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Smashwords book reviews by deanna boocock
- The Ultimate Adventure: Journey to the Spirit Kingdom
on Aug. 06, 2011
As a teacher I am always looking for examples of good story telling to use as models for my students. I am pleased to have found another! After briefly introducing the main spirit characters of the story, Henning begins with a vivid description of its setting. He uses much descriptive language and imagery to bring the reader into the events as they are unfolding. Instead of bluntly telling the reader about the character of the heroine, Henning uses her actions and words to give a very good idea idea of her personality. She also grows stronger as the story moves on, and learns more about herself. The story, reads almost like a fable, and has several classic messages to impart regarding greed and inner strength. But unlike a fable, the story happens in the modern world and tackles modern problems such as destruction of the environment. However, the novel is not preachy but written at an audience level of 8 - 12 years. I'll be using this novel as a read-aloud in my Grade 3 classroom this year!
- The Magi
on Jan. 10, 2012
Ever since the popularity of Harry Potter, there are many new novels for middle school children, especially boys on the market. The Magi is one such book. Our hero, Elijah begins the book as a regular teenager, with regular parents and the big sister who loves to bug him but really does love him. It is only after his parents are killed in a horrific multiple murder, that he comes to discover that there is something special about him and his family.
The novel recounts his journey of discovery as the four areas of magic – earth, wind, water and fire. He finds his own magic for water and begins to develop this talent. Elijah also learns that there are two types of magicians in the world, those who wish to live in peace and those who wish to take the world for their own and destroy those without magical abilities. The latter killed his parents and now wish to take him as well – to destroy or to kill, it is not clear.
The only time I was a bit confused was when Elijah and his friends are saved by a miraculous earthquake. I didn’t really like the explanation given and would have liked it much better if it had been explained as Elijah using his powers without even knowing it.
Each of the main characters’ personalities are well developed and even though this novel is a fantasy, it is strangely believable. I loved how the author explained how those who work magic are connected to the earth’s elements. The water is described as calm and wanted to collect together, to pool itself. Fire is described as destructive, wanting to spread itself out.
I am looking forward to reading more of Mr. Turner’s work.
on Jan. 10, 2012
I couldn't finish this. Characters just weren't believable, the story wasn't believable and the novel seemed to take many ideas from the Batman and Robin Series. The mature rich man living with his young ward and elderly butler. The spotlight into the sky. The gang of crooks that the B&R keep catching but keep getting out, please! The worst bit, when the heroine's family dies, it is at the hands of a kidnapper who has never before harmed his victims bu released them but this time, herds everyone into the middle of an art gallery and kills the with machine guns.