After I posted a blog about the multicultural picture book, Ghost Hands. I had the pleasure of communicating with award-winning author, T A Barron. A couple of months ago, I reconnected with him. This time around, I posted an interview blog and am now reviewing his latest middle grade chapter book, Atlantis Rising.
My usual blog audience knows that fantasy and science fiction are not my top choices. However, it is hard to resist reconnecting with a blog acquaintance who has recently been cited with another award-winning book. After receiving the 370+ page book, I had my doubts if I would be able to finish such a long book in a genre that I usually avoid. I stepped outside my comfort zone and started to read.
To my surprise, I had no problem completing the book in just a handful of days. Atlantis Rising captured my attention. I was hooked. Yes, I was up for an adventure that took me to the magical land of Ellegandia. For an unknown reason, I connected with a young thief named Promi. Perhaps, I was intrigued by his love for sweets or his ability to elude the evil elements of society. There was no shortage of villains who were collaborating to destroy both the mortal and the immortal worlds.
T.A Barron sent me a copy of Atlantis Rising in exchange for this book review. He is participating in a book giveaway. Remember to leave a comment on this blog or the interview blog so that you will be eligible.
Promi’s ability to overcome his personal shortcomings and the evil forces was aided by fellow protagonist, Atlanta. Promi had additional assistance from the Listener magic he received from Jaladay and the magical knife that was bestowed upon him by the river god.
I was fascinating by the concept of Listener magic. “Listener magic does not take anything away from the world. Nor does it force anything new upon the world. Rather, it simply listens to the underlying truth of the world. “ 99
Despite urgings from others and the added benefit of magical powers, Promi was selfish and reluctant to get involved. This is exemplified in the following passage. “He (Promi) couldn’t imagine giving up the life he’d always known to help Atlanta. And now, having finally figured out how to use his Listener magic, he intended to save it only for the most dire emergencies, when his everyday skills weren’t enough to do the job. Or save his skin.” 171
Atlanta, on the other hand, was eager to save the forest from the blight. She convinced Promi to join her. Promi’s listener magic could only be summoned by sacrificing something that was in proportion to what he was seeking. He had to make the choice whether he would use these magical powers to remain a thief or to help others. Promi’s character became stronger as he acknowledged the consequences of each sacrifice. As he adapted, courage, fortitude, love and hope became part of his life
Promi and Atlanta chose to make a difference even when their chance of being successful appeared unlikely. Their perseverance coupled with magic enabled them to thwart the evil forces that they encountered. Promi’s character continued to develop as the story enfolded. By the end, he learned the true meaning of life and love.
My interest was kept in check each time the protagonists were captured or faced a dangerous journey. However, I’m not sure if a reluctant middle level reader will share my enthusiasm for such a lengthy story. Often such readers are more concerned with the number of pages rather than the content. Fortunately, the chapters are short and leave readers wondering what will happen next. Each begins with a brief journal entry that generates more insight, interest or humor.
The journal entry for chapter 33 prompts the reader to wonder what actions Promi will take next. It states- “Can’t you understand, Promi? Just like bread in an oven, a person either rises—or gets burned.” 245
Unlike other stories that revolve around the destruction of the mythical Atlantis, this book provides a prequel to the famous story. It is the first in a series of three. I’m not ready to become a maven on fantasy books, but I can’t wait to read about Promi and Atlanta’s future adventures.
To See a complete list visit T.A. Barron’s website.
Book Awards for Atlantis Rising:
- 2013 LM_Net Librarians – Best Books List
- 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award (Celebrating youthful curiosity, discovery and learning through books and reading) – Silver Award Winner
- 2013 LongandShortReviews.com – October Book of the Month
- Answer this question, and be eligible for the book giveaway. Do you diversify your reading choices or do you always read the same genres?
- Anyone who leaves a comment on this blog by Sunday, August 10 will be eligible for a book giveaway. T. A. will send the randomly selected winner an autographed copy of Atlantis Rising.