Alexis Marie Chute
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (02/19)
“Above the Star,” is the first in a new fantasy series by Alexis Marie Chute, following Fourteen-year-old Ella who is suffering from a terminal brain tumor. Ella lives with her mother and paternal grandfather; her beloved father disappeared without warning, two years ago. When Ella’s grandfather offers to take the family on a cruise to create one last happy memory, the two ladies have no idea that he has been reading journals about another world that might have a cure for Ella. Things go awry shortly into the cruise. The grandfather has been in contact with a being, from the other world, who was exiled on earth. He has a Tillastrion, which is a portal device that connects earth to Jarr-Wya, which is an island on the planet Jarr. This island is severely affected by the negative energy from a star that once crashed there. Three different groups of beings are engaging in a brutal power struggle. When Ella and her mother accidentally arrive there with her grandfather, the conflicts greatly increase. Neither is sure of whom they can trust, because the animosity among the local beings causes the castaways to see that they are being manipulated. New friendships and alliances are tenuous, and the family finds answers about what really happened to their missing loved one.
“Above the Star,” took me on a wild ride! I did not want to put this book down. Seeing that it the first book in the 8th Island Trilogy, I look forward to reading the next books in this series. The author did a fantastic job creating a world full of strange magic and unusual beings. Each of the different groups of beings are very complex, and due to the influence of the evil star, they cannot all be deemed simply as good or evil. The struggle to survive dominates their actions.
The dynamics among the family members are heavily affected by the circumstances which brought them to this strange world. Anger, feelings of betrayal and the desperate need to save the child, all influence how they get along with each other. Forgiveness and understanding will play a key role in the healing. While some of the characters in this novel are teenagers, I feel that adults will also enjoy it. Readers should be prepared for the violence and suffering that plays out in several of the scenes.
I highly recommend “Above the Star” by Alexis Marie Chute for fans of fantasy fiction. It’s a captivating start in what promises to be a spectacular series!