A recurring dream sends white 12-year-old Sam London deep into the Mohave Desert in search of the Phylassos, the legendary father of all gryphons and protector of magical creatures.
But Sam’s encounter thrusts him into a dangerous world where both his greatest dreams and worst nightmares await. Hidden from humans for centuries, the many species of mythical creatures are beginning to rebel. When the source of their concealment, the titular gryphon’s claw, is threatened, it is up to Sam and the members of the Department of Mythical Wildlife to keep the worlds from colliding into war. Thankfully, what Sam lacks in experience he more than makes up for with luck, imparted to him during his encounter with the gryphon. Interspersed with case notes, this is intended to be a narrative retelling of the first of evidently multiple Sam London cases. Unfortunately, the mashup of Greek, Irish, English, and Scottish mythological traditions is both familiar and uneven. Sam is oddly (and bizarrely) adept in his navigation of the mythical world, while the DMW, presumably constituted exclusively to administer it, is both disorganized and unprepared. Diversity exists predominantly in the mythical realm. Readers interested in a modern twist on ancient mythology would do well to look elsewhere for their magic and adventure.
A lackluster start to a new fantasy series. (Fantasy. 8-12)