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Helga: Out of Hedgelands (Wood Cow Chronicles Book 1) by [Johnson, Rick]
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Helga: Out of Hedgelands (Wood Cow Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in Wood Cow Chronicles (4 Book Series)

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Length: 591 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

I am a native of the Great Plains, having grown up on a farm in the Platte River Valley of western Nebraska. I love the wild beauty of the Plains and nearby Rocky Mountains--the too hot, too cold, too empty, too full of life extremes. Typically, the awesomely diverse and the awesomely stark are much the same, even as they are different. Although I have lived in Michigan, North Carolina, and British Columbia, the western plains, mountains, and desert are in my heart. As my day job, for over thirty years I have been a faculty member and administrator in higher education. Teaching broadly in the liberal arts, including creative writing, my professional publications include educational materials, poems, and 28 stories for young readers. During my spare hours, I have also collected and carefully studied the records of former times upon which the Wood Cow Chronicles are based. It is my privilege to bring this astonishing saga to light.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1378 KB
  • Print Length: 591 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008IJRW0G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,053,718 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a long overdue review which I overlooked posting. I read this book some months ago and then recently re-read it during a book club meeting. The setting of the story has been skillfully created by the author and if one follows the TV series Merlin, you will feel the same kind of magic and appreciation for all things that cannot be unexplained.

There were parts of this book that you will need a lot of patience as it twists and turns into the next development. While I appreciated the writing at all times, the twists did distract me and I wasn't at all sure where the story was going. Then there are parts of the book that move rapidly, taking you on an adventure and has you wishing you were there.

The end is somewhat unexplained so I am assuming there will be another book in the series which I look forward to reading.

Would I recommend this read? Oh yes, definitely.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4/5
Editing: 4/5
Formatting: 4/5
Pacing: 4/5
Offensive content?: G for theme and content, although it might be better understood by children aged 7 and above.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this book out of curiosity and enjoyed it. It has a strange set of characters and some strange places and things in it and I just enjoyed reading it. If you like the different try this it's worth it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A confusing piece of literature 24 Aug. 2014
By JEBoone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read this book, I am not quite sure what the story was trying to be about. The characters were confusing as to what they were supposed to be, and I had a difficult time trying to picture what a Woodcow might look like, or how it might act, or interact with other animal "Beasts", as the remaining characters were portrayed.
I read the entire book, and I was not quite sure what I had been reading. However, I do appreciate the effort and imagination it takes to put a story to paper, so I gave this book a three, even though I don't know if I will read the next one.
I don't know if I would recommend this book to most readers, but maybe others would be less confused by it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Other then that it was a fun read, lots of action 10 Dec. 2014
By KRager - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Basically an adventure story but the characters are all animals. Although the story is interesting and well-written, it seems as if the animal qualities of the characters hasn't been dealt with at all - they act human, have human type jobs and lifestyles. Another reviewer compared it to Watership Down - no, because the animal aspects of the characters aren't included in the story. Other then that it was a fun read, lots of action, and I think the author included the various character backgrounds together to bring them all in as a related group at the end. A family reunion as you will. Needs some editing.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't suspend my disbelief 20 Aug. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A reviewer said that this was the new Tolkien, or words to that effect. Sorry, but I don't agree.

I read 23% of the 500 plus pages, according to my Kindle app. But I couldn't bring myself to read any more. I discovered that I wasn't looking forward to going on. Since I didn't read it all, I'm giving this three stars, not less. It may have become more entrancing as the events kept occurring. I hope so.

The author (and editor, if there was one) did a good job of patrolling for usage errors. They are few and far between.

OK. That's the good. What didn't I like about the book? See the subtitle, or series title - "The Wood Cow Chronicles." The what? My main problem was that all the characters are mammals or birds (possibly some reptiles, but I don't recall any). They are mammals or birds who speak English, and wear clothing and use tools. Different species specialize in different ways, and some species seem to serve evil ends, and some, like the Wood Cows, don't. And how do the Wood Cows specialize? Not in producing dairy products. Not in grazing. In woodworking, no less! I just can't see a cow doing woodworking. Johnson didn't describe the "hands" of the Wood Cows, or of any other of the creatures, so maybe they were actually anatomically equipped to do woodworking, but there's no description of how they might have done this. I had similar problems in imagining other species, and how they looked and did their jobs. I know -- C. S. Lewis had intelligent animals in his Narnia books, and some species were generally good, and some generally bad, and some of them specialized, but, in his writing, the anatomical changes necessary to become part of a mixed society were described, at least a little. The Talking Mice, for example, were about two feet tall. And there were humans to interact with. And the non-humans didn't usually wear clothing. And the Narnia stories were relatively short, and got to the point quickly.

Some other problems. There is dialogue, and some of it is in various supposed dialects. These are sometimes difficult to comprehend. There is no map, and one would have been helpful, as there is quite a bit of traveling involved. There wasn't really any magic. The most valuable commodity in the Hedgelands was not gold, weapons, jewelry, money, fuel, food, or arcane knowledge. It was racing tortoises. I didn't come to a description of a race between tortoises, and there may have been one or more, but it was hard to imagine why anyone would trade in such animals, or steal tortoises belonging to others. I'm not clear as to whether they were also part of the mixed species society, or just ordinary tortoises. Finally, although I haven't read it all, the narrative seems to be almost entirely a flashback, with the present introduced in a little bit of the beginning.

I wish Johnson, and his readers, all the best, but I won't be finishing this book. I couldn't suspend my disbelief any longer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We go toward a new day...a new life 16 April 2013
By ELIZABETH L BOWEN, MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With pleasure, I recommend this book to anyone with a sense of imagination, or in need of one, from age 9 to 99!
I embarked on its journey by listening to the story on a Kindle while riding my bike on nature trails in a state park. The daring adventures of colorful characters held my attention. I was transported into a vivid world of scenic natural beauty and accompanied Helga gladly, often reflecting: "I wonder what will happen next?" The magnetic plot unfolded in such an engaging way that I could not wait for the next chapter to begin. Now, with satisfaction, I eagerly await the next book. You may find it especially pleasing to read it out loud and to share and discuss it with children and grandchildren.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANIMAL HOBBIT 19 Mar. 2014
By Anastasia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In the first few pages the dialect nearly caused me to delete this book from my Kindle. It was a case of too much too early in the tale. However, I persevered and was glad I hadn't quit. The saga of Helga and her family and friends is an engaging tale of adventure with bursts of life and death situations. I'd enjoy seeing this on the big screen just for the animal portrayals!
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