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The Overending (Wood Cow Chronicles Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Rick Johnson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description


For untold ages, the Granite Hulks at Tilk Duraow have been the impregnable center of the High One’s slaving system. Overpowering. Impenetrable. Final. The point from which there is no return. But now, fifteen-year-old Helga’s revolution—one she hardly expected to begin—is way bigger than she ever dreamed. Tilk Duraow itself is in danger. Unexpectedly finding common cause with a troupe of oddball characters, Helga and old comrades are reunited in a chain of events that portends the Overending. Now even the High One himself is no longer safe. The Overending opens a crack…

Rick Johnson’s slightly skewed reality brings readers another mind-bending, genre-busting adventure. Fantastic and quirky, exhilarating and addicting, this entertaining adventure takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end. Ridiculous, but deadly serious. Hits you hard in the funnies, while turning your mind inside out.

Editorial Reviews


(5/5 stars)   Compelling, refreshing characters, intelligent story, and fast action highlight this second installment of Rick Johnson's fantasy epic...Though appropriate for readers as young as fourth grade, The Overending is sure to delight fantasy readers of all ages. 
            Clarion ForeWord Reviews
(5/5 stars)   It is a fun, exciting, straightforward, good-vs-evil epic, full of action, suspense, danger and tense moments, revelations and reunions, with a lovely, perfectly satisfying conclusion, which will be extremely appealing to Tweens and younger teens...Great lessons in a great story make this book a delight. 
            San Francisco Book Review (forthcoming, June 2014)
New readers will find this story of rebels working against slavers to be thoroughly engrossing and accessible...deliciously complex, engrossing, and offers an open-ended conclusion that paves the way for Book Three... 
            Diane Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Johnson gets high marks for conceiving this unique world. 
            Kirkus Reviews intricately detailed world where danger and mystery lurk...A striking cast of colorful characters rounds out this elaborate tale of bravery and the search for justice. 
            The Children's Book Review

About the Author

As an author, I'm drawn to eccentric, unexpected characters: those who surprise because they hear a distant galaxy, see a different music, create their own fragrance rather than get hooked on a soundtrack; the child who has her own ideas about how the emperor is dressed; the lunatics and rebels who tell stories on the boundaries. I seek to write unusual stories that take readers to worlds they never imagined--a whole new ride.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wood Cow Chronicles are just getting started May 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Now that I’ve taken the next step into Rick Johnson’s remarkable fictional world, I come away gratified to find out that parts one and two—“Helga Out of Headlands” and now “The Overending”—are really just the beginning of an ongoing saga for teens and pre-teens that is not just opening up a world of fantasy and adventure, but also portraying that place in the author’s mind where ethics, morality, and even religion vie for fictional space.

“The Overending” begins with an escape from a castle via a balloon, and from there the story keeps climbing. Many comparisons come to mind, with “The Hobbit” meets “The Lord of the Rings” at the top of mind. But there is also an unbelievably rich world at hand in the fantastical wood cow world, where creatures assume metaphorical importance as they try to survive “slavers” and bandits at every turn. “The Overending” lives up to the promise of the first book, with (happily) the promise of many more to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am enchanted by this world May 14, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I feel in love with Helga, the amazing teenage courageous heroine who managed to find the strength to undergo the worst and produce the best from eveyone. Now, beginning with Emil's wild icy ride, the adventures of these two siblings take one turn after another in a complex tapestry of land and sea adventures. Realistic characters, except of course they are animals, but in this world these are the population engage in enthralling and life-challenging adventures. This is a not to miss sequel, making a series to rival the best of the fantasy storytellers. Rick Johnson is a highly skilled writer and knows how to make adventure and deep characters without any of the drawbacks of the poor morals and language that plague most of modern fiction. This is a book parents can trust to engage and inspire their children, and of course, not to miss for the adults in the family too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time for another wood cow fix!!! May 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I’m so happy the Wood Cow Chronicles—and the wood cows!—are back. Not only can I gobble it up like a guilty pleasure for an adult, but I can also read it to my grandson, who is already a fan of the fantastical world the writer is creating from sheer imagination. Where does it go from here? I want to know, but I’m also willing to wait. I hope the “Chronicles” just keep on going and going.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Volume 2 leaves me wanting more April 27, 2014
By Mel
Format:Kindle Edition
Volume 2 of the Wood Cow Chronicles was just as exciting as volume 1. I had eagerly awaited the next installment because I fell in love with Helga the amazing wood cow. These books take me away into a fantasy land full of adventures, insights, wisdom, learning and danger. My child is grown now but it is heartening to know that there is good literature out there for teens and pre-teens that is based on adventure, not vile deeds done by sick people, that is interesting literature without every other word being a swear word. Nice, nice, nice. Great job Rick Johnson, please keep the volumes coming. I want to know what happens next!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great story to share with your kids January 30, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
Mr. Johnson drops you right in the middle of the action in this second book of the Wood Cow Chronicles with Emil and his balloon escape; the pace doesn't slow down. The Wood Cow clan is at the center of the rebellion to take their lands back from The High One. Emil has been separated from his sister, Helga, and the rest of his family and fears they are all lost.

Helga and her parents discover where Emil is and start out on a quest to rescue him--separately. After all, Helga is not the type of Wood Cow to sit around and wait while someone she loves is in danger.

I loved the characters in this story-- I have ordered the first book in the series so I can catch up to where this story started. I recommend everyone start at the beginning--I think you will enjoy the book a lot more. However, it IS readable as a standalone, but you miss a lot of the backstory.

The world is populated by very enjoyable characters-- reminiscent of Disney's movies like Robin Hood, or Watership Down. There were a lot of characters and occasionally I would have to turn back to remind myself who they were. I'm not sure if that was because I hadn't read the first book or not.

If you are a fan of Narnia or Watership Down, I recommend you take a look at this series. Personally, I think it would make a great animated show.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With pleasure, I recommend this book to everyone with a keen sense of imagination, and anyone in need of one, from ages 9 to 99!
The Overending is an enjoyable, engaging and satisfying story, whether on its own, or as Book 2 in a series of ongoing Chronicles.

Rick Johnson's fun, free-flowing and easy to grasp writing for children, youth, and adults finds its home in the realms of favorite authors such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkien, and J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. Parents, grandparents, and teachers find this book is a joyful, intriguing, and nourishing treasure for themselves and the children and youth in their lives.
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More About the Author

I am a native of the Great Plains, having grown up on a farm in the Platte River Valley of western Nebraska. I love the wild beauty of the Plains and nearby Rocky Mountains--the too hot, too cold, too empty, too full of life extremes. Typically, the awesomely diverse and the awesomely stark are much the same, even as they are different. Although I have lived in Michigan, North Carolina, and British Columbia, the western plains, mountains, and desert are in my heart.

As my day job, for over thirty years I have been a faculty member and administrator in higher education. Teaching broadly in the liberal arts, including creative writing, my professional publications include educational materials, poems, and 28 stories for young readers. I am a member of SCBWI.

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