Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the middle grade science fiction series "Starchild" by Vacen Taylor (May 8 to 10, 2015). There is so much to celebrate: not only do the books have NEW covers, but the third book in the series, "The Healing Stone" has just been released!
About the Books
Book 1: The Age of AkraTitle: Starchild: The Age of Akra (Book 1) | Author: Vacen Taylor | Publication Date: March 6, 2013 | Publisher: Odyssey Books | Pages: 150 | Recommended Ages: 10+ Summary: When Mai is chosen to take a pilgrimage to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts to train with the oldest and wisest master of their people, an ancient prophecy is set in motion. The events to come have been predicted but are not unchangeable. When the Starchild returns to the planet of Sage, the foreknowledge of the prophecy begins to gain strength. Four children come together and become linked to the events that lie ahead. In The Age of Akra, the first stage of their journey has them facing the deadly spiderflax, only then to be confronted by a creature of the underworld, an evil Dementra called Amual. The struggle to bring peace to the world of powerful energies lies in the hands of these four children and a strange little lizard. And it will not come easy. This journey is only the beginning.
*Available as a 99 cent E-Book through Amazon *
Buzz About Book 1
"The Age of Akra is a riveting, well-written, and imaginative story featuring an intricate plot and stellar cast of characters that is sure to be thoroughly enjoyed by tweens, teens, and even adults who love a great science fiction tale. This is a real page-turner and I highly recommend this book to children aged 10 and older. I just loved it and to think the author has seven books planned for the series ... I'm salivating." ~ Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews
"What an imagination!! Absolutely fabulous. What a great read. The characters came to life so easily. Their physical descriptions have me a visual idea but their personalities evolved and developed quickly so they were my friends and heroes before very long. I cried when Mia was selected and was on the edge of my seat when it looked like Long wouldn't make it. I couldn't put it down. A very clever story with wonderful likable characters in amazing places with fascinating skills and weird animals. I went through a range is emotions with these characters where I wanted to hug them, love them, give them a good slap, protect and spend time with. I cannot wait for book 2. Highly recommend this series of books and hope they make a movie from it would be a blockbuster!!!" ~ 5 Star Review, Dannielle S., Goodreads
"Masterfully told from different viewpoints, Starchild is neither a "boy" nor "girl" book, but rather an everyone book. Struggling readers will enjoy the simple truths of the characters, and more advanced readers will delight in the journey of Mai, Long, and Akra. A journey that introduces multifaceted characters, whom I hope will make an appearance in subsequent titles in The Starchild Series, because I'm already attached to them. Even the slightest of creatures was placed in Starchild with the greatest of skill, care, and thought. Outstanding job, Ms. Taylor, and I look forward to continuing my journey through the series." ~ 5 Star Review, C. Bullard, Amazon
Book 2: The City of SoulsTitle: Starchild: The City of Souls (Book 2) | Author: Vacen Taylor | Publication Date:October 14, 2013 | Publisher: Odyssey Books | Pages: 176 | Recommended Ages: 10+ Summary: In The City of Souls, the pilgrimage to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts continues. Having already triumphed against dangerous adversaries in The Age of Akra, the four children -- Mai, Long, Akra and Sahib -- now face the evil melkarie and must escape to the City of Souls. When they reach the safety of the land of Naroan, in a city hidden under a blanket of living green, the children are confronted with the challenge of locating the Singing Soul. But the underworld is searching for it too, and will do anything to stop the young pilgrims from finding it. The prophesy is at risk of being extinguished unless the children succeed in their quest.
Buzz About Book 2
"The City of Souls is the second book in a science fiction fantasy featuring an intricate and engaging plot, well-developed characters who are faced with new challenges, a well-described setting reminiscent of Star Wars with a hint of Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones-style action and suspense. I’m in this series for the whole haul as I feel completely invested in what happens next as the prophecy continues to roll forward. I highly recommend this book as well as the series to science fiction aficionados ages 10 years and older looking for something a little different. ~ Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews
"The author graciously sent a signed copy of this 2nd book in her series to my daughter Emily. Emily read Vacen Taylor's first book in the Starchild series: The Age of Akra. She very much enjoyed the adventure and getting to know the characters. Emily eagerly anticipated the next book! Emily was thrilled when her copy of The City of Souls arrived and did what she could do to avoid her homework so that she could sneak and read The City of Souls. She read the book with much interest and said that she loved every bit of it. As a parent, it's a big comfort and joy to me when my kids find stories written for their enjoyment! The Starchild series captured the heart and imagination of my daughter. And she very much looks forward to book three." ~ 5 Star Review, Vonda N., Goodreads
"Ms Taylor provides masterful descriptions that don't bore the reader. Thank you. I think the writing is at its best in the action, but the character building, backstory and forewarning is all there and relevant to the overall building of good storytelling. I'm assuming the introductions to some of the other multifaceted characters will have relevance in future books. I do hope so. Overall, a great read for children who are looking for something refreshingly new and unique." ~ 5 Star Review, Kirt T., Amazon
Book 3: The Healing StoneTitle: Starchild: The Healing Stone (Book 3) | Author: Vacen Taylor | Publication Date: April 10, 2015 | Publisher: Odyssey Books | Pages: 176 | Recommended Ages: 10+ Summary: After finding the Silvershade and escaping the attacking forces as the Wilder Forest city was scorched to the ground, Mai, Akra and Kalin must now face the evil that has consumed Long. When they reach the land of Cruscar and enter the ice city of Algus, the children are confronted with an ice challenge to win an audience with Queen Isolda. A treacherous journey now awaits them if they are to reach the Healing Stone to save Long. But Piceptus, the underworld king, will not give up his search and he will do anything to bring the pilgrims' journey to an end. The children grow stronger as they begin to master their powers, but will this be enough to escape this danger and continue on their pilgrimage to fulfil the prophecy?
About the Author: Vacen Taylor
Vacen Taylor is an Australian author, writer, occasional artist and amateur photographer. She loves creating stories for children and reading to her young readers. She is a happy person with a zest for life and exploring the world at large. Vacen collects comics and loves superheroes. Her favourite superhero is Spider-Man. Vacen also believes in expressing the uniqueness of self. She has had several short stories published for adults online. Starchild is her first novel for children and is the first book in a series of seven.