Dianne Lynn Gardner just might be the next John White, and Ian’s Realm the new Anthropos. With pleasingly consistent writing, enjoyably flawed teen characters, and a world that blends real-world emotions with intriguing imagination, the Ian's Realm novels are perfectly tuned to a middle grade male audience and highly recommended. Ian is a very ordinary, lonely young man. Motherless, with a fascinating but socially inept father, a love for computers and swords, and teachers who simply don’t understand him, he finds himself stuck doing a project with… a girl. Escaping to another world instead might be the best solution all around, except Ian’s really more down-to-earth than that and would rather just get on with the job. Unfortunately, Dad’s not so practical. And where Dad goes Ian's bound to follow. Details are very pleasingly imagined in this middle grade fantasy, from the way Ian enters his strange new world, to the way the denizens view him, to the mysteries of song and prophecy. Poems with great rhythm and vivid lyrics fit the story perfectly, and create no sense of imposition when they're encountered--a rare treat. I really enjoyed this novel--lost the point of view once in a while, but it wasn't a problem in a book that's smoothly written, intriguing, and built onto just the right level of detail. The characters are great. The dad’s a mystery. And the future must surely promise more books to come. Deception Peak is a novel complete in itself that stands alone perfectly. But there’s so much depth waiting to be filled (and prophecy to be fulfilled)
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to receive an ecopy as a gift.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
" Dianne Lynn Gardner... has written a 'rites-of-passage' YA fantasy novel with Deception Peak. This is a ripping yarn in the tradition of all heroic quest tales. We have an unlikely (and initially) unwilling hero, a father-son relationship, and a vivid, exciting new world to explore." -The Independent Review
"...Deception Peak is a fantastic story and a great start to this series." -Ali's Bookshelf
"I get goose bumps when I think of some of the haunting songs the author uses as story breaks throughout the tale."-Alaskan Dreams Reviews