Good magic takes on bad in The Emerald Atlas, the first book of the new Books of Beginning trilogy by John Stephens. Siblings Kate, Michael and Emma, possibly orphaned, possibly abandoned for their own protection, are sent to an orphanage that is really just an old house in a run-down town with no children, and in a mysterious basement study they find the Emerald Atlas, a book with the power to transport them through time. Through various adventures and run ins with an evil Countess, a wizard, a giant, a band of dwarves, and some other fantastical creatures, they find out there are two more magic books that make up the Books of Beginning (did I mention this is a trilogy?). But they are not the only ones who want to find the books, and they must protect each other and their friends in their quest to secure the Emerald Atlas and the other Books of Beginning, find their parents, and fulfill their destiny. With harrowing battle scenes, time travel, magic, and dark villains with black-fabric adorned plebes to do their dirty work, The Emerald Atlas is already being compared to Harry Potter. However, with script-like writing (Stevens has a background in television production) and drawn out action, Stevens shows that he is just a little green to fiction writing. I am hopeful, if not confident, that based on this book, the next two will get progressively better, which would make them very good indeed. Harry Potter good? Probably not. But better.