition clashing with newfound identity. Gavin, a troubled 15-year-old suspended

Apr 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

When powerful artifacts crafted by Johannes Faust, the last magus, appear at Pendurra, the stage is set for Gavin and friends to uncover the secrets of their own heritage while attempting to deal with the return of magic and to thwart the resurrected Faust.

Apr 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

and into history, as we discover that the Devil has always been trying to build up America as a great civilization, to lure back to Earth his long-lost demon lover.

Jul 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel


Gavin is the only one who can see Miss Grey, and she’s never spoken to him, but after he’s kicked out of school and set to stay with his reclusive aunt, he encounters a woman who can also see Miss Grey—and both of them can hear her horrible screams.

Aug 14 2012 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

Book Reporter

Still, by the end, as the world begins to feel the pangs of magic’s rebirth, Treadwell sets his story up for a promising sequel in which he will inventively build a world where mystery and magic live again.

Aug 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

The Bookbag

As I'm fortunate enough to have read an advance copy – maybe the author and editors might think about taking them out – in which case these last few paragraphs may not make any sense by the time you come to read it.

Dec 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

Historical Novel Society

Although three-quarters of this book is set in the present day, where the reluctant Gavin must take up a classic hero’s journey, Advent’s sweeping historic scale and sense of the past infuse it throughout, rising to an unsettling crescendo that feels like the gut thrill of Mussorgsky’s “Night on ...

| Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

We Love This Book

His characters, too – particularly Gavin – are beautifully drawn, so to not only make the reader want to know more but, also, make them feel as though they know them as old acquaintances – good and bad – already.

Feb 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

Magic blurs the line between adult horror and traditional young adult fiction in James Treadwell’s debut fantasy novel, ‘‘Advent,’’ the first of a planned trilogy.

Jul 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

A Patchwork of Books

And from that came "The Giver."Wow, it's fascinating, how example after example, Lois is sharing with us tips that sparked her to write her books (books that then captivate the hearts and minds of readers all over the world...

Nov 04 2014 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

The British Fantasy Society

It seems unlikely that a book that combines Faust, Helen of Troy, a mermaid, a witch, a warlock, the prophetess Cassandra, an ancient magic, a peasant’s ring and a young boy will ever provide a coherent narrative, but somehow Advent manages it.

Dec 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

Shades of Sentience

It tells the story of the teenager Gavin, who sees things others can’t – and thinks everyone hates him for it.

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

(I read this book to my 6 1/2 year old granddaughter and she loved this book--in my opinion I believe ages 9-12 is not accurate.Other books by Lois Lowry:Number The Stars, The Giver, The Willoubys, Gathering Blue, The Birthday BallShe is the author of 30 books!This book was borrowed from the libr...

Feb 12 2017 | Read Full Review of Advent: A Novel

Reader Rating for Advent

An aggregated and normalized score based on 46 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review