Prophecy of Thol
by Dawn Greenfield Ireland
This five-star beauty of a story is so well done I hardly know where to start. First of all, while it is definitely suitable for teens and young adults based on its content, as someone who has grandkids in that age group I thoroughly enjoyed it, too. More than enjoyed, actually. I loved it!
The author did a fabulous job of transitioning the heroine, seventeen year old D’Laine, from what had been a very trying time, to some semblance of normalcy as she prepared to go to college, to being plunged unexpectedly into an entirely different world. Her premonitions in the form of nightmares provided great background and suspense. In most cases, giving the reader more information instead of less actually builds more suspense as you have so many more things to consider and worry about. Not only did D’Laine fall through a portal and find herself on another planet with a variety of weird creatures, she also was introduced to powers she possessed of which she had no idea! Her transition into the role effectively took the reader along for the ride in a very smooth and credible manner.
The unusual sentient creatures and their respective cultures were well-drawn, full of imagery, and convincing, as well as their interactions among themselves and the planet as a whole. The humans were just alien enough, being somewhat medieval in some senses, yet high-tech on another, making them relatable.
The advantage of having a modern earthling as a protagonist is that the descriptions can be familiar. Some of the comparison and references to sci-fi icons such as the Star Wars movies were effective and often humorous. The science element was convincing as well, the physicists involved straight out of “The Big Bang Theory.” I loved the characters left behind on Earth and their efforts to find the portal so they could bring back D’Laine. On a subjective level, I thoroughly enjoyed the fact they were in Houston, where I used to live. Thus, I enjoyed the references to familiar places including the Katy Mills Mall and local roadways. It’s always a plus when the location details are authentic, which adds credibility. Those who have never been there never know the difference, but to those who have it makes the story come even more alive.
I’ll even forgive the fact the story broke one of my cardinal rules of writing, (which I posted today in my “Writing Tips”) about starting a story with the main character. I can forgive any deviance that works, in this case giving it a story-telling flavor similar to “The Princess Bride.” (However, if I had been the editor, I would have recommended using a prologue.)
For a while I was worried that the story would end with a cliff hanger. Fortunately, it had a very satisfying conclusion, yet I definitely look forward to the promised sequel, which is the perfect ending. This is a great story for all ages. Don’t miss it!
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