by Alane Adams
Find out more about this book and author:
Just released: August 4, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Hardback: 346 pages
Legends of Orkney series:
The Red Sun
book 2 -tba
The setting sun cast a farewell glow across the green and fertile countryside. Basking in the radiance, Robert Barconian watched the day's end from a window in his new farmhouse on the outskirts of Skara Brae. At thirty-two, Robert had seen his fair share of sunsets, but they never grew old for him.
Sam spent the day puzzling over his strange encounter with Ms. Endera. It was like she had turned him into a brain-dead zombie with that fingernail trick.
-chapter 2, page 19
Sam Baron is about to get the shock of his life. First his substitute English teacher claims to have turned his old teacher into a lizard; then a strange dwarf named Rego arrives and claims Sam is from a magical realm called Orkney. When his friends are taken prisoner, it’s up to Sam to save them. Sam embarks on a journey to Orkney through a stonefire to find his friends―but when he arrives, he discovers that an ancient curse has turned the sun a poisonous red and threatens to destroy the land. With only a young witch girl to guide him, Sam must choose: save his friends, or stop the red sun from consuming the land? Drawing on Norse mythology, The Red Sun follows Sam’s journey to uncover the truth about his past―a journey during which he has to overcome the simmering anger inside of him, learn to channel his growing magical powers, and find a way to forgive the father who left him behind.
Nice start to a new YA fantasy series with an ensemble cast with references to Norse mythology and Native American culture and folklore. There is some magic action and a couple revelation moments. But still, mysteries and questions presented that need to be addressed.
The part of the story that kept me curious was in regards to the development of the main character. Sam, the reluctant hero, is a character that is either loved or hated. It took me awhile to warm up to this character. At the midpoint of the book I did not yet know where I stood.
The other characters in the story were colorful including dwarves, witches and other strange creatures (as baddies).
About the author:
Alane Adams grew up in an old Quaker town called Whittier in Southern California. Adams attended Whittier High School and was active in every possible sport including basketball (proudly claiming the nickname Breakaway Adams!) and swimming and diving. For college, Alane attended the University of Southern California where she wanted to be an English major, but family convinced her to become an accountant to help run a family business. After spending the next few decades helping to build one of the largest recycling companies on the West Coast, Alane left the family business behind to pursue her writing career. Before launching into writing full-time, Alane began teaching full-time at a local university. Finally, the Legends of Orkney series was born when her then 12-year-old son challenged Alane to write a book he could read. She hasn't stopped writing since that day.
Alane's favorite books include any story involving folklore, fantasy and fairytales. When Alane is not writing or teaching, she is hanging out with her three boys, each who have grown up having adventures to rival those of her characters.
* added this to my Books On The Nightstand Bingo challenge (details) - square: Child on Cover
* added to my COYER challenge/scavenger hunt (details)
* review copy courtesy of BookSparks YA Summer Reading Challenge 2015 (details). @booksparks #ReadingIsBeautiful
* part of Summer YA Book Box giveaway (here)