Marie Kuhlman's Reviews > The Gaia Wars

The Gaia Wars by Kenneth G. Bennett
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Dec 06, 2011

really liked it
Recommended for: anyone interested in: native american mythology, gaia mythology, boy hero YA fiction
Read in December, 2011 — I own a copy

The thing that piqued my interest the most about Kenneth G. Bennett's series The Gaia Wars is the name - before I could even absorb the cover my eyes locked on the name and I was wanting to curl up with my eReader and dive in. I am a big fan of Gaia mythology and considering including aspects of it in one of my own works-in-progress. If you are interested in learning a bit more on Gaia mythology beyond how it's explored in Kenneth's book, wikipedia has pretty decent page on it to wet your beak. Title aside I found the story synopsis engaging and the cover was a good balance of being detailed enough without revealing too much (or revealing too little for that matter).

I did find the initial pace of the book a bit slow - however, considering the main character's, Warren Wilkes, personal journey explored in story and the fact that the story is geared toward a younger audience it seemed totally appropriate. When the story started picking up and action was more frequent - I did begin to appreciate the the slower initial pace. I think it helped me understand who Warren is as a person a lot better than I would have had Kenneth chosen to introduce major elements at a quicker pace.

I found the transition from the "reality" fiction (most similar to real life) elements of the story to "fantasy" fiction elements smooth - in fact I took me a few chapters to even realized that the tone had gone from real to surreal. I liked how dedicated and honorable Warren was - to the things he cared about (the environment) and the people he loved without becoming annoying or preachy (which I hate).

The mythical elements portrayed in the book were also well written, so much so you escape from reality without realizing it - I was so wrapped up in reading the Gaia Wars that I actually missed out on snipping (bid at the last minute, as a result not giving anyone a chance to outbid you) an eBay lot of circular knitting needles I really wanted. I know that may not seem serious to you but I had been watching that auction for a WEEK and for something to pull my attention away from something I am so engrossed in - but coming from me, that's saying a lot.

Overall I was impressed with the detail and attention Kenneth put into his characters, before the book came to a close I felt like I had gotten to know Warren Wilkes on a decent level - at the end I felt invested in his life and story. In addition, Uhlgoth (Warren's nemesis) is definitely a entity you will love to hate. I think many people would enjoy this book, I would definitely reccommend it to anyone interested in native american mythology, Gaia mythology, and most definitely to any pre-teen to early-teen boys - Warren is the perfect hero for boys, a definite front runner for boy-centered YA fiction post-Harry Potter era.
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