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The Fourth Piece (Order's Last Play) (Volume 1) Paperback – July 1, 2016
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"The Fourth Piece (Order's Last Play, Book 1) by E. Ardell was something different.Written in the first person, each chapter rotates with a different brother doing the narrating. The character development is good, allowing a reader to meet the brothers and learn about them and their backgrounds, laying the groundwork for the rest of the story. The plot was detailed and complex. It will be interesting to read book 2, to see where the author takes the story next."-- Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
"E.Ardell--a librarian quickly morphing into a rising author--pens a story thatappeals to teens in her sci-fi debut. While much of her futuristic plot focuseson familial relationships--particularly between four brothers (Lawrence, Devon,Lyle, and Evan), Ardell emphasizes that some things just haven't change in theyear 2022--in Houston, Texas and beyond. Although now replete with humans andVisitors (aliens), the world continues to have race relation problems, and thistime with Vulattos--half-humans, half-aliens. Ardell's unique plot unfoldslittle by little as told through three concurrent first person narratives(Lawrence, Devon, and Lyle). Amid psychic weirdness, racial issues, and aGothic-styled war, Ardell punctuates a little bit of everything expected in ateenager's world (i.e., sarcasm, comedy, and plenty of flirting that coincideswith raging hormones). The Fourth Piece is the first in the Order's Last Playseries. Throwing in a flurry of twists and turns along the way and closing onan interesting cliffhanger, Ardell sets the groundwork for book two, TheThird Gambet. A one-of-a-kind story, The Fourth Piece is earmarked to become a favorite teen read."--Red City Reviews
"Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence know that in 2022 admitting you have even a little bit of alien blood will label you an outcast faster than you can blink. When the three brothers share a psychic vision of their older brother - on another planet and going to die without help - their suspicions as to their heritage are suddenly confirmed, and with major consequences. Saving their brother isn't just a matter of alerting the authorities; instead, the four boys must face danger, both at home and in space as they fulfill an ancient prophecy that killed their ancestors. Unless they make the right choices they could destroy not only themselves but all the worlds as well.
An excellent sci-fi story, "The Fourth Piece" is the first book in the series, and it starts off with a bang. There is action galore mixed with plenty of social commentary, distinct characters, a complex world system, Ancient Gods of Order and Chaos playing with champions, some minor romance, and young men with powers they don't yet fully understand. Readers will find themselves sucked into the plot and rooting for each of the boys as they struggle to understand what is really happening in the world and what they each want to do about the problems around them. This is a must read for any sci-fi lover!"--Sarah E. Bradley, InD'Tale Magazine.
About the Author
E. Ardell spent her childhood in Houston, Texas, obsessed with anything science fiction, fantastic, paranormal or just plain weird. She loves to write stories that feature young people with extraordinary talents thrown into strange and dangerous situations. She took her obsession to the next level, earning a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine where she specialized in young adult genre fiction. She’s a big kid at heart and loves her job as a teen librarian at Monterey Public Library in Monterey, California, where she voluntarily shuts herself in rooms with hungry hordes of teenagers and runs crazy after-school programs for them. When she’s not working, she’s reading, writing, running writers critique groups, trying to keep up with a blog, and even writing fan fiction as her guilty pleasure.
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Top customer reviews
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The first three brothers discover that their father who left when they were young, is actually an alien who took their other brother off-world with him. They also learn that they each have unique powers like telempathy, healing, and earth powers and have to deal with the issue of alien discrimination. This is a very well-built sci fi universe I'm excited to see where Ardell takes it next. Highly recommended!
Each brother is a complex person and I had a clear picture of them. This isn't a book where I can just project my own personality into the main character (I'm looking at you Twilight.) While every family is unique, the dynamic between the boys really rang true to me because I have four brothers and I see some similar struggles. Like how your relationship changes as you get older. Wanting a closer relationship but you're unsure of how to proceed. Being emotionally constipated because you're a man. (Apologies to all the men out there who are in tune with their emotions and communicate well.)
The other themes of the book are, unfortunately in some ways, similar to current events. There is a definite X-Men vibe when it comes to how people on earth feel about aliens living among them.
I suppose this book could be classified as "the one" kind of trope you see commonly in YA, but it doesn't feel quite the same. Not like the Harry Potter "the one" feel. More kind of like The Legend of Zelda, if you're a video game fan. Basically the idea of heroes being re-incarnated over time. This is explained in a dream sequence with Lyle and Devon's characters.
To sum up: I think this is a strong showing from E. Ardell. There were a plenty of moments where I snorted out loud (Lawrie is pretty funny) and moments where I may have skipped a few pages ahead because I needed to know what happened. (I wouldn't recommend this. Since it's a first novel and it's setting up the scene and characters you might get a little lost.) Normally I read pretty quick, but I had to slow down to make sure I understood everything. Plus the price is right at only $4 for the ebook. I still bought the paperback though. I need that new book smell.
The story is told in alternating first-person points of view, but I only had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to confirm who's POV I was in once or twice. The voices and personalities are distinct. Each brother has qualities that you love, qualities that you hate, and qualities that you love to hate. In other words, they're realistic and relatable.
The imagination of E. Ardell is expansive and her world- building is exquisite. I felt like I was watching movie- totally sucked in and couldn't put it down. I can't wait to find out what happens to the brothers in book 2!!
THE FOURTH PIECE vividly portrays modern characters battling with the seven deadly sins: anxiety, wrath, lust, gluttony, pride, envy, and greed. It ain't easy being green, as the brothers find out. But then shisst, don't we all indulge in selfies just hoping we are unique?
This book describes teen choices using the tang of today's hyper vocabulary. Shape shifting made easy, thanks to E. Ardell, a master story teller. I highly recommend it to all. This review was written by Cynthia Danielson Bird, former teacher of young adults.
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E. Ardell . . . PLEASE TELL ME!!Read more