The Gallery of Wonders

The Gallery of Wonders

Magora Book 1

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
274 Pages
Reviewed on 01/29/2016
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Author Biography

Marc Remus is an award-winning German Neo Pop-Art painter and illustrator with exhibitions world-wide. He was educated in the United States, graduated with a BA in art and illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, and lived in Japan and Central America for some years. He has travelled to more than sixty countries and visited over a thousand cities, of which he has painted over two hundred. His work has been featured on TV and in many magazines and newspapers in Germany, USA, and Mexico.

During his studies in California, Remus took his first children’s book illustration class. His teacher inspired him to start writing and not just illustrating. The result was a picture book called Painting Brian, which led to the Magora series. Over a period of twenty years, Remus has developed this magical world based on places he has visited, people he has met, and things he has learned through his studies in acting, cultural Anthropology, and linguistics.

He continues to have painting exhibitions, studies Mandarin and Spanish, and enjoys travelling the world.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

The Gallery of Wonders (Magora Book 1) by Marc Remus is a fantasy novel that centers around 11-year-old Holly O’Flanigan. Holly lives with her foster family, the Smoralls, who are uncaring to the point of being abusive towards her. Her only true relationship is with her grandfather, Nikolas O’Flanigan, who has always inspired rumours around town because of his strange and eccentric ways. In reality, as we come to discover, magic is in the air. When a fire ravages the town, Holly is devastated by her grandfather’s death as she looks up to him and wants to be an artist like he was. But to her surprise, soon after, she discovers an unusual, “magical” canvas and paintbrush left to her by her grandfather, which leads to a whole new world. In this world, Holly, along with her friends, can bring anything to life by painting it. As Holly enters this new world, enrolls in an art school, and helps to solve a mystery about stolen paintings, she also learns to love herself and find herself in the process. In that sense, this is a beautiful coming-into-your-own story.

The Gallery of Wonders (Magora Book 1) by Marc Remus is a nicely written fantasy novel. Its theme of magic and creating life through art and painting is unique and appealing. I could almost imagine the vivid colors, brushstrokes, and paintings brought to life as I was reading this book. More importantly, this is a book about courage and about finding oneself through adversity. Holly’s character is well drawn and is universally appealing. The supporting cast of characters and plot make this an exciting and fun read. I would recommend this book for children and teenagers alike.

Maria Beltran

The Gallery of Wonders: Magora Book 1 by Marc Remus introduces us to Holly, an eleven-year-old orphan who lives with an abusive foster family. She has only one close relative left, her Grandpa Nickolas O’Flanigan, an eccentric artist who perishes in a mysterious fire. Holly receives an interesting package and with her friends, Brian, Rufus and classmate Amanda, she is transported to Magora, a fantasy world that her grandfather has painted. In Magora, life revolves around painting and Holly has to prove that she is a Gindar, a highly-gifted person who, with a paint brush, can create anything she wants, especially people and animals. For someone who failed her art class, it is a daunting task, especially when she learns that the paintings in the Gallery of Wonders, their only gateway to the outside world, have disappeared.

The Gallery of Wonders is the first in the Magora Book series written by Marc Remus. It is difficult not to sympathize with the story’s main protagonist, Holly O’Flanigan, a girl whose circumstances in life reminds one of Cinderella. The similarity, however, ends there and when her grandfather dies she is transported to Magora, a place that is both charming and fascinating. A shape shifter, a talking tree house and the Unfinished are just some of the characters that inhabit this enchanted world. In The Gallery of Wonders, Remus creates a truly unique and colorful world that vividly comes to life in the pages of his book and it is highly entertaining. And as Holly, like Rowling's Harry Potter, tries to make sense of her new life, we cheer her on and wish her all the best as we look forward to the next installment of the Magora Book series.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

When Holly’s grandfather dies, she’s certain that she’s going to be alone forever, stuck with a family that doesn’t care at all about her except as a personal slave. But when she stumbles across some amazing artifacts that give her special powers and introduce her to a land she thought was all make believe, she’s not sure what to do next. It’s going to take everything she and her friends have to discover the secrets of Magora and what it is about Holly that makes her so special to the ones that are seeking her.

The Gallery of Wonders by Marc Remus is definitely a good read. I was interested in the characters because they seemed pretty realistic. The good characters drew you in and made you want them to succeed, but even the bad ones seemed pretty realistic too. I think there’s a good plot here and there’s enough going on to draw your attention. It’s all about the power of the paintbrush and you don’t have to be an artist to make it work. Just a little bit of magic can do it with Magora. I would be interested in learning more about these characters and following their adventures. There’s more in store for them and it’s something I would be interested to learn. I’ll be looking for the next book and I would recommend this book to my friends as well.