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Finding Angel (Toch Island Chronicles, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Kat Heckenbach
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $6.00 (60%)

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Book Description

Angel doesn't remember her magical heritage...but it remembers her.
 
Start with a struggle revolving around the source of magic. Is it genetic--or is it part of your soul? What if someone was using his powers to run experiments based on a complete misconception of the source of magic?
 
 
Throw in a twisted family tree that's rooted in a centuries' old feud, a painting that (literally) holds the key to the truth, a mysterious and talkative beetle, and an Elven rocker who can play the songs of the stars on an electric guitar.
  
This is the world Angel Mason was born into, thrust out of, and returned to seven years later. To top it off, she must rediscover her identity and save her home from a madman at the same time.
 
Kat Heckenbach's debut young adult fantasy has earned three awards: Compton Crook (finalist), Grace Awards (YA category finalist), and INDIE Next Generation Book Awards (YA category finalist). 
 
Readers have compared her writing to that of Cornelia Funke and Madeline L'Engle.
Ideal for young teens, older teens, and anyone who loves adventure, mystery, fantasy and magic.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Finding Angel is a delightful, engaging story full of magic, wonder, and mystery. Readers enter an imaginative world where surprises are around every turn."
~C. S. Lakin, author of The Wolf of Tebron and The Map Across Time~


"Opening Finding Angel
 is like opening a living jigsaw puzzle. Reading it becomes the delight of joining the enchanted pieces even as they change shape into dragons and mushrooms..." 
~Sherry Thompson, author of Seabird and Earthbow~


"I'd recommend it to anybody who loves a fairytale. It reminded me a bit of Fablehaven and the Spiderwick Chronicles. If you liked either of those then you WILL like this book."
~11 year old reader


"This is a delightful YA romp, free of many of the genre's recent cliches and objectionable material (a la the Twilight romances). The characters are likable and the stakes high. The plot grows a bit leisurely in places, but the worldbuilding is exquisite: an imaginative fairy land hidden in plain view. The author has done a lovely job of taking standard fantasy tropes and turning on them on their heads to find new originality."
~K. M. Weiland, author of Dreamlander


A great book for young nature lovers and fans of the Spiderwick Chronicles, Finding Angel is filled with friendship, mystery, and adventure.
~ Reviewer's Favorite

From the Back Cover

Angel doesn't remember her magical heritage...but it remembers her.

Magic and science collide when she embarks on a journey to her true home, and to herself. 

Angel lives with a loving foster family, but dreams of a land that exists only in the pages of a fantasy novel. Until she meets Gregor, whose magic Talent saves her life and revives lost memories. She follows Gregor to her homeland...a world unlike any she has imagined, where she travels a path of self-discovery that leads directly to her role in an ancient Prophecy...and to the madman who set her fate in motion.

Product Details

  • File Size: 520 KB
  • Print Length: 294 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Splashdown Books (August 28, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005JSZFAS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #738,351 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The kind of book you curl up with and dream August 28, 2012
By Kate
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review opens with three confessions:

1. I love Harry Potter unreservedly and have read those books enough to have whole passages memorised.

2. I don't care for Christian-themed fiction as a rule.

3. I know Kat Heckenbach through an online writing forum.

So I guess I'm halfway biased for this book and halfway biased against it. But you don't care about all that. You just want to know if it's good. The short answer is: yes, very.

The longer answer goes like this:

Because of my love for Potter and my nervousness that comes from spending over a decade dodging Potter wannabes I just wasn't sure I was interested in an orphaned child who learns she has magical powers and is a Big Somebody in an alternate magical universe.

I know, right?!

Add to that the fact that Heckenbach is (like me) ardently Christian and I started to fear we'd be in for a schlocky ride. "Magic makes Baby Jesus cry".

BZZZZZZ. Incorrect. Wrong answer! Challenge your preconceptions.

This story is Heckenbach's own. While it pays homage to Potter (and Tolkein and Rothfuss and Wells and Shakespeare), she has woven together all of these elements with her own scientific and artistic outlook to come up with a tale that stands proudly on its own.

Like Patrick Rothfuss in _The Kingkiller Chronicles_, Heckenbach introduces us to a magic that is as much a science as biology or chemistry. I was tickled to find an author who makes sure her magic makes scientific sense and isn't just using it as a way to get characters in and out of tight spots. That's a much rarer treat in the world of fantasy than you'd think.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Such a Cute Fun Read! August 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
First I have to give a shout out to the cover of this book, it is just gorgeous! Something about it is just so appealing and eye catching. I love the details in the wood of the door and the heart charm, so pretty!

Heckenbach has managed to create a loveable, fun magical world in Finding Angel.

I normally don't seek out fantasy reads but this one has had such great reviews I decided I would give it a go and I am glad that I did because this really was a delight to read.

It did start off a little slow with a lot of world and character building but it didn't feel too drawn out and the characters and places were so much fun to learn about that you really weren't bothered by it at all.

Heckenback managed to merge our every day world into one that is very much like our own except for the use of magic and dragons and elves and, well, you get the idea.

And although this is a fantasy read Heckenbach did a wonderful job at making this feel pretty realistic and not too far fetched or unbelievable.

Angel was a great character that was very likeable and I liked how over time she grew into herself and her powers and really managed to hold her own.

The best part is that this really was a nice clean read (there is a part at the end involving animal experiments that is a little rough to read but truly nothing too horrible) that I think would be perfect for a younger audience as well, which is so nice to find in the YA genre since it seems like that just isn't something you find everyday anymore.

Overall I would give this one a very solid 4 Stars and I look forward to reading more of Heckenbach's work in the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Locket, the Beetle, and Little Girl Lost & Found September 2, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I love a book that draws me into the story. FINDING ANGEL pulled me into the midst of Angel's world with the same force my vaccum cleaner uses to suck up a dead beetle. Angel has no memory of her life before becoming a foster child. When Angel's little foster brother finds another unusual bug, she discovers a link to her mysterious past. The pattern on the beetle's back is an exact replica of a charm on her bracelet. The bracelet is the only link to her lost identity. Angel's new friend takes her back to her homeland. Dragons and beetles and elves abound, along with an ancient prophecy.
Kat Heckenbach's writing style is so convincing, I had a hard time returning to reality. I look forward to more stories from this multi-talented author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly good fantasy August 29, 2012
By Jill
Format:Kindle Edition
Fantasy is one of those genres I don't read a lot of, especially when it's aimed at a young audience. I bought this based off comments the author made on a blog--and if that seems weird, I apologize. I guess that's the internet-image-dealie-o at work. I had also read some of her short stories in Aquasynthesis (short stories by multiple Splashdown authors), which weren't bad at all (though, admittedly, weren't my favorites in the collection).

This was a well-written story with a clean writing style. Occasionally, the writing was so spare that it seemed choppy. Over all, however, it worked well for the narration. The main character, Angel, suffers amnesia due to a traumatic event, in which she loses her parents and her original home, and is living in the "real" world with foster parents. She meets the boy, Gregor, who takes her with him to the magical hidden world where they both belong. Throughout the story, her memories slowly return.

First off, this was an easy, entertaining read. I finished it over the course of a couple of days. The characters were, for the most part, likeable. However, as I read the book, I picked up on all kinds of familiar symbolism that kept me at a distance from the story because, instead of losing myself in the magical world, I went into analysis mode, wondering where the author was coming from and where she was going with the symbols. If you are familiar with Monarch Mind Control, you will know what kind of symbolism I speak of. A young girl suffers trauma, loses her memories, is then fostered by the "Masons" until she is ready to be ushered by a "handler" into a magical alter world/identity. All the symbolism is present and, in that, it resembles a book I came across a while back called There's No place Like Here by Cecilia Ahern.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical YA fantasy without angsty teen drama
I received this book (and the sequel) through a Goodreads giveaway. The opinions stated below are my own and were not influenced by the fact that I won this book. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Tara
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The writing was acceptable, but just kind of flat and meh. I never really felt drawn in. The characters and their relationships with each other just did not seem realistic. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Andi Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun story with a bit of murder mystery mixed in
Really enjoyed this story of a girl discovering her true heritage. Very typical of the "coming of age" YA storyline, but unique enough to be interesting. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Teddi Deppner
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious Beginning: Worth Reading to the End!
Finding Angel’s first chapter is mysterious. I didn't really understand what was going on, but I kept reading and I am glad I did. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Hannah "Mo's Book Reviews" Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, clean YA Fiction
Being a curmudgeonly old bloke means I normally steer well clear of YA Fantasy (I am one of three people in the universe who has neither read a Harry Potter book nor seen any of... Read more
Published 7 months ago by pabaines
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding Angel by Kat Heckenbach: A Review
Overall: 3.5 stars
Finding Angel is the story of a girl separated from her magical heritage. She lives a normal life, until pieces of her past begin to catch up with her. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kimberly Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fantasy
First, the few things I didn't like about the book (I always like to end on a positive note...) One of the confrontations with the minor bad guys at the end of the book happens... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Aaron DeMott
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Enjoyable Fantasy for All Ages
I really enjoyed this well-written and original YA fantasy novel about a young teenaged girl, Angel, whose sense of being destined for another life turns out to be literally true,... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Krisi Keley
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this, looking forward to book 2!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That being said, I honestly had no clue what to expect upon starting this book. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amanda - Xscape From Reality With A Book
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story
*I received a free e copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I found this book to be be a little slow in the beginning. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Shelby M
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More About the Author

Kat grew up in the small town of Riverview, Florida, where she spent most of her time either drawing or sitting in her "reading tree" with her nose buried in a fantasy novel...except for the hours pretending her back yard was an enchanted forest that could only be reached through the secret passage in her closet...

She never could give up on the idea that maybe she really was magic, mistakenly placed in a world not her own...but as the years passed, and no elves or fairies carted her away...she realized she was just going to have to create the life of her fantasies.

Now she shares that life with her husband and two kids. Ok, maybe "share" isn't the right word--more like lives that life in her writing and tries her best to be normal the rest of the time...

The boring stuff:

She graduated from the University of Tampa--Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology (yep, a science geek, too).

She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom--everything from Art to Algebra II (yep, a math geek, too)--and now she homeschools her two kids.

Her writing spans the gamut from inspirational personal essays to dark and disturbing fantasy and horror.

(You didn't honestly expect "romance" did you?)

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