Joshua and the Arrow Realm – by Donna Galanti
I received this book free to read for a review for chapter by chapter book tours.
After only a couple of pages in, I realised that this book is a sequel. Even though I hadn’t read the first book I was happily surprised to find that it isn’t needed. This book drops enough snippets of Joshua’s previous adventure that you get the gist of what happened. However, after finishing the story I now want to read the first one and I’m looking forward to the third one, which I can only assume is being manifested as I type.
It’s a middle grade story, perfectly written for ages 8-12.
Joshua and Charlie are from Earth; the story begins with them sledging down ice-covered slopes and hills racing each other in the middle of a snow storm. They come across an older girl who’s staggering around; her attire catches their attention. It turns out Ash is a tree girl from another world, a world that Joshua visited in the first book. She has come for Joshua’s help to save King Apollo from Queen Artimis. Wearing the belt of a friend of Joshua’s, Leandro, who he helped in the first adventure; Ash quickly gains Joshua’s trust and she blasts both Joshua and Charlie to another world down the lightening rod.
Not wanting to spoil anything for you, Joshua and Charlie have to go and save King Apollo who was kidnapped. Apollo had freed the kid slaves that were stolen from Earth by the child collectors and angered Zeus, who seems to be the main ruler who rules over smaller kingdoms. Queen Artimis, King Apollo and Poseidon were trying to form a revolution to stop the slavery and the children from being taken from earth but Queen Artimis changes and puts King Apollo in prison. Why does she have a change of heart? Is she still working with Poseidon?
It is a fast-paced action-packed story from start to finish. Reading large chunks in one go left me feeling exhausted for Joshua and Charlie as their adventure takes them from calling wild large Korax’s (a rather scary sounding creature) on a flute that only works in this realm, to being imprisoned with King Apollo. Underwater swimming whilst following a talking dog, to fighting wild creatures that feed on humans in the wild lands; the pair encounters many dangers on their quest and the four examples given are on a few of the dangerous beings they come across. Whilst battle-ling beasts from a strange land they also encounter many people, some they can trust and some they can’t and with a few betrayals throughout the story the reader wonders will there be a happy ending or not?
Some people in the land believe Joshua is a foretold prophesy, the oracle, they believe he has come to save the slaves and the people of the land from the evil put upon them by Zeus. Joshua’s powers are wanted by the rulers but Joshua doesn’t believe he is the oracle or that he has any powers. Throughout the story strange things happen to Joshua, yes stranger than fighting human eating beasts. Does this mean he is the oracle? Is it him making these things happen? Joshua has to believe in himself to be able to overcome the challenges he is facing.
Every chapter has an adventure within the main adventure. A story of friendship, trust, betrayal and believing in oneself are the ingredients to a well-loved adventure story that helps to inspire young people.
I give the story 4 out of 5 stars, I think it will be very popular amongst middle grade readers.
Joshua and the Arrow Realm (Lightning Road #2)
by Donna Galanti
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Tantrum Books
Joshua never thought he’d return to the world of Nostos so soon. But, when King Apollo needs his help in the Arrow Realm, Joshua’s will and powers will be tested in order to save him.
With his loyalties divided between our world and theirs, Joshua wonders whether he alone can restore magic to the twelve powerless Olympian heirs, or whether he is being tricked into making the one mistake that might cost them all.
JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM is the exciting follow up to JOSHUA THE LIGHTNING ROAD which the Midwest Book Review called, “a heart-pounding thrill ride.”
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.
Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.
To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.
In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.
Donna is the author of the Joshua and the Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at http://www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs…, a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at http://www.donnagalanti.com and http://www.ElementTrilogy.com. Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.