Spartanica

Rated 4.40/5 based on 10 reviews
Ty and Marcus Mitchell are average middle school brothers until one night when they’re hurtled through an inter-dimensional gateway to a parallel world defined by its multiple moons and planet-wide apocalypse. Is all of this insanity just Ty’s overactive imagination or are the brothers truly on the brink of being stranded in the brutal wasteland known as Spartanica? More

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About Powers Molinar

Powers Molinar grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago and earned engineering and business degrees at the University of Iowa. While he works as a process engineer and project manager during the day, his passion is writing science fiction. His first novel, Spartanica, is the culmination of several year's of part-time effort mostly late at night and on weekends when he wasn't enjoying time with his wife and kids, all of whom were big helpers getting Spartanica written.

Powers' dream is to write sci-fi full-time and to get to know the readers of his books. Reading excellence, being creative, and achieving success are goals Powers holds for every kid and he hopes his books are a helpful, entertaining part of every reader's experience.

Reviews

Review by: Mark Williams on March 30, 2014 :
It took me a few chapters to get into the rhythm of this book. But once I allowed myself to get really lost in the story of Ty, Marcus, Smiley, Bellana, et al, I was in for the long haul. The author is most definitely creative and in touch with younger adults- talking how they talk, thinking how they think. No easy feat. I admire how original the story was, how Powers Molinar took what is perhaps a familiar theme or element but completely made it his own. Props to the near flawless editing (I really notice these things) and the drawings of the symbols and pictures were a nice touch. I’d read more from this author, and I’m curious to see where this series goes
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: April Dawn on March 30, 2014 :
Fantastic! I absolutely LOVED this book! I felt like I was practically a kid again and was so caught up in this world that Mr. Powers created at times I felt like I was there! The descriptions were believable (even for unbelievable circumstances) and the writing was very strong. I liked that the chapter beginnings had the characters names on it so we know who is telling the story, but at times it did get a tad confusing for me. There are a lot of characters in this book and at times I felt like I had a hard time keeping them all straight (a common problem for me with fantasy). But I connected to the MC’s just fine and I liked that they were flawed and human…well almost all human ;) Can’t wait to see what happens in the next book… the ending is a cliffhanger. Until next time, fellow Sapertyns…
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sophia Flynt on March 25, 2014 :
I really liked this book Spartanica by Powers Molinar. It was truly unlike anything I’d ever read before. However, and this might be just me, I always have a tough time following along alternating POV’s when done in the first person. So if I put the book down for a bit and start up again, sometimes it took me awhile to figure out whose head I was in, or I had to scan around. So people who dislike alternating POVS may not like this, as the chapters are pretty short so you are doing a lot of head-hopping. Personally I think this would have worked better as a 3rd person omniscient, but again this might be personal tastes. Younger readers may not mind as much. Overall had a fast pace, high stakes, a youthful narrative voice, and plenty of action to keep even the most jaded reader entertained.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Samantha Ryan on March 20, 2014 :
I have mixed feelings on this book. On one hand, for me the opening was kind of rough – I felt it dragged on with too much talking (felt like in circles) and uses perhaps the most overused of all clichés in story beginnings which is the “dream” motif. So I had some red flags raised. However, once I let the story unfold and we see how all the elements begin to fall into place, I was able to forgive the dream (as it is important) and get used to the narrative banter. However, if I were an editor I would have cut many places that seemed to slow down the pacing with excessive wordiness and dialogue that went nowhere. But on the other hand, when we WERE there, it was fantastic and truly captivated me. This is written toward younger readers so there is no real violence or anything and is a clean read. I’d have no problem with my children reading this and would venture to say that they would probably enjoy it more than me and the things that bugged me wouldn’t bug them. Give it a shot – it is highly entertaining and memorable.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kaylee Stevens on March 18, 2014 :
When I first started reading Spartanica I wasn’t sure if it would be my cup of tea. I have a very wide range of books I read and enjoy, so the fact that this was billed as a ya/mg scifi action adventure didn’t scare me any (huge Percy fan here). But at first the narration seemed to be trying too hard for my tastes, and I didn’t like the frequent use of “you” where the author addressed us the reader. This is just not a literary technique I’m a fan of as it breaks the veil of disbelief for me, but I’m sure it’s just a personal thing. But I thought the world building was fabulous, and this is really do-or-die when it comes to Science Fiction and fantasy. Many times this is where the authors lose me, but this was a fully realized universe that demanded believability. I enjoyed being there and will definitely return to this author in the future. I hope the next book will be ready soon! That ending makes me want more.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jesse Thomas on March 14, 2014 :
Writing a book such as this for a middle grade audience is a tough task – it’s difficult to really sound like a younger kid and have the narration ring authentic, versus having it sound like ‘an adult trying to sound like a kid’. However, in SPARTANICA- The Survivors of Sapertys, the author Powers Molinar succeeded in doing just that – convincing us of the authenticity of our young heroes and even giving different feels to each as the shifting Point of Views allowed. From the beginning I enjoyed the fun and engaging ‘voice’ of the author and can definitely see middle graders on up enjoying this creative and thrilling adventure. A good, clean, action-filled and imaginative read. Recommend.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Anabella Johnson on March 09, 2014 :
I’m not one for recapping plots in my reviews (that’s what the book description is for), and honestly if I tried it would take a whole page! Ha! I loved that this wasn’t just a simple, dumbing down MG story that is cliché and overdone (really, how many more ‘chosen one hero’ can we take in this genre?) but instead, these are ordinary boys in extraordinary circumstances that grow and change and become extraordinary themselves (if that makes sense). I appreciate that the author thought outside of the box and it felt like he took us into uncharted territory which is always a good thing. The writing was impressive and I can’t wait to read more of these in the future. I must confess the cover really didn’t do anything for me at all, and I know we’re not supposed to judge, but…
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Claire Middleton on March 07, 2014 :
4.5 stars
Wow…okay, this is practically an impossible book to sum up – SO much happens! To start off, the brothers are sucked into a parallel world (or is it a dream?) and they are racing the clock to save their fate. Twists and turns and unexpected events along the way challenge them and keep the reader invested in the outcome. Normally it would take me about a week to read a book this length, but I read this one in two and a half nights. I just didn’t want to put it down! There were some parts that seemed kind of confusing, and at times I thought the supporting characters lacked any real depth that gave me a deeper sense of who they were (other than serving a plotting function), but others were done so well and memorably it is easily forgiven. Younger readers will have fun with the creative language and names/words and older readers will appreciate the complexity and fluidity of a near tsunami of events.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Stacy Decker on March 05, 2014 :
Sometimes you start a book thinking you know what to expect but then up being totally thrown for a loop. That’s how this book was for my. I’ll be honest—I expected it to be an “ok read’ and I didn’t have very high expectations. I was surprised how totally enraptured I was right from the beginning! The writing just sucks you in, but the unique and interesting characters (love SMILEy) and the tense circumstances that befall the crew just keep you hooked right until the end! Be warned, this is not some quick short children’s book – it has teeth and is definitely on the longer side. But that’s what makes it really engaging, in my opinion. At times I felt it could be pared down some, but it didn’t reduce my enjoyment any. I’ll definitely recommend this to my sister’s teenage boys – I’m sure they’ll love it.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Karen Matthews on March 03, 2014 :
Spartanica by Powers Molinar was such an unexpected delight! At first I wasn’t really sure what to expect, being a woman in my late thirties and reading a book geared towards younger children. However, like Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, these boys (and girl- robot-etc) their charm knows no age limit. I thoroughly enjoyed the witty banter and cute dialogue and the challenges that kept springing up and keeping me glued to the pages. There is never a boring moment, although at times it did seem to maybe stretch out a bit longer than necessary at some parts. While I was still really interested, I could see maybe younger ones with shorter attention spans being challenged to stay focused. But then it would pick right back up again and away we went! A highly entertaining sci-fi adventure appropriate for ages 10 and up.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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