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Of Introductions And Abductions: Monkey Queen Book One Kindle Edition
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The book is light-hearted, easy reading that I feel would be well suited for tweens and teens and kids of all ages.
For the geeks like me, there's plenty of geek-humor references, and for the Sun Wukong aficionados, also like me, there's a good dose of Monkey King lore, parallels to Journey to the West, and some really adorable adaptations of classic characters.
The overall feel of the story made me think this would make an EPIC Saturday morning cartoon! And with the cover artist's awesome style, I can just picture the whole story in my head as I go. I'd totally watch that if it ever happened!
Anyway, the plot is pretty straight forward, but go in expecting a quick, fun adventure and you won't be disappointed.
Right off the bat there are two things to note. First, the references to "Journey to the West" means there's more going on here than just some fairy-fest. Second, and much more important, Michiko is a total hoot. She's funny, skilled, insanely upbeat, cool, and so high-energy that she drives the whole book, all of the characters, and especially Beth, ahead of her. Michiko needs Beth, and a special talent of Beth's, in order to accomplish her work here on Earth. The book plays out as an extended job offer, with Michiko encouraging Beth to sign on for the wild ride and Beth starting to get into the spirit of the adventure. Beth thus moves from depressing drip, to conflicted good guy, to gung-ho sidekick as the book progresses. This transformation is a large part of the fun.
The plot is all over the place, involves bad guys and super-secret bad guys, double crosses and generally bad multi-species behavior. But that's not really the point. This book is driven by a number of very funny set pieces, some witty dialogue, and a huge cast of well conceived and engaging characters. At a breakfast joint that's sort of a Rick's Cafe/Star Wars Cantina we meet all of the different sorts who have fled faerieland to settle on Earth. We attend a weird faerie party. We meet a strange and powerful old-one wizard type. These set pieces are amusing and inventive.
We also have trolls, bad faeries, good faeries, hobgoblins, multi-dimensional dinosaurs, and what-have-you, and they all actually work pretty well, and often have a knack for snappy patter.
Don't get the wrong idea. Some of the writing can be pretty spotty. There's a lot of exposition to keep things moving along at a fast pace. The plot doesn't withstand deep critical thought. This is not adult high fantasy. But, for a tween or young YA audience that is willing to skip over some bumpy parts in the name of entertainment, and for any reader who just likes a good-natured, high energy romp, this is a nice find.
Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
This was the first story in The Monkey Queen series and it holds great promise. There is a little bit of something for everyone. Beth, the geeky college girl who feels a bit out of place, like no one gets her love for cosplay and all things geek doesn’t just let things happen to her. Her growth is evident throughout the story. There are fairies, hobgoblins, trolls, wizards and much more. The main character, Michiko, is a new take on the Monkey King legends. She has a vivid personality that is easy to love and will engage younger readers ( 9+ ). There is plenty of action and suspense as the girls try to solve the mystery. My favorite part of this story is the light hearted fun and upbeat, positive attitude Michiko brings. She is a serious butt kicking heroine when needed but a fun loving teen when she’s not trying to save the world (and sometimes she is saving the world with a happy smile on her face and joke on her tongue). I easily would recommend this to readers young and old who enjoy paranormal, superheroes, and mystery.
***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official.***