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Doorways To Arkomo: Book One of the Spirit Oak's Gift Paperback – April 7, 2014
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About the Author
Jacqueline Dooley studied English Literature at Stony Brook University on Long Island back in the early nineties. She's been peddling words as an online marketing consultant for over sixteen years. This book is entirely self-published. If you like this book, please take the time to give it a fair review online at one of the many online bookstores. Reviews and word of mouth are the number one way that self-published writers get discovered. The sequel to DOORWAYS TO ARKOMO will be released in December 2014. Until then, you can follow Jackie online at www.jacquelinedooley.com or learn more about DOORWAYS TO ARKOMO at www.doorwaystoarkomo.com. Jackie resides in New York's lovely Mid-Hudson Valley with her husband Jim and two daughters, Ana and Emily along with two cats, two fish and three gerbils.
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Top customer reviews
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The story is told from first-person perspectives, and Dooley does this well. Such switches in perspective can be confusing if done at the wrong time and if the characters have not developed unique voices. I really enjoyed the change in perspective (these were generally brief) - even Lyric (the magical blue bird) gets to have a say!
The small details are not overlooked, the disturbing story that will drive the series is tantalizingly drawn out bit by bit (it's pretty horrifying, really) and a building sense of urgency will keep the reader turning pages - and waiting for the sequel!
Judith Krongard's illustrations add a very nice touch; simple and haunting at times, they provide provide the reader just enough interpretation of characters and venue so they don't interfere with any of the reader's own mental visuals (I'm sort of dying to see a rendition of the Hair Cookie, just so you know!) The occasional illustration is generally overlooked these days, and Ms. Dooley is fortunate indeed to have such a talented artist in her family helping her bring the story to life.
Four stars for The Spirit Oak's Gift (as another reviewer said, can't go half and I'd have gone 4.5 here.) Great bargain for the Kindle edition. I'm impatient to know what happens next!
I also really loved her verses, couplets, riddles. She is so talented with words – can’t wait to read book 2.
This should be a best seller! Alongside my teenage daughter I have read Divergent, The Hunger Games Trilogy , The Fault in our Stars, Cress, Scarlet, Cinder, Allegiant, Insurgent, one of the Assassin series, Defiance, Accordance, The Necromancer, Most of The Percy Jackson series , some of the Red Pyramid series.....whew.
And this book stands with the best of these. Ms. Dooley is right in there, with an original, compelling storyline. I hope to read much more by this author! Lastly, my 14 year old book-worm daughter loves this book!!
This novel is very engaging from the beginning. I found myself drawn right into the world and the characters. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, with Grace and Sorel being the most dominant. We also get to see some scenes from Grace's parents and the Kings of Arkomo.
This is a fantasy novel, but not high fantasy. I'm sure there is a specific fantasy classification, but I am unsure of what that is. Here we have a completely fantasy based world-Arkomo- and New York. Arkomo is full of magic while New York is modern and lacking in magic. The crossing between these two worlds and the explanations about the doorways that allow such crossing is all very interesting and well explained.
Sorel is a princess-the only one-and must stay hidden among her brothers and the other princes. Of the princes, only her twin brother Sabian knows about her. It is this seclusion that prompts Sorel to share her loneliness with the Oak tree outside of her tower. The Oak then opens a doorway that allows Sorel to visit a strange place she calls Hospital-a hospital in New York-where she meets Grace.
One of the best things about this novel is the prophecy that tells of the Departure. The entire novel is very well written, but this prophecy is beautiful. Prophecies are such an essential part to so many fantasy stories that having a well written, intriguing prophecy is very important. It was also nice that this one is not all revealed in the beginning, but rather comes forth once the reader has gotten involved in the world and knows the characters.
I found the magic, while not overly huge in the story, to be very well written and utilized. Obviously the most magical thing is the crossing between worlds, but there are many smaller elements that make things interesting along the way.
Dooley was able to write the reactions of the characters as they crossed into different worlds and encountered new people very well.
The two main settings are Arkomo and Hospital. There are some discussions of medical topics as Grace undergoes treatment for her tumor. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys light fantasy reads. Be aware in advance, however, that much of the events take place in a hospital and surround a child with cancer.
This was a great story and I am looking forward to reading the sequel Doorways Home.