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Choose Your Weapon (The Helen of Hollingsworth Trilogy) (Volume 1) Paperback – August 3, 2013
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"A well-written, intelligent, exciting choice for readers looking to get hooked on a new fantasy series." --Kirkus Reviews
One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Indie Sci-Fi and Fantasy of 2013 books!
About the Author
Sarah Rodriguez Pratt grew up in McAllen, Texas. She holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Harvard University, and a Master's degree in Information Science with a specialization in Preservation Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, she divides her time between writing fiction and running Quail School Media, her freelance copywriting and editing company. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Visit Sarah's blog at ThatsAGirlsCar.com and follow her on Twitter at @ThatsAGirlsCar.
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The mythology of an alternate, perhaps interdependent, world is presented in a refreshingly matter-of-fact manner. Rather than an intricately woven prologue or quickly packaged back-story to try and forcefully demand your understanding and credibility of this fictional land, the reader is presented with what they need to know at the right time, within the familiar context of the modern high-school/teenage year's backdrop. Before you know it you find yourself comfortable in the new world and open to figuring out the back-story as the characters do themselves.
The narrative focuses on the expected issues of being in high school (Grades, gossip, social circles, relationship with parents and friendships), paralleled with the challenges of "Warrior" training (fatigue, injury, fear, impatience and skill development). Both narratives are wrapped in the unifying broader themes of overcoming adversity, learning confidence in who you are, giving respect as a first step of earning respect, and doing the right thing.
A fresh and engaging writing style, coupled with well developed characters that are both relatable and real, allows for a great story and message to come through.
I guess now I must patiently wait for Book 2.
Read this book too and join me in my not-so-patient waiting.
Helen of Hollingsworth ends up being a highly sympathetic and honorable character, with traits that we all should aspire to having.....even if we are not "young adults". The book honestly and truthfully describes in wonderful detail many of the trials and travails that we have all had to face going through school in our younger days....and are still extremely relevant in today's culture, as well as in those past. Drawing on a "mythical land" where the characters must face their "demons" is a wonderful way to impart great lesson's to all of us.
In addition to describing useful ways to deal with the often difficult paths students must take in school, however, the book is also "just a great read". I found myself engrossed in the character's lives, and cheering for them, as the book went on. The story is highly readable, and entertaining.
I would highly recommend this book to "young adults" of all ages, including those of "over 40" like myself. I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out, as well as to any further books by this terrific new author.
As a former high school teacher, I would say that some of the details regarding day to day life in school and dealing with the various cliques might be lost on kids who are younger than high school or don't go to a traditional school. Part of the love for the main character requires you to empathize with being shunned by one's peers in that wanting to never show your face in school again way.
By the end, I really wanted to find out what happens next for each character. Fortunately, Sarah has informed us from the beginning that this is intended as a trilogy. I hope book two gets written and published quickly!