on June 14, 2013
The Silver Sphere is a classic good-versus-evil fantasy adventure of epic proportions. We've often said that science fiction and fantasy are the hardest novels to write as it involves the arduous task of world building. The Silver Sphere is successful in its creation of sister planet Azimuth, we suspect, because author Dadich let his heroic story marinate since childhood.
Stories of this caliber need time to develop and mature to be told properly. J.R.R. Tolkien took 12+ years to write, edit and release his magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. J.K. Rowling conceived many of her ideas about Harry Potter and Hogwarts in her childhood, only to return to them later and leave her mark on the literary world. C.S. Lewis originally envisioned what would become The Chronicles of Narnia ten years before he wrote the first book in the series. Our point is that Dadich is in good company, and the protracted construction time might portend great things for The Silver Sphere.
We mention Tolkien, Rowling and Lewis upfront because you'll inevitably start making comparisons about these authors' great works right away; but The Silver Sphere is no knock off of these iconic novels. Dadich's sophisticated novel can stand on its own.
There is a complexity to his storytelling that requires the reader's immediate scrutiny. The story begins simply enough with a sinister plot revealed, followed by an introduction to our female protagonist. Shelby Pardow is a young teen abandoned by her mother and living with an abusive, alcoholic father. Her magical passage to Azimuth occurs quickly and coming to understand her role and purpose in this mysterious, unknown world unfolds just as fast--hence our caution to pay attention.
Shelby is one of six teens known on Azimuth as Kin. Essentially they are the Earthly counterparts of the Aulic Assembly, which is the highest governing body beneath Lord Achenar--think Knights of the Round Table with psychic links to their Azimuth match. Each teen arrives through the use of mobile portals and they assemble together--except one. Zach's entry lands off course and he must find his way back to the larger group. All six Kin must work together to save the Assembly, find The Silver Sphere and defeat evil Malefic and his demonic father Biskara.
The Silver Sphere is filled with mythical creatures and strange characters which keep the book's pace moving. There's much to say about this multi-faceted novel, but it could be confusing to summarize out of context. There are a lot of characters in this novel with at least three major storylines and a couple other subplots. The shift between storylines is managed fairly well, but the volume of characters can be difficult to track.
Dadich's novel is well written, but starts slower in terms of action than some readers of this genre might like. Be patient because the story really shines by the second half of the book and all the information you obtain in the first half is essential to the novel's fine ending as well as subsequent books in the series.
Although the story centers on the six Kin, the focal point is clearly on Shelby and Zach. We're not sure why Zach isn't given exposure in the book's summary, but his presence is more of male protagonist or co-protagonist rather than supporting character. We suspect that other Kin will have more visibility in coming books, but for now Shelby and Zach carry the story with charm and believability.
Dadich has done a lot of things right with his inaugural novel. The title is outstanding and the front cover art is superbly professional. The fierce imagery of Shelby is sure to attract the right reading audience.
A final word of advice . . . use the book's glossary early and often. Your immersion into the author's imaginary world, its culture, laws and vernacular will be immeasurably enhanced with this concise, helpful background. At times it felt as though we needed a score card to keep track of truth seekers, Stonecoats, Nightlanders and the rest.
While The Silver Sphere has broad appeal for many age groups, we highly recommend this coming-of-age book for middle and high school students as well as their teachers and parents. The novel is slightly old for an elementary school audience without adult involvement. This is definitely a book to watch as it has all the right elements to be the next Hunger Games-type phenomenon.
This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our honest, unbiased book reviews.
on November 24, 2012
I was looking to lose myself in a fantasy novel, and while searching Amazon, I came across this brand new book called The Silver Sphere. After reading the synopsis, it seemed interesting enough to give it a whirl. Let me tell you, I couldn't put it down!!!
The Silver Sphere is an excellent, epic fantasy novel. The creatures are truly amazing, one of my favorites being Baku the dream eater. The last few chapters had me rifling through the pages as the build up to the ending was well paced. This reminded me of LOTR meets The Hunger Games. I highly recommend it for fans of the genre!
on November 24, 2012
I've been reading a lot of Young Adult fantasy novels together with my niece who loves books like the Harry Potter and the Percy Jackson series. However after those, most of the ones we've read my eyes, and sometimes hers, glaze over due to the simplistic writing and contrived plots.
The Silver Sphere took me by surprise.
Not only was my niece thrilled with the main character Shelby and her call to adventure to another world, but I was fascinated by the excellent world building by the author and the emotional story lines and character depth. We literally read it in two nights as we simply couldn't wait to see what happens next. I love how the author expertly mixes the fantasy and sci fi elements together. I felt like I was reading Star Wars and Harry Potter all rolled into one. I hope this becomes a series of books because we are sad we finished it so fast. =)
on November 23, 2012
From the first page this action packed book will reel you in with twist and turns and a sense of adventure. Six kids are teleported to the planet Azimuth, where they instantly find out each is Kin to an Assembly member that has been imprisoned by the evil leader Malefic. While there the children must find a way to free the assembly and save the world. The book is extremely well written with detailed character development and intense plots. I could not put it down and can not wait to share it with others. The glossary is a plus if you need it. Fans of Rick Riordan, adult and kids a like, will love Dadich's first book.
on December 23, 2013
Today #onreview at #TheLibraryJunior I have one of the fabulous authors from Evolved Publishing and his award winning novel, The Silver Sphere (The Kin Chronicles). The first book in The Kin Chronicles, which if it is just a taste of what's to come will be an epic series. I actually read The Cistern Mission - A Short Story first and must admit it wet my appetite to finally dive into the saga of the full series. I have no regrets! The wait was definitely worth it.
The Silver Sphere is a saga without the weighty verbage that causes an epic story to drag and flounder in the dust for the typical reader. While there was a tiny stumble in the beginning as I sought to grasp the original point of view that the character Shelby presented, once I got a just push into the right direction, the journey rocketed away. Creating a cast of characters that melded the present day, with the magical creatures of a fantasy world and the tales of yesteryear, seemed simplistic for Dadich. I found the character development so deft because there was no need to fill the pages with laborious description to make the characters pop off the page. Each character had a dimensional quality that brought them to life before your eyes.
Characters alone do not a story make, however, and here is where a wonderful tale is woven by one who should be honored to be called a wordsmith. The story being told could have filled a thousand or more pages, had he chosen to bog it down with details. When you think fantasy, you have to admit that far too often the stories become epic, because of the length of the tome, not just because of the story within the pages. Example... both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien have epic fantasy series, however, there is a very prevalent audience that will admit they have not read the books, or more importantly simply finished reading the books. The volumes are intimidating and oft overwhelming to an average reader. Dadich tells his story with a swift attention to overall flow, but doesn't avoid details and historical information that is essential to the story. However, I could easily hand this book to my younger nephew and feel that he would enjoy it immensely and understand what he read without the need for an encyclopedia, dictionary and thesaurus on hand. Other than that early hiccup, the book was a wonderful adventure with fantasy, magic, and emotional bravery and challenge. I cannot wait, literally cannot wait for the release of
The Sinister Kin. So, Mr. Dadich, sooner rather than later in 2014 is eagerly requested.
on November 26, 2012
The book is just one adventure after another. Dadich writes in a very nicely flowing, descriptive style. His storyline is fast-paced moving his characters from one adventure to the next in their ongoing race against time to complete their overall mission before it's too late. The characters are rich and colorful, such as Drake the Leshy, Baku the dream eater, and the Battleswine warriors. Highly recommended in that it is an original story with great characters and well worth a read. I think fans of the Hunger Games and Happy Potter would enjoy it.I just could not put the book down! Its just brilliant!!! I cant wait for the next one already...
on November 24, 2012
This book is a breath of fresh air. It's witty and original and is voiced with great care and creativity and this Shelby is such a strong character I want more of her. The Silver Sphere has a fantastic pace with some truly brilliant twists and turns that will leave you wanting for the next installment. Buy it. Read it. You won't be disappointed. I cant wait for the sequel and will for sure recommend this to all my friends.
on January 22, 2013
"The Silver Sphere" by Michael Dadich is the first volume in a forthcoming (at least, it better be!) series of Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi books. Six American teenagers are transported through a portal to a planet somewhere in the sky above our Southern Hemisphere--a land they soon learn is their actual birthright and which they have been called upon to save from destruction by evil forces. It is a world similar to Earth "but skewed." Fortunately, these Kin are endowed with the remarkable skills required to fight both the real and the fantastic. When one of the boys is handed a sword and demurs that he has never held one before, he is told, "Don't worry. We've all lived other lives." And there is a marvelous virtual battle featuring a holographic Minotaur early in the book that sets the scene for, well, the marvelous.
This is a book that requires some trust on the part of the reader. Azimuth is a place teeming with strange species, wild spaces, friends and foes, and neither you nor the Kin are given much time to adapt. (We are trying to save the world here.) The author has provided a Glossary at the end of the book and as the cast is large and initially somewhat confusing, don't be a snob about using it. One quick flip to the back and you're on track again.
Some of the characters are fully developed; some are merely sketched in. There is a young man named Nick Casey whom we only touch base with briefly, yet we are certain that he is important. I think we can be confident that the author will (at least, he'd better!) develop this role in later books. And some of the "skewed" things take a bit of adjusting to, e.g. advanced military technology is banned on Azimuth, but there is a sophisticated celestial force that can be called upon to come to the defense of the good.
There are ancient legendary creatures on Azimuth like the manticore and pegasi, and there are others that resemble the supernatural spirits in more recent fantasy writing. Because many of the travel books from the Middle Ages--particularly those very popular ones about a fabled and far away land ruled by a king named Prester John--recount just such creatures, it seems quite fitting to set them down in this armor-wearing, warhorse-bearing, world.
It is an old tradition of story telling, and one we should be pleased that modern young people enjoy. Add to that the accomplished writing and editing in "The Silver Sphere" and it would be impossible not to recommend it highly.
on December 9, 2012
The Silver Sphere is an excellent adventure that would fit up with the best of the genre: Harry Potter, the Bartmaeus books, Dark Materials, et et.
The book is a modern fantasy, in that it also has sci-fi elements as well that provides interesting intrigue compared to the techonlogy on the planet, Azimuth, where much of the action takes place. The dearth of Azimuth technolgy, as well as connections to Earth including out own history was deftly woven into the story that centers on a group of young adolescents, called Kin, that unwittingly leave earth only to find that their precence on Aximuth is critical not only to that planet forsaking evil, but for the entire universe as well.
Along the way, our adventurers embark on an exciting quest, filled with the strange wonders of a strange land - the people they meet, their customs, the new world's topography and strange creatures, as well as dangerous adversaries. While crafted with some complex construction, there is no build up; the story starts strong, and without a lull, continues with great pace.
But what makes this a good story is the fine exceution of a varied cast of characters, not all of which are human, but all of whom help build the strange world into reality. While their are six kin that are summoned from earth, the story primarily focuses on two of them, and the excellent earthly personal touches used early in the story actually play out to the last pages with a surprising twist (Can you say "Sequel, please?!!). While certainly heroic, the kin are decidely human. Their fears, natutral uncertainties, and joys will remind you of kids you know, or in my case, who I grew up with. They experience moments of absolute wonder, tender joys, and unfortunate tragedy, but grow with their experiences that ultimately shape their destinies as Kin. They will need it, because their adventure is not easy, but filled with real peril, and an evil, that is so much more profound than your A-typical bad guy found in too much writing. Just as the Kin has their allies, so does their enemy.
In the end you feel like you are along for the adventure yourself. You feel the tension, see the events unfold, and are touched by some excellent characters, (Personal favs: Mr. Dempsey, Brodeur, Nick Casey, and of course(!) Drake the Leshy.) There is also a chatracter Lucas Denton, that without giving that facet of the story away, adds further depth to The Silver Sphere.
Wait, I didn't even mention the Sphere yet...... Well that is how many dimensions this story has ... I can go on and on.
I could write a lot more about this book, but then I would be giving too much of the story away. So instead of that, let me enthusiastically recommend this book. A book with a heart, and a pulse ......a rewarding journey for all readers who have one too.
on November 25, 2012
An adventure-quest with a hip edge. I hung onto every page as Shelby, Zach and their fellow Kin tried to save Azimuth (and Earth) and put things to rights in their own lives. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn't over. Great read!