Children's Book Reviews

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Magic, Fantasy, and Reality

Recently I read H. G. Well's Time Machine and have started another Steam Punk after reading this featured book by Dan Royer. There's something appealing about sci-fi in particular and about many novels. All the protagonist has to do is fight an evil alien, win an award, or find true love while their meals and clothes miraculously appear. I recently mentioned to a friend that if I only had one trip back in time, I would take it to cuddle my children again when they were small. That's true, but if I had two wishes, it would be to go back and watch the marvel on the faces of my 5th grade class when I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. That was in 2001 when the school year got off to the horrible start of 9-11. We all needed that fantasy adventure that year. Our class Halloween Party had a Harry Potter theme! So, I always appreciate sci-fi for young readers to give them a possibility of strength, courage, and adventure no matter the walls tumbling down around us, or enough grocery money for that matter.

Secrets of the Egole’s Nest is a fast-paced adventure that features young protagonist Aben. Aben is a solitary adolescent whose mother mysteriously disappeared years earlier. When a girl, Nastera, his age, or so it seems, moves in next door, Aben finds himself transported to other worlds and universes and rapidly gains superpowers he’d not dreamed of before. He wonders what will happen to his father. Will he ever know about his mother? Will he learn to contain his impetuous, dangerous actions with his new powers? He and his team of Astroknights are elected to defeat the powerful villain General Warnod, and in doing so they have to devise alarming new strategies.

Daniel Royer has put together an appealing tale, with quaint syntax, complete with chapter illustrations. The book will keep young readers from ages 10 and up entertained. Perhaps it will entice them to write and illustrate their own tales for class and for fun. One wonders if the fantasy characters could lend themselves to a video game with all their action and exploits. 


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