Friday, January 10, 2014

Quests of Shadowind: Sky Shifter-L.A. Miller

Quests of Shadowind: Sky Shifter L.A. Miller Millhouse Press, 2013, $10.95 ISBN: 9780615439259 On summer vacation, frightened thirteen year old Mindy Oakes wakes up her fifteen years old brother Logan concerned that their parents were gone. Logan wants his bratty sister to let him sleep, but he soon realizes nothing is right including the room he sleeps in as the house is not theirs; neither is the location; or the PJs he wears. He tries the phone with its odd umbilical cord to call his parents, but no one answers. Stepping outside, Mindy and Logan see no adults except their neighbor Preston, but mechanical insects grab and take him away as today is his twentieth birthday. The horrified siblings soon meet other young people like Samantha but no adults. As they learn more about this new world, the Oakes and others begin a quest to obtain the Staff of the Sky Shifter before Lord Torrent releases his computer virus with the help of Kyle Whitelaw the neighborhood bully in both worlds. To do so they must enter Computerland even as the evil Torrent deploys his WMD to devastate their earth and their new (hopefully temporary) home Shadowind The first Quests of Shadowind is an exhilarating young teen fantasy that brings the Lord of the Flies and gruesome beasts into the digital age. The action-packed storyline with its vivid locales is excellent when the focus is on the Oates (especially Logan the leader) and Torrent, but loses some steam when cartoonish Kyle (think of a teen Bluto), take center stage. Armchair readers will appreciate spending time with the struggling to survive youth in vivid Shadowind and colorful Computerland while also knowing we are home. Harriet Klausner

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