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Isle of Stars (The Isle Chronicles) (Volume 3) Paperback – March 5, 2016
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About the Author
Wayne Thomas Batson was born in Seabrook, MD in 1968. He had an adventurous childhood and adolescence that included: building forts in the woods, crabbing and crayfishing in bays, ponds, and bayous, playing lead guitar in a heavy metal band, and teaching tennis lessons at the local recreation center. He attended Gabriel DuVal Senior High School where he wrote for the school’s newspaper and literary magazine. He was voted “Most Talented” in his senior year, and wrote this for his Yearbook Senior Goal: “To become a published author.” Little did he know that God had even greater plans. Batson graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1991 with a BA in English and Secondary Education. In 1996, he earned a graduate degree in Counseling and has continued his studies with 36 credit hours of graduate-level Reading courses. Wayne Thomas Batson has spent the last twenty-four years teaching Reading and English to middle school students. He pioneered the active instruction of Strategic Reading in Anne Arundel County. Most recently, he helped develop the Challenge Reading Curriculum for advanced readers in Howard County, Maryland. Wayne Thomas Batson lives in Eldersburg with his extraordinary wife of 21 years and his four amazing (and challenging) teenage children. Batson’s writing career began in 2005 with the publication of fantasy epic, The Door Within. Since then, The Door Within, The Final Storm, Isle of Swords, and Isle of Fire have all appeared on the CBA Young Adult Bestseller List, including #2 for The Final Storm Fall 2007. To date, Batson has penned or coauthored seventeen novels and has sold well over half a million copies. Batson’s works have garnered many awards and nominations including: Mom’s Choice, Cybil, Lamplighter, Silver Moonbeam, ACFW Book of the Year, and The Clive Staples Award. Mr. Batson and Isle of Swords, his pirate adventure novel, were featured on the front page of The Washington Post, and he was interviewed live on Fox’s nationally televised morning show. But most importantly, all of Batson’s works are “student approved,” meaning that, over the years, the middle school kids in his classes have given each novel a rigorous critique and enthusiastic thumbs up. Wayne Thomas Batson gives thanks to God for the abundant life he’s been given. He continues to write for the kids he cares so deeply about because he believes that, on a deep level, we all long for another world and yearn to do something important.
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Top customer reviews
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Without giving anything away, did Batson's latest pirate adventure meet my anticipatory hype? Not completely, but it does continue the legend of Declan Ross in a very enthralling and satisfying manner. I read the entirety of Isle of Stars in one sitting, something I haven't done since the final volume of Batson's The Door Within Trilogy which I first read when I was thirteen. However, one might say that Isle of Stars is perhaps too faithful to the past, as the Brethren asking them to protect the treasure from more black hearted brigands sounds just like the plot to the first book in the series, Isle of Swords.
This book marks a first for Batson, as Isle of Stars serves as a crossover between many of his series, most notably his recent Dreamtreaders trilogy, published by Thomas Nelson. While this is an ingenious way to leave "Easter eggs" for long time fans of his work, it does tend to pull you out of the story a little and leave you wondering just how interconnected the Batson-verse really is.
None of that really bothers me though, and most of it was pretty remarkably done. The one thing that makes Isle of Stars less than a full 5/5 for me is actually the blatant Christian message. Not that Christian messages in literature are a bad thing, it's actually why I love Batson's other books so much as I myself am a follower of Christ. But in the past, those messages were more secreted away, such that you could tell the book was still meant to carry the Gospel at its heart, but it wasn't so obvious that an atheist would be turned off by reading it. The climax is so run through with obvious themes of the crucifixion, salvation, and God's love that it almost felt like reading a gospel tract, and not an incredibly well-written one at that. It almost pains me to say, because I have been such a fan of Batson's for years, but there it is. Without a doubt, this is Batson's most heavy-handed Gospel message in any of his works.
To end on a high note though, don't let that last part deceive you! The characters are just as well written as you remember, the comedy is all there along with some tasteful references to modern culture in true Batson form, and the action scenes are inventive and fresh. Well, as any tale of swashbuckling rogues can be. Even with a couple missteps. Wayne Thomas Batson deserves a great many accolades for another great read!
Classic swash buckling ensues, and the moral of the story a la captain Patch completes the roundup. The climactic twist was good, and the demise we should have looked forward to was sad and touching instead.
In short, a classic pirate tale with a unique wrap up.
Well done Sir Batson!