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on Feb. 18, 2012 :
There are other excellent reviews of this book, so I'll try to keep mine brief. This is the story of a class trip that goes madly awry. A class of middle school kids and their teachers crosses over into another world, named Mother, and are transformed into various creatures that fit that world. The transforming students and teachers find themselves in the midst of a local war and must go for help from the locals, taking sides on the war along the way.
This is an excellent book. The pacing is brisk and never bogs down while leaving plenty of space for the sorts of details that really bring a story to life. There is enough conflict all through the book to make it lively, and the build-up to the war adds a constant element of tension to the story. The story is inventive and playful and is fun to read, and the book went by like a flash. Fortunately there is a second book, "A Cure For Chaos," to read when you're done with this one!
(review of free book)
on Dec. 25, 2011 :
The story starts out reminding me of Percy Jackson with the field trip. At first I though this is going to be a copy cat but as they story moves along, was I ever wrong.
First of all, the story moves at the PERFECT pace, not boringly slow but not too fast so that it can include details. The characters are full of characters, whoa that sounded weird. I did not hate any of the characters (and I always hate some characters in a book). I really like juvenile book characters where the book do not focus on relationships with the main girl and guy, but focus on the mystical story. Rather the book focus on the journey, or adventure the main characters have. The plot is so captivating that I couldn't put it down.
I love the setting! It is very mysterious and magical. This is definitely one reason I love juvenile books. The descriptions allow you imagine yourself the world full with elemental spirits, goblins, dragons and more.
The story kind of reminds me of Narnia with all the creatures and enchanting sceneries. But a better comparison might be the mini 2 part series of Neverland.
I really enjoyed the evil side's POV; to me, it was far more interesting than the good side. It just feel like there was more going on then the good side. The good side just basically walked, not very interesting. But with the evil side, you discover a lot of things which is awesome.
Seriously this book was amazing! It had all I wanted in a book. Even with Michael Scott's books I had to put it down and reread it months after. And this is why I am drawn towards books that are for ages 9-12 because I don't want to deal with the crappy relationships and other boring stuff YA books offer me.
5 SHINNY STARS! ✩✩✩✩✩
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Aug. 31, 2010 :
A Measure of Disorder by Alan Tucker is a wonderful foray into fantasy and imagination. Technically a young adult book, the book is just as likely to appeal to middle-graders as the heroine of the book is a fourteen-year-old eighth grader name Jenni Kershaw.
Jenni and her eighth grade science class are on a field to a nearby campground to collect plant samples for a science project. Suddenly, after lunch, the entire class finds themselves going unexpectedly sleepy. A mist rolls over the lake they are picnicking near and when everyone awakes they discover they are now in an alternate reality that is very different from their own.
Slowly, as time goes on Jenny and her classmates find themselves surrounded by strange people and new and threatening circumstances. One after another Jenni’s classmates begin to change, some for the better; others for the worse. Then two distinct camps are developed. One wishes to live in peace, but the other seeks the destruction of the peaceable camp. What will the outcome be?
What follows is an excerpt from the story, taken from approximately midway through:
“Rodrin lowered himself down and returned shortly with a small Nomenstrastenai girl, and a tiny flying Faerstrastenai that immediately sped over to Jenni and landed on her shoulder, hugging her neck.
“Oh Jenni! I’m so glad to see you!” the Faerstrastenai said in a soft voice that sounded familiar.
Jenni let the hug continue for a few seconds, then offered her hand to step onto so she could see the Faerstrastenai face to face. She apologized and buzzed to Jenni’s hand. Jenni thought first of Rachael, but her features and hair were different.
“Deena!” Jenni exclaimed. “Oh my gosh! I wish I could hug you back!”
Deena laughed. “Me too.”
“Deena, this is Ba’ize. He’s the mayor of Seren’naie”
Deena performed a curtsy in midair and Ba’ize smiled. “A pleasure to meet you Deena,” he said. “And who has come along with you?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” Deena ushered the girl forward. “This is Feeder, she's from Crank’s village.”
The girl sniffled and bowed to both Ba’ize and Jenni. As she straightened, Jenni saw tears in her eyes. She had blond hair, like Crank, and wore a simple tan dress, typical of her people, but it was soiled and torn. She also looked incredibly tired. Jenni then recalled this was the girl she had seen tending the tamed birds in the village while they were there.
Jenni looked back to Deena, “What happened? How did you get here?”
Deena proceeded to tell the story of the transformations of Mrs. Minch, Mike, and Scott and the subsequent attack on the village. The Gobinstrastorai had arrived and camped around the village for two or three days, then somehow managed to destroy the defense mechanism that protected the Nomenstrastenai. Deena and Feeder had been able to slip out during the battle and hide. The next day when they had seen the devastation of the village, the two had decided to follow the trail of Ms. Pap and the class, and make their way to Seren’naie.
Feeder began to cry and Jenni sat on the floor, holding her. Ba’ize sat in a chair, trying to make sense of their story.
A few minutes later, Crank arrived back from his errands, and the painful tale was relayed to him. Feeder ran to him and Crank absently comforted her while he sat in shock at the realization that his mother and father were dead.”
A Measure of Disaster by Alan Tucker, copyright 2010, MAD Design, Inc, 212 Fair Park Drive, billings Montana 59012, author’s website: http://www.mother-earthseries.com Smashwords Edition http://www.smashwords.com ISBN 978-0-9826864-0-9 $3.99
(reviewed long after purchase)
on June 24, 2010 :
To start with, I'm a huge fantasy fan. I'm keen on faeries, vampires, werewofles etc. Unfortunately, quite a lot of books are similar: almost the same problems, the same adventures... "Measure of Disorder" is different - in positive way.
A group of 14-years-old pupils with some teachers and parents are on a field trip. While coming back, they cross to another world. They don't know what'd happened, have nothing to eat, some of them felt ill... But the meet Crank, an inhabitant of the place. He decides to help them. A big adventure's just started.
The style of writing's somehow similar to Trudi Canavan's. Quite a lot of details, natural dialogs. I loved it. The story's structure's alike too. Each chapter describes the situation seen by another person's eyes, which's an interesing solution. An intriguing epilogue makes me think about the continuation.
I highly reccomend the book. I can't wait for the next part of the trylogy. I hope it'd be as good as the first part.
Good job, Mr. Tucker!
(reviewed long after purchase)
on June 21, 2010 :
I wasn't sure what to expect when reading "A Measure of Disorder" because the description is pretty vague and I hate to say that I'm not really a fan of the cover, but the book pleasantly surprised me. Tucker created a magical world and characters that I cared about. I loved how they were able to find their true identities in another world and I felt this was a really concept. I kind of wonder how Jenny's identity will play out in the rest of the series. I know that probably didn't make much sense to most people, but I'm trying not to spoil anything. I also liked how Crank's character explores the idea of "The Other" (basically someone who doesn't fit into the parameters of the society they live in), which is a topic I love to explore in books.
I didn't really like how the book was told through multiple perspectives and I had trouble keeping up with all the characters at the beginning. By the end of the book I was used to it and stopped noticing, but it did slow down the book for me. I am curious to see what roles the characters will play in the series. Even though it started off a bit slow because of all the characters, the plot really kept me hooked and I flew through the last hundred pages. I just had to know what was going to happen next.
I really enjoyed "A Measure of Disorder" and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy and adventure books. This is a book that I think would have appeal to readers of all ages. The ending of the book really surprised me and I am excited to read the next book in the series.
* I did receive this book free of charge for review purposes.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 14, 2010 :
I love this book I read the back and was enchanted, all of my friends want to read this book! I recommend this to everyone! great job :)
(reviewed the day of purchase)