You can read the review below, or go here (to Goodreads) to read it.
I'm so excited to present to you my first "official" Goodreads review!
Jun 30, 2011
Recommended for: teens, young adults and those who like fantasy/science fiction
Read from June 28 to 29, 2011
I actually can say that I enjoyed this book. It surprised me. I saw it on Facebook that a cousin of one of my friends had written a book. This book was available on smashwords.com for free. I thought, meh... I have a lot of time to check out books that might be potentially used at Paradigm or that my students would use. I think this book is a keeper.
Jacob is a regular 14 year old boy, but he does have some great talents in basketball. His older brother Matt is a football star. He also has a younger sister, whose screams lead him to find wolves attacking her in his backyard. He tells Matt to get her inside (their parents on on a vacation and the neighbor is "looking in on them") and leads the wolves away from the house into the forest nearby. He is surprised to find an area that he isn't familiar with. He ends up escaping the wolves only to be attacked by another creature that looks somewhat like a bear. After running and freaking out he ends up meeting a race of creatures called Makalo. These Makalos are similar to humans and have magic abilities... at least some of them do. They have had problems since the end of a large war. These people are the protectors of "The Key of Kilenya" which has been stolen by the bad guys: the Lorkon. The Makalos seem to know all about Jacob and expect him to help them/go find the key of Kilenya. He doesn't agree but tries to return home, which leads to another wolf attack and the harm of several Makalos. After seeing the destruction and realizeing the wolves are not going to allow him to return home, he agrees to help. I think he is taking this whole other reality thing really well. I would have been like, you are all crazy, and I must be dead or wounded and passed out by my house. The character is very believing which seems strange for a "normal" earth teen. The rest of the book describes the journey that Jacob and his Makalo friend Akeno with some smaller beings (September and Early).
I love the Harry Potter references, as a typical teen has most definitely become familiar with the book. The book isn't necessarily a cliff hanger, but it does set up the sequel nicely. I wonder how many books will be in the series.
My one critique of the writing and editing is on page 34 of 215 on my Nook color .epub file. There is a sentence at the bottom that needs fixing. "He wasn't as fast a runner as Akeno and Jacob, though, and when heard scuffling start, Jacob stopped, knowing the Makalo was in trouble." That needs some help... Other than that, the reading style flows and does give a nice light, easy read for adults. I'm sure that teens would enjoy this and I will put it in my recommendations to my students.
Hope you enjoyed the review as much as I did! Oh, and I resolved the typo she mentioned.