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The Lodestone Kindle Edition
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For those wondering about the following:
Sex: The book is very clean. One of the male characters is attracted to a female character (from the other world) but there isn't even a hint of sexual innuendo.
Violence: Quite a bit of violence - characters (both good guys and bad) are killed in various ways. The main character Jack, a seventh grader, experiences significant pain from being poisoned early in the book and then is beaten badly again later in the story.
Language: No cursing or vulgar language.
Religion: Religion is not a part of the story.
I believe this is Horne's debut novel, so not quite as polished in its pacing as the Joss the Seven series, but still an energetic and suspenseful romp back and forth between this world and one peopled with mages of various orders. I liked that magic revolved around the groups of animal, vegetable and mineral. It was a clever alignment of magical powers and limitations, and made the world-building -- and the mystical creatures that go with it -- unique and intriguing. Miss Edna (aka Edalwin) is a great mentor figure in the Obiwan Kenobe sort of tradition, and the various mages who come to Earth are fun, too.
As I mentioned, pacing was off a bit sometimes, and reactions of both Earth humans and mages from the other world sometimes seemed to take things in stride more than I would have in the same circumstances, but I loved the premise Horne created. He is a truly gifted story-teller.
Plusses: Engaging plot. Action that moves the story forward. Clean language.
Minuses: Too much filtering through phrases like “he saw” and “she saw.” I would also like to have seen more emotional engagement, with laughs and tears in appropriate areas. At times I questioned the characters’ acceptance of events.
This is a solid read, and I will buy more of this author’s books.
By Jimmy Johnson
The adventure of Jack and Sally has a lot of emotion that readers can connect to, yet the fantasy and mystery of each chapter was not something that can be closely identified with other magic-related novels. There is a uniqueness to the plot and themes. While the ending gives some satisfaction or completion, it still leaves part of the story hanging; fulfillment, and yet a need to go get the next book.
It is a tale that not only persuades you to consider each twist and turn, it also hooks the feelings inside you, begging attention and intrigue for the protagonist's plight. The Lodestone is definitely a story I will share with family and friends!