by Elissa Sussman (Goodreads Author)
by Ava Bleu (Goodreads Author)
Glorious Sunset: the edgy inspir…more
Glorious Sunset: the edgy inspirational romance that combines faith, humor, magic and ever-lasting love.
by Heather R. Lorenz (Goodreads Author)
Does the literary world really need another fantasy that reads like a Narnia dream and involves a lonely teen's discovery of anoth…more
Does the literary world really need another fantasy that reads like a Narnia dream and involves a lonely teen's discovery of another world where she meets a prince and discovers magic? The answer is 'yes' - if the elements are finely done, refreshingly contemporary, and come from the pen of a teenager with an unusual flare for capturing the unpredictable.
A Path Toward Home takes the classic story of a girl trapped in another world and expands it with many elements that lend toward a invigorating read. It's the first book in a series by teen writer Heather R. Lorenz and creates a mesmerizing character in the form of Constance , a typical bored teen who inadvertently opens the door to a strange world and discovers her mother visited this world before her.
The family link is one unusual device used successfully, here. It's fairly common to find teen protagonists stumbling into other universes or worlds: it's more unusual to discover that a parental figure has made the journey before them, creating somewhat of a legendary legacy in the process.
Constance 's close relationship with her mother is introduced in the prologue: "She loved singing songs at Sunday school and playing at the park playground, pushed on a swing by her mother. The time that made her feel the warmest inside, though, was just before she went to sleep. She splashed in her bath, wiggled into her pajamas, said her prayers while kneeling by her bed, and listened to the latest episode of the never-ending story about the prince and the nurse." And carries the story line as she rediscovers a world her mother has long loved.
It's extraordinary to find a young adult fantasy that will appeal equally to ten-year-olds and adults, but A Path Toward Home achieves this goal with a winning, older teen protagonist, a setting that embraces adult concerns (such as financial pressures), and a fantasy yarn that spins adventure and problem-solving scenarios.
The introductory 'Cast of Characters' at the story's beginning at first seems unnecessary, but ultimately proves handy as a host of characters with odd names and relationships are quickly introduced. It's not too much to ask that the reader refer to this Cast a few times in the progress of reading.
As Constance develops new relationships in this strange world (some adversarial, as when she starts off on the wrong foot with Reagan), she also comes to view injustices and decides for herself how to react to them and what sides she should take in the evolving struggle between royalty: "Constance could not believe what she was hearing. How could a father do that to his own daughter! Something must be done about it!"
A big plus to A Path Toward Home is its focus on protagonist choices in events that unfold. At many junctions Constance makes a conscious choice to become involved, back off, or pursue her own agenda. It's this attention to choices, consequences and transition points that makes the story line pop, creating a realistic, vivid protagonist whose goals change with influences and events. And, ultimately, she'll question her real focus as she seemingly achieves her heart's desire, only to lose something more precious.
The literary world - especially its young adult mirror - does really need another Narnia-like fantasy; especially if it's as compelling as A Path Toward Home, which blends fantasy with supportive emotional twists and insights.
D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review [close]
― J.R.R. Tolkien, On Fairy-Stories
― Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle
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