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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Hole in the Sky (Juvenile Fiction)

Released October 2009

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

The Hole in the Sky opens in a mystical world where a queen and a seer strike a deal regarding the queen's first born daughter. As this prologue ends, readers are transported to earth where young Kaela Neuleaf is struggling to fit in at school and come to terms with her mother's death two years earlier.

After stumbling across her mother's diary and an unusual charm pendant, Kaela and her cousin, Shawn, are surprised by the appearance of a strange little man who asks them to follow him through a portal somewhere in Kaela's room so that they can help save those in his world. Kaela has the power to break a curse and save that world's king and queen's son.

At first skeptical, Kaela and Shawn enter this fantasy world and face danger and excitement at every turn. As they head on their quest, Kaela begins to learn that there was more to her mother's life than she knew.

Part coming of age, part fantasy, The Hole in the Sky is a fascinating story. However, I did struggle at first because of the wide array of characters. I ended up with a notepad in hand to keep track of relationships, only to find in the end that there was a character list in the final pages. Many authors place this in the front, so I never even thought to look in the back.

Providing younger readers can keep track of who's who, and I highly recommend using the character list in the end, this is an entertaining fantasy novel. Printed on paper harvested from areas that practice environmentally-friendly techniques, readers can feel good about their purchase.

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