HEIR of RA ISBN: 9781732446700, Kingsmill Press, an e-book copyright and written by Maciek Sasinowski.
Plot: In 1913, Lord George Renley entered a secret passage that he had discovered on a dig under the Great Sphinx in Egypt. Here he discovered a symbol of one of the Egyptian Gods, reached it and suddenly was assailed with a blood-producing cough, could not breathe and died. His associate suffered similar symptoms but made it to the entrance where he collapsed and also died. They were covered with the gradually shifting sands and nothing more was heard of them. The story then opens at a dig in Peru where seventeen-year-old Alyssa is working with her famous archeologist father Kade Morgan in just another exploration upon which she has been accompanying him for the last seven years since her mother died. Her father is called away with the possibility to investigate the very operation Renley had been investigating in 1913. A long extant rumor existed that somewhere in the area there is a Lost Hall of Records that contained history and technology far more advanced and far greater in size than the one purported to have been in the Library of Alexandria and of the Lost Civilization of Atlantis. From this point the action follows Kade’s activities where his specially designed safety suit is compromised and he is confined to a hospital in gradually deteriorating health. Alyssa attempts to discover the source of the infection to save not only her father, but additionally a large segment of the world’s population from a certain death from this unknown source. Meanwhile and simultaneously hereditary head of “The Society” William Drake is applying any and all means possible to obtain DNA from the occupant(s) of this same chamber that supposedly, when mixed with that of his group, will result in individuals with knowledge from these ancient “Gods”. He kidnaps the world’s eminent Grayson Baxter to supply the DNA part of the procedure. Attempts are made on the life of Alyssa and her companion and the action accelerates to a frenetic level to finally discover if she can obtain the necessary object, save her father as well as much of the world’s population.
Discussion/Summary: The author has set forth a fast-moving sci-fi fantasy that should be well received of YA readers as well as offering an enjoyable read for the ‘young-at-heart’.
4* Enjoyable, fast-moving YA sci-fi; suitable for others ‘young-at-heart’.
JAKE, Lucid Dreamer ISBN: 9788494754882, Kwill Books, an e-book by David J. Naiman.
The story is centered on Jake, a young boy now starting middle school four years after losing his beloved mother after an extended life battle that included chemotherapy, gradually extended hospitalization with attendant degenerative changes until her demise. Even four years later he is so devastated that he is unable to realize that his father and younger sister also have been, and still are greatly affected, although each in his/her own way have been able to make adjustments of which he becomes aware only later. Thus, he can only partially and intermittently reciprocate the mutual love that exists within the remaining family. His underlying smoldering anger at the enormity of his loss also reflects in all of his dealings with acquaintances and his entry into this middle school area peopled by individuals described as pimply and awkward with gangling limbs, orthodontic braces, sour attitudes and beginning hormone acceleration. Added to these physical problems provided by this group lying between the more or less friendly elementary school level and the highly competitive ‘almost adult’ high school, are the rising levels of social awareness of boy/girl relationships and the constantly growing ‘bully’ activities. For Jake, nightly dreams offer just one more addition to this huge burden as does the fact that he is of interracial origin (his mother was Chinese). His lengthy journey and steps taken to find an eventual answer to his tortured mind is the subject of the tale.
Discussion: The most prominent feature of this story is how the author has so adroitly handled the number of extremely difficult interrelated subjects – parental loss, a sister seemingly a little slow developmentally either physically or for attention-seeking purposes (adding annoyance to Jake’s already ‘full plate’ regardless of cause), the abundance of ‘middle school’ childhood problems, his interracial origin and his ‘lucid’ dreams. The author further has managed to very creditably depict the problems facing such a student in a manner that individuals of this age can understand so the lessons easily can be assimilated and absorbed by them.
Summary: A very well and thoughtfully written story of a devastatingly heart-breaking, situation set forth in a most movingly heart-warming and thoughtful presentation. Highly recommended.
5* Heartwarmingly told poignant tale for young readers, but thought provoking for anyone.