I am not an avid book reader. Often times, I don’t make it passed the first few pages of fiction after my conscience has pushed me to even pick up a book. After following this author’s blog for a few months, her enthusiasm for the upcoming release of Akarnae (Ah-kar-nay) was infectious. My curiosity won the day and I finally made a commitment to read…at least, this book.
To my surprise, the first few pages went by in a blur as I could easily visualize the scene between Alex and her parents. The scenario was so comical that I quickly lost sight my reluctance to read. Although Alex was sixteen, she sounded a few years younger, thirteen, perhaps. As the story unfolded, I began to have a better understanding of why.
And what I story it is. I held my breath as Alex seemed to go through the typical teenage-years troubles and I thought I’d know the outcome of every turn. However, just before I could smirk, ‘I knew that was going to happen,’ neither I nor Alex knew what was going on. Welcome to Wonderland, Alexandra. Each time I thought the story was “obviously” leading me one way, I ended up some place else entirely. My interest continued to build as I learned about this strange new world and how Alex would survive the increasingly difficult challenges it presented. She grew up in personality and character to match her age, if not beyond it.
The author achieved the most important task: Make a complete stranger care about the characters of her book. There are so many characters, the world is so expansive, the history is explained so well, it feels like I’ve made a new discovery! I can’t put into words the amount of possibilities this story has. I also have trouble picking out my favorite characters and moments in the story because there’s quite a list.
Overall, I’m amazed at the author’s ability to take all of this ‘chaos’ and organize it enough to where the reader doesn’t get lost despite the fact that you don’t know where you are. “Akarnae” is dramatic, funny, and heart-warming. I have enough momentum to read more fiction; I only hope I can find one as well-written and conceived as this one.
Bring on Book No.2.
Eric Christopher Jackson