Almost everyone, at some time, dreams of being the hidden king or queen of a far-off land. Almost everyone dreams that someday that secret identity will be revealed, heralding a new life filled with magic and power and love.
Teenager Ali Warner has good reason to believe in such a fantasy.
While hiking in the woods behind her house, Ali stumbles across a plot by the elementals--mysterious creatures who live in a neighboring dimension--to invade and destroy the Earth. Not only that, she discovers that she has been chosen to stop the attack.
It is very possible that she is more than human . . .
Eager to earn her magical abilities and learn her true identity, Ali sets out on a great adventure. The journey will take her far from home and through a series of dangerous tests that require not only courage and strength, but an insight into life itself.
Accompanied by a devious leprechaun, a loyal troll, and three close friends, Ali strives to reach the top of a forbidden mountain and lay claim to the Yanti, an ancient talisman of great power that even the elementals cannot control.
Christopher Pike is the pseudonym of Kevin McFadden. He is a bestselling author of young adult and children's fiction who specializes in the thriller genre.
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.
McFadden was born in New York but grew up in California where he stills lives in today. A college drop-out, he did factory work, painted houses and programmed computers before becoming a recognized author. Initially unsuccessful when he set out to write science fiction and adult mystery, it was not until his work caught the attention of an editor who suggested he write a teen thriller that he became a hit. The result was Slumber Party (1985), a book about a group of teenagers who run into bizarre and violent events during a ski weekend. After that he wrote Weekend and Chain Letter. All three books went on to become bestsellers.
As a long time Christopher Pike fan (started reading him in Middle school), I had to check out Alosha which I missed when the books originally came out. While classified as YA, it feels more middle grade. Except unlike Riordan, Rowling, or others that do middle grade, Pike seems to be trying to change his writing to how he thinks middle graders read instead of how they actually read. It comes off as choppy, inconsistent, and just utterly dumbed down. It's like a blend of middle grade content told in a children's book type of writing. Which is upsetting because the characters and story are actually interesting. I forced myself to rush through this just so I can move on to something else. I'll eventually read the next two books, but I am in no rush at this point due to fear of them being written similarly. 2.25 out of 5.
Can't say I was blown away by this start to the series & I most certainly wasn't impressed with Christopher Pike as a writer. I've read some other reviews that say this book is not his best work so I'm not swearing him off entirely.
About the book... I hated the way it was written. The whole setup & characters lacked realism, I did enjoy some of the imagery, even though it seemed short. I am really hard to please in that arena. I might read the second, but since my library doesn't have it I'm not sure if I liked it enough to purchase.
Update: I finally re-read this book. I was just unsatisfied with not remembering what happened or what it was about, so I went back for another go. It's about Ali Warner, a 13-year-old girl who loves the environment. On her crusade to save the forest, she encounters some monsters and nearly dies, and with her friends, goes back to investigate (crazy, right?). Ali just manages to avoid death once more, but this time, she has an encounter with an ancient being that tells her what her mission is. She will need to climb to the top of Pete's Peak to retrieve the "Yanti" a powerful device which has opened a gate that allows elementals (elves, fairies, leprechauns, trolls) into the human dimension from their own world. The elementals have amassed an army and in two days time will march in to the human world and destroy it if Ali doesn't do something to stop it...and it has to be her because she has powers that will become stronger as she passes different tests and discovers who she truly is. Her friends go along to help her and they find new friends along the way.
I'm guessing this is a middle grades or young adult novel. It's a pretty interesting story to read, though I struggled to even like Ali with how bossy and mean she gets when she finds out she has powers. Granted, she's on a learning curve with this and does eventually realize that she's mean to her friends, but this takes to the 85% mark for her to realize and even after she still seems pretty arrogant. But their adventures and her journey to realize who she is and to reach the yanti was pretty cool and fun to read. There's still a mystery here about the Shaktra and what it is and where it came from, so I'll probably read on in the series. Already ordered the next two from the library.
******* I'll be damned if I can remember what this book was actually about, what happened or how I felt about it. It mustn't have been that great if I can't remember. So I'll give it a 3.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
At first I thought I might be too old to be reading this young adult novel as the main character is only 13 years old. The story is reminiscent of many "fairy tales" told before which makes it an easy read with plenty of action and enough foreshadowing to not be confused by the story line. Pleased to find out this is a trilogy series. I wouldn't have read this if it wasn't written by Christopher Pike
I've read enough of Pike's books now that the plots, as strange as they are, are somewhat predictable, but it's a nice predictable (there was a lot of crossover between this story and the one about the Greek goddess). I think the attempt to make this book "for younger readers" worked against him because ti just didn't come as naturally (everything seems pretty serious but then the trolls randomly have names like "Snot" which made no sense). I still enjoyed this book more than many others I've read recently, so that has to count for something.
another warning: EXTREME SPOILER and also some swear words.
2nd book involving a regular ole' suburban white girl who finds out she is really an ancient being of power, that i've read, by Pike, in the past few weeks (other is Secret of Ka)
More juvenile than some of his other books, i think the target audience is younger, but still I can't put it down. Guess i'm a sucker for easy reads and gripping fantasy plots.
Still in the middle of reading it, but boy, is Ali's sudden addictive attraction to Nemi kind of creepy? And the fact that her "power" is making her boss her friends around, and it's been mentioned that she might be treating them like her slaves (but she doesn't want to)... aaand now she thinks she's attracted to crowns and jewels, like a greedy queen? somethin' is going on in this book that makes it not your typical teen fantasy adventure with trolls and elves and leprechauns, and gosh darn i'm gonna find what's what. hmmm...
finished now. I guess it was super cheese. typical fantastical characters i.e. leprechauns, fairies, elves, dwarves, trolls... portrayed in a less than typical way. Pike's spin is always interesting. the leprechaun lives off of whiskey and pipe smoke and beef jerky, the troll can't go in the sunlight so he wears sunscreen, sunglasses and an umbrella, the fairies are evil and good and the evil ones are waaay evil and live in hives and in a world where time moves backwards. everything about the evil fairie hive was fucked up! i wanted to know more about it, like, is it really hell? and stuff.
the caverns and doorways to different times and places were very interesting. i remember finishing the novel and really wanting to read the rest of the books to find out where all those portals led. the time traveling phenomenon was nuts, (i'm still not sure how exactly it all worked out, but it was nice that pike didn't give us the whole time traveling paradox of, "well if i go back in time now and meet up with myself, then have I already met with myself because my future self did it when i was back where my past self is right now?" thing... um.. i'll try to find a better name for what i'm talking about)
... can't say the time traveling wasn't predictable, though, it was just too tragic when ALL of her friends died at the same time.
I appreciated how real their journey seemed. like, these characters actually got exhausted and dealt with problems of finding enough water and where to camp and stuff like that.
ALOSHA?? WAIT, IT'S THE SECRET OF KA..: similar to Secret of Ka in it definitely seemed like Pike was aiming for a younger audience with those... not as brutal as some of his books from the late 80's/90's. Also similar to Secret of Ka in that, *gasp* her mom is, alive!??? also, white suburban girl turns out to be ancient/mystical royalty... the same as Secret of Ka.
Sadly, I couldn't help but think of LOTR while reading about elves and dwarves and trolls, and Harry Potter trolls and all that crap... basically, fuck that hollywood movie garbage. C.pike changed it around and made it more interesting than your typical fairy tromp through the forest, but all of those characters are way over played. I'll take some shaman-experiment gone wrong Spellbound horror over trolls and leprechauns any day.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Characters: C+ I'm not too sure why he's a bestselling author. Nothing personal, I just can't see it. The characters were dry for the most part with no character development, and it was hard to get a good grasp on them. Unless you call Ali's mood switching development, where she turned from relatively normal nice to mean and bossy. I can't name when she started being mean, but it seemed to come out of nowhere. Maybe it was arrogance because she was getting powers, but still. I couldn't really fall in love with any of the characters, because they seemed flat. Like, "Ali smiled. She crossed the street." Instead of something like, "Ali smiled, because Steve reminded her of her little brother. She crossed the street, waving goodbye, heart soft." You know, little things that really flesh a character out? The emotions and feelings. I'm not sure if that makes sense. Maybe I'm used to a certain kind of writing or characters. I do know they didn't really act thirteen. Not that I don't believe thirteen year olds can do amazing things, it's just the way they were written in this - I can't see Ali doing any of that.
Pike had pretty much every stereotype: Karl, the almost bad boy, Cindy, the fiery friend who borders on rude most times, Steve, the fat kid with not a bad bone in his body. Paddy, a eccentric something (aunt?). Ali just seemed like a character, flat. Not a person, or even a stereotype I hate to be harsh, but a story can only go so far with characters like this.
The only character that made me laugh at his relative originality was Farble. Especially when they found out his real name; I laughed aloud there. XD
Plot: B+ Straight forward enough. Somewhat interesting, but there weren't too many twists. The only part interesting for me was when Ali was taking the space and air test. I didn't know what to expect there.
The plot was well paced, but could've been handled better to keep us on our toes. I'm pretty sure that this was written for younger kids, just judging by the characters age and the writing. But even younger kids can have a faster paced book. They might even need one because of short attention spans or whatever. I could name most everything that would happen. (SPOILERS) That she'd get the army to go back by talking, not fighting. That it was Karl, not Steve, who was bad. That Drugle would get away. That her mom was alive. (END SPOILERS)
I'm still being harsh. I really don't like doing that. Maybe I've read too many books and just know how a plot will fall. Or maybe I'm giving myself too much credit. *shrugs* Don't get me wrong, the book wasn't awful, just somewhat dry. It could've been a lot more exciting.
Writing: C I gave an example of the writing style when I wrote about characters above. It was easy reading, and not too witty (save when they were naming Farble). The writing covered all the bases, but it didn't really make the world seem real. Not sure if that makes sense.
(If you think this entire review should have a spoiler alert on it, please comment. But I think I only had one spoiler area.)
I generally enjoy books by Christopher Pike. His plot lines continually amaze me. However, Pike's downfall is his writing style. In the books he writes strictly for adolescents, one doesn't notice as much his awkward similes and the way he tends to describe things more than once using the same words in a different order. It's much more noticeable in the work geared more towards adults. Although the heroine of this book is 13, the subject matter can be quite advanced, and I believe this book was marketed as an adult novel. I am also, usually, not a fan of fantasy fiction. I find it difficult to connect to stories involving elves, fairies, dwarfs and leprechauns, mostly because the mythology is usually different across authors and universes, and also because I find it too easy to just say, 'and then she used this magic that we have not previously mentioned at all to defeat the evil whatever.' I think I liked this fantasy tale better because of they way the heroine acquires her magic, as well as the quite complex story line. Pike's characters, while not terribly three-dimensional, are rather more fleshed out than in his other work, possibly because of the additional length of this tale compared to others. I think, possibly, that J.K. Rowling having written fantasy/magic books that exceeded 500 pages opened up a door for other juvenile/young adult writers to do the same without the previous fear that young people would find tackling a book of that length daunting, and thus hurt sales. Whatever, the extra pages afford Pike the opportunity to expand both his characterizations and his storyline. We are left with a very satisfying tale.
I'm posting this unchanged for all three books of the series, because I believe potential readers should be aware that the series is incomplete:
"Ali's story will continue in the next book in the series, Nemi" (last line of The Yanti.)
According to a Pike fan site (http://christopherpikefanclub.com/pag... "This is Pike[....] Nemi will be published when the Alosha movie is released. I don't control the publication of the book, Tor does. And unless the movie comes out, they won't be inspired enough to continue the series. So don't be upset I didn't finish the series. I have finished it -- the conclusion of the tale is alive and well on my computer hard-drive." Posted in News on August 10, 2012 by webmasternemi
The first three books are great, but there are many threads left for the last book, being held ransom to the Alosha movie, apparently optioned by Alcon Entertainment, but not listed in IMDB. It seems as if Tor, who own the rights, aren't interested in readers that aren't drawn in by a movie connection. I'm not sure, given that opinion, what leverage we have, but feel free to write to Tor or Macmillan, who publishes Tor-Forge books.
I'd love to unreservedly recommend all theses books; the characterizations are wonderful, the plot is twisted enough without exiting the universe Pike created, and they are well-written. Unfortunately, since we can't read the ending...
I just hope that Mr. Pike retrieves his rights if Tor continues to refuse to publish, so we can enjoy the series as he intended.
I can't believe I'm giving this book only 2 stars. A Christopher Pike novel?! Suffice to say I was a bit disappointed.
Maybe I was just expecting more. I was expecting something along the lines of Pike's other adult novels. But Barnes & Noble placed this book in their YA section while my library did not.
A lot of stuff was rather unbelievable - aside from it being a fantasy novel. It features a bunch of 13-year-olds, a leprechaun and a troll trying to save the world from an all-out war with elementals ("mysterious creatures who live in a neighboring dimension").
If you get past the part where they're all 13 and off to save the world (the elementals don't necessarily wait till you're of age before attacking - gotta strike while the iron's hot, you know) - what 13-year-olds do you know that act this way? It was unrealistic - sort of a Dawson's Creek phenomenon - acting much older and sophisticated than their age. But at other times, they acted more their age. *wrinkles nose* It was annoying.
As a few reviewers on Amazon have noted, the book lacked 'witty dialogue, visceral description, and interesting characters.'
The storyline wasn't bad. This book is the first in a trilogy and yes, I'll probably be reading the other two as well.
I dunno, maybe I was looking for complexity when I should have been happy with simplicity.
Note: The floating (upside-down) island thing [reference: cover] gave me a crazy case of deja vu. I recall having a dream similar to that. Freaky.
I am a big Pike fan, and when I discovered he had written fantasy too, I had to get my hands on it - and thanks to being able to order books from overseas, this was possible. Although not one of my favourites, I really enjoyed this book. I did expect high fantasy and was a little disappointed that Pike hadn't branched out as far as that, but it was still nice to see the traditional fantasy creatures woven into a Pike novel. Once I got over the fact that weren't to leave this world (though am really hoping they do in at least one of the following books) I was happy to watch as Ali learnt and developed her powers. I particularly liked how awkwardly the time paradox played out - usually authors tie time up in a neat bow, but it was amusing to see it not match up as you'd expect. It also gives an interesting perspective on the protagonist. She can be a dislikable character, but she learns along the way and becomes better for it. The main issue with this book is that we're supposed to believe that she's 13. I guess when your dealing with fairies, you tend to drop your ages, but the kids don't act that young - running off camping for several days alone... Even 15 year olds would have played out better. I am definitely curious to see where the next book is going to take me.
This is one of the only fantasy books I have ever read, so I'm not sure how fair my review will actually be. Overall, I found Alosha to be really exciting and fun to read...after about 150 pages. Once I did "get into" the story, the plot was great. The beginning was just too...childish I guess and it felt like it took forever for the story to develop.
**Very Mild Spoiler Alert**
The writing felt average. The introduction of Paddy the leprechaun was just awkward and obvious. I found myself literally rolling my eyes when Paddy almost revealed his desire for "gol..." Halfway through the book, I did come to find the characters more relatable. Towards the end, there were twists and turns (some predictable) and some not that made me come around to liking the novel.
I know this novel was written for adolescent readers and the character, as well as the writing, initially mirrored that. However, I liked the changes Ali went through throughout the novel. She seemed to mature and so did the writing and dialogue between characters. I have to say, I really liked the ending :)
I am currently debating buying the next book in the series...
Been wanting to read it for a while, since the cover art was really interesting and the inside description seemed to back it up. It was really disappointing in that way. I've read my share of "we're hiking up a mountain" stories, and this was pretty much the same thing, although it did have a few attacks from fairyland added.
The main character was a brat the whole time, which was understandable in the end, but no easier to read. The end was rather confused. There was supposed to be a traitor (which was totally out of the blue), and then it was someone else, and I was completely lost. And he didn't do enough with the fairyland bit. That was the INTERESTING part, and it hardly got mentioned. Maybe next book, it hints. I dunno. He also has a habit of dropping brand names in what sounds like a really forced attempt to stay in step with culture. And the jokes are for the most part very crude. I give it a Neutral; I might read the sequel, I might not, but I doubt I'll buy it unless it's virtually free.
With a formulaic plot line and a setting that you've already seen several times in better written fantasy novel, only one element of "Alosha" truly stands out - the sheer pretentiousness of the main character.
Characters like 'Ali' happen when the authors spoil their creations with the blind love of a parent. They can't allow even the most minute of imperfections to exist.
This is how you get heroines with flawless beauty that are above the dirty complications of the average human mind and, in the wisdom of their young, teenage years, they already have the world figured out. And, if you some how miss their amazing qualities in the beginning, don't worry! They usually have a cameo slovenly friend to use as comparison.
This book was nothing special and Ali is not the sort of person you would want to follow anywhere, let alone a magical world where she is apparently, kid you not, Queen of the friggin fairies.
(Not a spoiler since this surprise is ruined on the dust jacket).
I hoped that this would be the enchanting, action packed story the synopsis led me to believe, and most of the time it was. What if one day a seemingly normal 13 year old girl stumbles upon the knowledge that she has magical powers, that she must go on this grand quest and that she is going to save the world. In her quest she meets elves, trolls, dwarves, dark fairies, a leprechaun and more. Yes, the humor was often juvenile (trolls named Snot, Spit, and Fart for example) but it is a kids book afterall. The part that kept me from enjoying it was the constant underlying messages that were like beacons flashing messages to all unsuspecting kids. Save the environment, power and the price of that power for example. Naturally most young adult books do this but in this case it became distracting. I wan't sure I would want to read the next book and I definitely won't seek it out. I'm only really curious to know what the mysterious Shaktra is.
This book kind of started out slow, and not joking either, considering they don't even start out heading to where they're going to go until page 115. Otherwise before that, they're mostly milling around town and not really knowing what to do for that many pages.
Besides that, I liked the book, aside from the part where you felt that the characters were at times 95 years old going on 1,000(mostly due to the lack of contractions in the book). What 13 year old is going to say, "You are not going to do that, it is not right." Unnatural. Then at other times, the characters were like little babies(or maybe lined up to be little babies by Pike, I don't know). The character name of "Fart" came up, and I can only see a three year old laughing at it.
All in all, it left me with questions unanswered, the big one being about her mother. I think that's enough of a reason to get the second book, and hope for a good inbetween with them acting like old people and babies with rattles.
I had a hard time getting into this story. It started off slow and didn't pick up until about three quarters of the way through. I didn't find the dialogue believable either, which I know is really nit-picky, but if I'm gonna read a story about thirteen year-olds it would help if they actually sounded their age. It did strike me over the course of reading this book that Of course I find it boring, I am not the target audience. If I had known the main characters were thirteen I probably would have left it on the shelf for someone else to pick up, but I was fooled by the synopsis claiming our protagonist was a teenager. Anyways!, factoring in my realization, I was able to slightly better enjoy the book as I finished it. I do believe that this would be a good adventure story for the younger kids. I, however, don't see myself continuing the series as I could not muster enough interest in either the story or the characters.
Awesome book, It will take you on a adventure, very exciting. i always loved Christopher pike(especially Last Vampire series which is really good)I think this is one of my favorite books, it also got me into fairies. I loved the characters too, especially the troll- who seemed creepy and nasty at first but then was really nice and sweet.I remember i went to the library looking for christopher pike last vampire books and this one was all on the shelf gathering dust, i was like it's a C. Pike book it has got to be good so i checked it out and was done with it so fast, i was sad, i thought it was just one book. Then i looked it the back *heavenly sound* part two Shaktra. I HAVE to read the next one.
As far as a young-adult fiction-fantasy novel is concerned, Alosha is one of the best I have read. I was particularly drawn to the storyline because it is a 'modern fairy-tale' sort, in which a young girl discovers that there is more to reality than meets the eye, and that she is more important to this expanded reality than she ever would have expected. Alosha's reverence toward nature and humble attitude are great characteristics for a protagonist, but she is also strong and independent, with opinions that stem from her love and appreciation of nature. The fact that she talks to a tree also was a selling point for me :) Haven't read the sequel yet, but am looking forward to it.
I hardly cared for this book until I reached the more-exciting end. It did not start off so well, especially because it is apparent Christopher Pike does not know much about young teenage kids - I was the same age as the characters when I read the book, and scoffed at their interactions, shoe sizes, and the like. I think that the next two books in the series could be much better than this one (which pretty much seemed a set-up), but I have not read them yet. There were some good ideas in it, so I am hopeful of the rest of the trilogy.
The book is okay. My main problem is that the characters do not act or talk as if they are 13. That said, the plot is alright. The main character is a fanatic environmentalist, and while it's clear the author shares many of these view, he is not afraid to point out the flaws in this thinking. Ali, the protagonist, comes to the understanding by the end of the book that human life is much more important than saving a patch of land. I will probably read the other books in this series, just to see where the author goes with this.
Like Percy Jackson, in the Rick Riordan series, Ali Warner is more than the thirteen-year-old girl she thinks she is. And this becomes apparent when she is thrust into a journey of discovery, and a mission to save the world from an invasion of creatures we all believed were only the stuff of childhood stories and fictional folk tales.
I was apprehensive about reading this offering, because Christopher Pike is better known for his horror novels. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I would recommend this series to any of my adventure-loving friends :o)