So I'm finally ready to launch my August reviews of YA novels, and I hope everyone loves it. I'm certainly having fun. YA is proving to be a genre with a lot of imagination and great writing. They didn't write books like these when I was younger...This review is spoiler free everyone, so happy reading. I'd like to thank the author, Edwin Wolfe, for providing me with an advanced reading copy of the novel.
Hardcover, First, 320 pages
Published January 11th 2012
by Aauvi House Publishing Group
How many parents would believe their thirteen year old son who told them that two vampires and a hooded stranger had tried to abduct him? Strange thing is, young Ethan Fox is convinced his parents, George and Betsy do believe him. Could it have something to do with the mysterious poem he wrote in his sleep? Or maybe it has something to do with his past, the past he cannot remember before his eighth birthday. Something strange is afoot, and it is about to turn Ethan's world upside down.While vacationing with his parents, to get away from the crazy events of the previous two weeks, Ethan encounters a young girl named Haley Hunt who he is strongly drawn to... and the feeling is mutual. Together, Ethan and Haley are lured to The Residence, home of the Caretakers, an organization of intelligent beings sent to earth to nurture the human race and protect them from un-earthly influences.Armed with special abilities, including the power to evolve any earthly creature, the Caretakers take in their unexpected guests. They have been watching young Ethan Fox, and are curious as to why the Grimleavers, their mortal enemy on earth, would want to abduct a young human child. Together, Ethan and Haley journey to magical worlds, make new friends, and help the Caretakers unravel the stories greatest mysteries. Along the way, they learn that the Caretakers have been here since the beginning of human history and have played a key role in shaping human lore. In their world, vampires, werewolves, trolls, and even Medusa herself really do exist but have been kept hidden from the human world around them. Ethan is the key as they ultimately discover the Grimleavers true intentions, to unlock the four portals to the elemental worlds of the Chrysalis.
Summary from www.goodreads.com
A fantastical world--that is the most apt description of Edwin Wolfe's Eyes of the Desert Sand. I truly admire the author's imagination and creativity. This book is definitely one of a kind.
Book One is largely a set up book. The stage and the players are laid out for upcoming books, and I do appreciate world building. What really drew me in was how richly imaginative this fantasy world is, and I'm curious to learn more about the Caretakers and the Grimleavers, and to see their roles expanded in the upcoming novels. We had some battles towards the end, real treachery was revealed and some important relationships cemented, and I thought this was a good start to the series. What I really like about the book is that not all the questions are answered by the end. We still have no idea why Ethan wrote the poem in his sleep, or why he has no memory prior to five years ago or why---
Well, that list could go on for a while. My point is, the story is only just beginning.
My wish for later books is greater character development. Right now, Haley/Danielle and Ethan appeal to me because they are bright, inquisitive kids and something about their relationship reminds of the sort of tight knit friendships that were formed in the Harry Potter series. It might be the humour, but something about them as main characters, as friends, gels very well. And I totally want more of that, the quick witted, easy cameraderie. However, some of the other characters I thought less striking, and I'm hoping some of those characters (and their relationships) are built on in the next book.
What I do know for a certainty is that the rich imagination and the fluidity of the storytelling will delight young readers. And I am intrigued by the idea of the Chrysalis now that the portal has been opened. It opens up lots of possibilities! I'm also curious as to what role Damien will play now that he's back home, so to speak. Hey, I did promise you a spoiler free review. Bottom line: This novel has piqued my curiosity and that always makes me want to read more.
Poe---after you---my dreadful pet.
3 glittering stars