Land of Nod, The Artifact

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Jeff B. has been haunted by terrifying dreams since the disappearance of his father. When he finds a portal in his father’s office, he must overcome his fears in an attempt to find him. As Jeff looks for clues regarding what may have happened to his father, he is accused by some of being a spy while thought by others to be a prophesized figure... who may be the key to victory in a developing war. More

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Published: Sep. 17, 2010
Words: 62,190
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452340593
About Gary Hoover

Gary was born. He hasn't died yet.

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Reviews

Review by: John Davis on Sep. 23, 2012 : star star star star star
Land of Nod, The Artifact is the story of young Jeff Browning, son of a well renowned physicist who has gone missing and is presumed dead. Jeff deals with the complex emotions around the abandonment by his father and his passivity, when he encounters a teleporter that takes him to a different world. It is not a spoiler to tell you that the world is called "Nod".

Once there, he childishly realizes that the rules of his home world not longer apply, but to also trust his psychic instincts about other people. This new world is one in which nightmares are real, and people from Earth have innate psychic advantages over the Nod natives.

I am not sure how this book is being marketed, but it is unquestionably a children's novel, aimed right around the upper elementary/lower middle school split, and clearly aimed at males. That said, even though I am nowhere near this book's target audience, it kept me captivated from start to finish.

I really enjoyed exploring the new world with Jeff. Author Gary Hoover has done an excellent job with world building and is clearly a master of showing, rather than telling, the necessary exposition. The descriptive attention to detail and simplified-yet-spot-on science explanations make me wonder if Mr. Hoover is a trained scientist, himself. If not, he certainly writes like one (a compliment).

One of the other things I really liked about this novel is that it had a hint of kindness permeating everything. While Jeff was in real danger and there was real action and real suspense, all the other protagonist characters seemed to adopt Jeff as a member of their family and treat him with the love and respect such a position provides. It is rare to feel that you are getting a special hug from a beloved parent due to reading a book, but I enjoyed the feel-good added bonus that came with the story.

Disclosure: I received an ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jan Brown on July 12, 2011 : star star star star star
I tend to like sci-fy/fantasy's if there's a whole lot of reality in them too. Gary did a wonderful job with this story mixing reality and sci fi/fantasy, letting us see it from a boy's view of things happening giving an innocence to the story you wouldn't get from a very sceptical adult's view (like me!). Which made it more believable. Once it went into the "other" world I felt like I had an animation or comic book in my head as Gary described the things Jeff came upon. The end is written nicely enough to not leave you hanging so badly that it seemed abrupt, instead it leads you to believe there's another story/book coming bringing more adventure to find what he was looking for!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sheila Deeth on July 06, 2011 : star star star
Take one teen boy. Add recent tragedy in the form of absent super-scientist father. Mix with the requisite high school bully, strange dreams, and a curious machine. Then you’ll have the road into Gary Hoover’s Land of Nod: The Artifact. The Artifact is, of course, the first book in a series, and the ending, as expected, is just the beginning. But the mysterious world Jeff discovers is nicely imagined, with intriguing depths yet to be plumbed. The landscape is full of fun characters, curious creatures and strange circumstances, and everything’s told with meticulous attention to detail.

For the most part, the world is viewed through Jeff’s eyes, and he’s a plausible teen narrator. Occasional switches to omniscient views, forays into political comment, or ubiquitous long-clause similes are a little distracting, though humorous, and should appeal to the intended younger audience. The story-line’s well-planned and exciting, and there’s a pleasing undertone of kindness even in battle that bodes well for the series; a longish, slowish, but fun teen adventure with the promise of more to follow.



Disclosure: I received an ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Bonnie Lamer on July 02, 2011 : star star star
Jeff Browning is a fourteen year old boy trying to make his way through life after the disappearance of his father, a brilliant scientist. Longing to find clues as to where his father, who is presumed dead by the police, could be, Jeff searches his father’s office. There, he finds a strange machine that opens a passage to what looks like another world. Sure he will find his father in this strange land, Jeff decides to investigate. He suddenly finds himself in a forest filled with giant insects, man-sized birds and snakes with three feet wide heads with no way to get back home.

Gary Hoover does a great job describing this world, creating a vivid picture in the reader’s mind of what Jeff is seeing and feeling. The civilization mirrors that of earth in many ways - for instance, the people speak English. Yet, there are unique differences in technology and social structure that make it a fascinating place to be. Power struggles and the threat of a war make it also a dangerous place to be. I enjoyed reading about this new world and, giant insects aside, I wouldn’t mind living there with its flying cars and showers that dry you off without the need of a towel.

Land of Nod, The Artifact is a nice escape into a different dimension and the story is well-written and interesting. There were a few things, though, that held me back from giving the book a full four stars. There is a lot of illusion to Jeff having abilities that would save the day, but in the end, it seemed there was more hype than substance. For instance, Jeff is able to move large obstacles blocking an escape route, but often does not show enough strength to protect himself in other situations. That’s a shame, because Jeff has the potential to be a strong and captivating character. I hope that there are sequels to Land of Nod, The Artifact that allow him more room to grow into the character that is alluded to throughout this book.

Another thing I questioned was Jeff’s age. I believe that Gary Hoover did an excellent job of describing the insecurities and doubts a fourteen year old boy would have; but in this story, Jeff was looked to by adults to come up with solutions to problems he knew nothing about – such as in politics and war. He was taken maybe too seriously by the grown men in the Land of Nod without having proven himself to be capable of such leaps of faith. If he was a few years older, closer to being an adult himself, this may have seemed a bit more plausible.

All in all, I enjoyed Land of Nod, The Artifact. I think it is a nice, quick read that is both entertaining and action-packed. It definitely has the makings of a good series. I give this book three and a half stars.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Annarita Guarnieri on July 01, 2011 : star star star star star
Reviewd by Annarita Guarnieri

I’ve just finished reading Land of Nod, and I must say it left me with the same feeling most good readings do… a sense of regret that here wasn’t more to read, and a wish for the sequel to come out soon.
It’s been a long time since I read a sci-fi book that appealed so much to me… light enough on the scientific side not to get boring for somebody who, like me, doesn’t like techology and science very much, and yet really powerful on the adventure side and with a very good, enthralling plot. I only wish the psychology of some character had been further explored, but since most of them are seen mostly through Jeff’s eyes, I realize that would have been rather difficult.
All considered, The Land of Nod makes a very good and pleasant reading.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Vickie Johnstone on June 24, 2011 : star star star star star
This is a fun, easy read. The pace is fast. The plot skims along happily and takes the reader with it on a crazy ride. I like books that take you to different worlds filled with imagined things – my fave books of childhood were all of that type – so I really enjoyed this one. I wanted more at the end, so the ‘to be continued’ note was good for me! I think readers of various ages are going to like this book. The main characters are likeable and well drawn. The plot is interesting. There’s suspense, thrills and comic bits too. This one is a page turner. I don’t want to give anything away, but my fave character is the biggest one... you’ll know when you read. Come on book 2!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sue Palmer on June 21, 2011 : star star star star star
I started this book with slight trepidation, it was my first sci-fi and i really didn’t know what to expect. However, this was short-lived; a couple of pages in and i was completely hooked. I felt as if i had stepped into a portal of my own, and then taken on an incredible journey. What a ride!.....I was introduced to a teenage super hero, strange creatures, advanced technology, a war between Continents (with a difference) and a whole lot of fast paced adventure!
This is an amazing book that could be read by people of all ages, covering genres of YA, Sci-Fi and Adventure. It is well written, very easy to follow and cleverly leaves the reader awaiting the sequel, which i hope isn’t too far away.
Thank you for this, Mr Hoover, you have written a brilliant book and have got another fan.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Robyn Johnson on May 28, 2011 : star star star
I enjoyed the plot of this story. The motivations of Jeff and the other characters worked well to propel the story forward. Through Jeff’s eyes the alternate world came to life, populated with creatures and people who added to the excitement.

Yet, there were spots where the narrative came up short. Instances when I wanted more description to better see the world that Jeff was in. Also the ending seemed a little too easy for Jeff. There was a buildup of tension but no bang for me, more of a fizzle.

Still Land of Nod, The Artifact was a good read. There were some minor technical mistakes in the writing but they did not interfere with the story and are easy to forgive. This is a story that will appeal to both teens and adults who are interested in reading tales of adventure and discovery.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: CathyS on May 16, 2011 : star star star star
The Kindle seems to have encouraged me to read things I would normally overlook. The Land of Nod is one of them; it sits on the same bookshelf as a Harry Potter book. And that is why I thoroughly enjoyed it. A normal, intelligent boy, Jeff, leading a normal life, suddenly finds himself in another dimension; the author is superb at describing the fantastical elements of this dimension and I had no trouble at all imagining the strange effects, creatures, and, well, just about everything of this strange land. The reader always has a firm foot on the ground, because, as Jeff is not one of the fantasy characters, he regularly compares features of the world in which he finds himself with planet earth – and that’s why I liked the book – it didn’t overreach my sci-fi boundaries of credibility.
The book ends with some unanswered questions – which I won’t detail, or I would be giving things away – so I am hoping this means a sequel…………I would, without a shadow of a doubt, snap it up in a jiff.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Crescent Suns eBooks on May 14, 2011 : star star star star
This well-crafted adventure may perhaps be written as a story for young adults, but it has all the requirements to make it equally as interesting a tale for adults (if you will excuse my using such a coarse and vulgar term) who yearn to be more than what we - er, I mean they - are; who see in this adventure tale the possibility once more of becoming that which each of us knows is buried deep within our beings, waiting, panting, begging to be set free.

Land of Nod, The Artifact, by Gary Hoover, an exciting action/adventure story that will set your minds free to be all that you knew you always were to begin with.

For the full review on this eBook visit: http://crescentsunspublishing.blogspot.com/2011/05/no-nodding-off-in-this-tale.html
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Shaun Allan on April 29, 2011 : star star star star star
Land of Nod was a great read. It was fun, quirky in all the ways I love, exciting and more. It's been a while since I've read something from this genre, which is odd as it's all I read at one point, but this was a pleasurable reintroduction :-)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: M L Sawyer on April 24, 2011 : star star star
Jeff is a young boy who lost his father a year ago. While looking through his fathers office, he is transported to a strange new and dangerous world. He soon discovers that though futuristic (flying cars and disappearing toilet seats), society is in trouble and war is coming, whether they like it or not.

I really enjoyed this story. I'm a massive fan of quirky and this tends to slip into this young adult adventure to catch the reader pleasantly by surprise... you'll get what I'm talking about when you read the comment about the purple giraffe.

For me a few too many '...' and there were a few tiny errors that might be picked up with another edit done by someone else (I can't see the mistakes in my own work though and it did not detract from the story itself).

Overall, a good read, highly recommended for young readers looking for an out there adventure!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lisa Vandiver on April 22, 2011 : star star star star star
This was an excellent read and can't wait until I have the opportunity to read the next one.
The story was full of excitement, funny moments, and very scary moments. I enjoyed meeting the very lovable and adoring creature.
This novel is short length and perfect for teenagers who are looking for exciting reads.
I found myself anticipating the next steps that Jeff and his friends took. It was a sit on the edge thriller, as I like my fantasy/syfy novels to be. Great Job.
Gary Hoover is an excellent story teller, and look forward to reading many more of his works.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Helmy Kusuma on April 17, 2011 : star star star star star
Can't wait to lay my hand on the sequel!
Reading 'The Artifact' is like being ushered into a roller coaster ride! Good grab on teenage's psychological condition. Have expected one thing and got another! Good twist!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: henbane on April 08, 2011 : star star star
Good teen fiction, with enough subtlety to appeal to the more mature reader. Look forward to part 2.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Zacharias O'Bryan on March 24, 2011 : star star star star star
Mr. Hoover: Great debut performance.

Combine the ingredients of Multi-dimensional Space-time, Reluctant Male Hero, Strong and Brash Female Lead, Aggressive Reptilian Baddies that infiltrate your dreams, a Cowardly and Complacent Bureaucracy, an Ancient Prophecy, a Powerful Talisman and a War Between Continents ... and you're fermenting a pretty strong brew. The fast pace (most chapters are three pages or fewer) guarantees that you won't put the book down. This is Harrison Ford style adventure.

But there's more. Like most engrossing tales, "Land of Nod, The Artifact" also has a strong ethical foundation. We're at home in Gary Hoover's created alternate world because we've traveled there before: The King Arthur cycle, the adventure novels of Robert Louis Stevenson, the Tolkien saga -- All are built around humanity's ideals of courage, ingenuity and mercy. I, for one, look forward to the publication of further Land of Nod tales.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: keith4man on Jan. 29, 2011 : (no rating)
Excellent read, cannot wait for the next in the trilogy
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lou on Jan. 10, 2011 : star star star star star
I read for entertainment and this book did the job. This author has the stuff for greatness.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: colin chock on Dec. 19, 2010 : star star
I am currently in the middle of this book, and enjoying it

protagonist jeff's thoughts are plausibly those of a young teen boy

the starting premise reminds me of "a wrinkle in time" by l'engle

when jeff travels to an alternate earth, I was reminded a bit of edgar rice burroughs' john carter of mars

nitpick: the rather complete explanation of baseball is unnecessary. I'm referring to a passage in which jeff is being challenged with regard to his claim that he is from another world. he is asked to explain baseball and the author includes the entire explanation

nitpick: too much use of all caps
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: BJ Corbitt on Oct. 28, 2010 : star star star star star
There's a certain universality to the fantasy/sci-fi genre, so it's not giving much away to say that "Land of Nod: The Artifact" features a highly relatable protagonist who finds himself thrown into a strange and frightening new world, where staying alive competes with learning just what the heck is going on as top priorities.

Flipping through the pages, I got flashes of some of the great franchises: A touch of Harry Potter here, a little Star Wars or Indiana Jones there. Which isn't to say that there's nothing original here. Cribbing is what this genre is all about, and Gary Hoover cribs from the best while constructing something exciting and different.

Science and technology mesh with mysticism and prophecy in a well-textured world both familiar and strange (but the politicians are still completely useless, a thread that Hoover and his protagonist clearly see as inescapable).

While detailed and complex, the story moves along at a brisk clip, as Jeff's experiences plunge him from one situation to another astride a narrative that never takes a blind alley.

I look forward to finding out what awaits in this trilogy, and I hope Hoover's hard work is rewarded with a publishing deal someday soon.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tom Carter on Oct. 20, 2010 : star star star star star
Loved it! I couldn't put it down. It felt like I was right there. Some familiar, mythological themes, but done in a whole new way with some very INTENSE moments. Well worth the price.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cedrico Ney on Oct. 18, 2010 : star star star star star
Cedric Nye aka Rozinante says: A good read, just the right amount of crazy to keep me tuned up. I hope to see more from this author. I don't know how he did it, but this book has it all, fear, hope, blood, tears, love and hate. Read it, or you will miss out.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Christy Rabe on Oct. 12, 2010 : (no rating)
I honestly have never read science fiction before, and I found this to be very enjoyable to read. The pace goes along nicely, the characters are interesting and plot is unique, I think. Very different from what's been popular lately (spoiler... no vampires! ) :) I am anxiosly awaiting more!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Mary Mitchell on Oct. 11, 2010 : star star star star star
A terrific and fast-paced read, with plenty of twists and turns to keep things lively - recommended for all!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Elizabeth Lewis on Oct. 11, 2010 : star star star star star
Great read!!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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