Author: Shawn Gale
Genre: Fiction, YA Sci-Fi/Adventure Series
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback & eBook
Published by: Xlibris
Pub. Date: March 14th, 2017
Number of pages: 244
Content Warning: N/A
The year is 2014 and Tanner Kurtz finds himself residing at a farm for troubled youth, Halton House, in Washington State. It’s run by Brad Conroy, a retired marine and advocate for alternative sentencing. Conroy and his staff work doggedly to help the young men who reside on the farm grow into mature, responsible adults. Instead of exploiting weaknesses, the staff at Halton House have a mandate to foster strengths, choosing to see the possibilities, not the limitations.
On a spring evening (landslide season in the Pacific Northwest), the boys from Halton House finish playing a three-on-three basketball game against a local prep school. After losing the game, they head for home with Brad Conroy, Carol, the social worker, as well as Conroy’s nieces, Anna and Tabby, who are visiting from San Francisco over the spring break. When they come to a road crew clearing a landslide, they learn the highway will be closed until morning. They’re faced with a dilemma: return to the city for the night and miss Hena give birth to her colt (an event they’ve been waiting months to witness), or take the three hour rugged mountain detour on Windigo Road. They vote for the latter, and after a brief stop, they begin to ascend the mountain.
They’ve only been on the mountain a few minutes when suddenly a landslide strikes the van and sweeps it away in a wave of earth, rock, and timber. When Tanner awakens, he finds they’ve been buried alive inside the van. He rouses the others. They begin to dig out of their steel tomb. Once all out (after narrowly escaping the van before it plunges into a canyon) they realize they’re not in Kansas anymore. In the sky are three massive ringed planets, and in the distance towering trees like skyscrapers spear the clouds. It’s a primeval landscape similar to Earth yet at the same time vastly different. Cut, addled, and bruised, the group tries to make sense of the alien world they now find themselves in. They’re soon taken in by the Sawnay tribe. They learn the Sawnay intentionally left Earth through a stargate four hundred years earlier, after their shamans foresaw the ravages that would be caused by Europeans.
Joining a party of Sawnay who are seeking the cause of a poison in the land, the group embarks on a journey to find a way home, a journey that will test their character, beliefs, faith in themselves, and faith in one another. At every step of the way, malignant forces seem to conspire against them-giant voracious birds, ravenous flesh-eating beetles, and Dejunga and his braves from the cannibalistic Wenda tribe sent by the mysterious One Who Sees All. World of Dawn is a coming of age story in which the journey to find a way home becomes a quest to save a world.
I could not put this book down! World of Dawn: Arise is one of those rare YA finds that most anyone would enjoy. I’ll admit, at first, I was skeptical that I would enjoy this book as I don’t typically like Sci-Fi stories, but boy was I pleasantly surprised!
Gale has created a world full of extraordinary flora and fauna that reminded me of Journey to the Centre of the Earth with its strange plant life, mythical creatures, and danger at every turn, This new world is inhabited by Native Americans that transported to World of Dawn hundreds of years prior to escape the slaughtering of their people.
Not only are the author’s descriptions of this world vivid and engaging, but his characters are just as dynamic. Tanner, the 17-year-old main character, is one of the story’s troubled teens living in a group home to avoid jail time. But he’s not just a “bad kid”. Throughout the novel, circumstances arise that trigger memories of Tanner’s past: time on the ranch, camping, his parents, and the guilt that he carries from his crimes. These stories, along with his relationships with the other characters, create a protagonist that the reader becomes intimately connected with.
The pacing of this book is fantastic with time taken to develop characters and setting balanced with tons of action and unexpected twists. I also liked the few chapters from the antagonists point of view that gives you a little tease about things to come in the series.
I will definitely be reading the rest of this series! I strongly recommend entering to win a copy for yourself. And if you aren’t one of the lucky winners, buy it! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
BTW…with only a few curse words and no sexual content, this is a pretty safe book for younger teens. There is some violence, but it’s not gory or overly graphic.
A special thank you to Nurture Your Books for offering this fabulous book in exchange for my honest review.
Elite Award Winner!
About the Author:
Shawn Gale writes on Canada’s West Coast. He earned a Master’s diploma from the Fraser Valley Writers School. He graduated from Humber College’s School for Writers, where he was awarded a Letter of Distinction. He graduated from Bircham International University with a Bachelors of Art’s degree in Creative Writing. He was a student in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Creative Writing department, where he earned certificates in both screenwriting and telewriting. His stories have been published in periodicals and anthologies in the U.S. and Canada. He is the author of the acclaimed, award-nominated story collection The Stories That Make Us and the World of Dawn Sci-Fi/adventure series.
Also by Shawn Gale: The Stories That Make Us, 2015, ISBN-13 9781514405284.
Book Awards/Nominations: The Stories That Make Uswas short-listed as a top-three-finalist for Whistler Independent Book Awards.
How to Follow the Author:
Where to Find Your Copy:
1st Prize: Paperback copy of World of Dawn: Arise by Shawn Gale
2nd Prize: Ebook copy of World of Dawn: Arise by Shawn Gale
*Giveaway runs from 19th Sept through 10th Oct. Winner will be notified via email.
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