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A Fantastic YA Fantasy!
on 25 June 2015
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is the second book in the Josh Anvil Series. I loved it!
Josh Anvil is a fantastic character. I liked him very much. He is a smart and curious fourteen year old. Unfortunately, he doesn't see himself the same way. He has low self-esteem, which is caused by his dyslexia and being bullied at school. However, he is an excellent story teller and basketball player, has a vivid imagination and incredible powers thanks to the aliens that saved him after an accident in the swamp where he lives. (Read book 1 to find out how that happens). But he's about to embark on a journey full of danger and adventure. Can he save his planet from a vengeful alien?
I have been wanting to read this book for some time (ever since I read the first book in the series, Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door, way back in 2013). Unfortunately, due to my long reading list, I have only now been able to get to read it. I must admit, it was worth the wait!
This story continues on from the end of the first book and I was quickly drawn back into the tale. *Minor Spoiler Alert!!* Josh and his best friend Troy are sucked through a portal and find themselves on an alien planet or five. Here, they find themselves facing several challenges and making new friends, as well as enemies. This story is just as fast paced and exciting as the first book. There are several twists and turns, and a few surprises that kept me hooked from beginning to end. The descriptions of the planets visited and the characters on them are vivid enough for me to picture them with ease. I also liked meeting Kodi, Lonnie, Libby, Jana, Axel, Sadie and Marty, who are humanoid aliens from the different worlds that Josh and Troy visit, plus a few others that bring this story to life. There is also a surprising familial reunion in a twist I didn't see coming. I found myself in tears on more than one occasion, and in shock at the end of one scene. I couldn't believe that what I had read was true, so had to re-read that part. Once it sunk in, I felt like bawling like a baby! Luckily, I managed to control my sobs long enough to keep reading. I liked reading the scene where Josh learns how to fly an alien spacecraft. It made me giggle! In fact, there are several scenes of comic relief, courtesy of Josh's friend Troy. He has a laid-back attitude that belies that he takes things seriously, but he does have a serious side which I admired. He is also incredibly brave and faces several dangers that most fifteen year old boys would never dream of with grace and good humour. This book took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion. When I reached the end of the book I felt sad, but this was only because I wanted to keep reading! I am now looking forward to continuing this series by reading the third book, Josh Anvil and the Gathering Storm, as soon as possible.
Bruce Arrington has written an exciting fantasy adventure. I love his fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I would definitely read more of his books in the future.
I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 10-18, but I also recommend this book to adults who love to read YA fantasy books filled with action, adventure, danger and aliens. - Lynn Worton