Geo by Topher Allen

Geo by Topher Allen
Publisher: Outside Voice Publishing
Genre: Middle Grade (8 – 12 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Golem’s Hollow, the crystal city. For a rock like Geo, the beautifully familiar spires are the perfect place to be. They’re the only place to be. But what lies beyond the underground metropolis?

Geo always had questions, and ready or not, this is his chance for answers. Things didn’t go quite as planned, now he and his friends are stranded in a distant wilderness. It’s the adventure he always wanted. But survival is not guaranteed. Bizarre creatures roam these endless wilds dotted with odd, abandoned structures. What else is going on out here? Why does no one else dare to ask?

Unknown worlds are rarely safe and never predictable.

Adventures can be found anywhere.

The world building was well done, especially when it came to describing how Geo’s society was wildly different from anything humans have thought of for themselves. This showed up in subtle ways like the characters saying “for peat’s sake” instead of “for Pete’s sake,” but it also demonstrated to the audience cultural differences between rocks and humans that I never would have thought about in advance. Those moments are really best left for each reader to discover for themselves due to how surprising and wonderful they were. I don’t want to spoil any surprises!

There were some pacing issues. They were especially noticeable in the first third of this book which dampened my enthusiasm to keep reading even though I was highly interested in the idea of sentient rocks when I began. Unfortunately, the storyline moved so slowly in the beginning that it was a struggle for me to continue reading. It would have been nice to have more action in these scenes.

With that being said, my interest levels did increase again once Geo and his friends began their exciting adventure in the world outside of Golem’s Hollow, the crystal city where they lived. It’s one thing to see how rocks live on their home turf, but it’s quite another to see how they react to an unfamiliar and sometimes a little frightening outside world. Their reactions to these events renewed my interest in these characters even as I continued to wish the plot itself could move along a bit faster.

Geo was a creative adventure that should be read by anyone who has ever wondered what it might be like to be a rock.


  1. A book about sentient rocks sound really interesting. I collect rocks, shells, and flower. basically anything that can be found outside. I place them on my bookshelves.

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