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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"GreeHee: The Journey of Five. Book One of the Tales of Tamoor" by Michele Avanti (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Rarely is there a book that promotes general good feelings and love as a main focus of the plot. While an author may start out with promoting a "feel good" feeling there is that line that too much fluff present in the book can turn readers away. Michele Avanti in her fantasy series "Tales of Tamoor" sets out to achieve the goal of making a book that not only takes readers on a journey but also helps them find a little bit about themselves outside of the book.

GreeHee Journey of Five, is the first of a five book series titled Tales of Tamoor. GreeHee has always tried to live up to the image of being a fierce dragon. When he comes across Loni, a lost fairy princess, he sees his opportunity to make his mark and gain the attention of his father. GreeHee agrees to take Loni back to her family, unfortunately he has other plans and hopes to kill Loni and her family. While on the journey home GreeHee and Loni become close friends.

During the journey to Loni's home the two learn that a war has broken out. Tana, an evil woman comprised of three of the most dangerous creatures: troll, dragon, and carron is trying to take over all of Tamoor and bring evil to all corners of the land. A prophecy had been foretold that once five certain members get together they can overthrow Tana's power and bring peace to the lands.

GreeHee Journey of Five is a fantasy quest adventure filled with many wonderful creatures and lots of magic. Unicorns, trolls, giants, and carron bird people all fill the pages of this magical journey. It also takes readers on a journey to find out more about themselves and using love and positive energy to fight evil.

When I received GreeHee Journey of Five I was unprepared for what to expect. The first time I tried to pick it up I had a hard time finding the flow of the book. While it's not an overly complicated book, there is a certain "flow" to the writing that if not in the right mind set could be a bit confusing and choppy. The book definitely deserved a second chance and I'm glad that I gave it that.

The book is a very fast paced book, with very few of the events drawn out. There is plenty of action and adventure on the journey to finding out who the five are and on the quest at the end of the book. With this pacing of the book something is always happening and events turn over very quickly. This is a nice aspect for a YA book to have and keeps the attention of readers.

Avanti does a great job of bringing in a lot of the traditional characters of fantasy. There are dragons, trolls, giants, unicorns, and talking crow like birds. If the creature has been used in a fantasy book it most likely finds its way into this book. The main characters of the story aren't very complex, instead each one is rather one dimensional but this goes hand in hand with the fast pace of the book.

While there are many characters throughout the book, what really makes the book is the realistic conversations between the characters. Putting setting and the personality of the characters aside the conversations draw the reader into the book and bring a closeness to the characters that might otherwise have been lacking due to the fast pace of the book.

While the conversations and lands may be a great draw to reading the book there were several downsides to the book also.

First, as stated earlier it takes a certain mind set to get into this book. There is a lot of love and good feelings throughout the book. While this isn't a downside, it might not be what a typical reader of fantasy is used to or expecting. Therefore this might not be a book for everyone. There is evil but evil instead of being fought with swords of killing, instead is fought with good thoughts and love.

A second downside to the book was at times it did appear to get wordy or repetitive. There were a lot of times that the actions of the characters were the same thing that I read in previous pages but just in a different setting. This didn't appear to happen until the end of the book and I hope to see this improved with the rest of the series.

Lastly, there is a lot of use of "Tamoor" language. Instead of referring to hours as hours and days as days there are different terms for this. This isn't the first time that a different language was used in a book, however with the complex ideas of using love and energies to fight off evil, the idea of using different working at times got confusing.

Overall, I was impressed with GreeHee Journey of Five. While not a typical book that I would have gone for if I had seen it on the shelves it was a treat to read. It takes a certain mind set going in to understand and keep up with the storyline, but if a reader goes in with the mind set this will be a great read for them. It's great to see an author set out to write a novel using love and positive energy to fight evil, and actually have that author not compromise their values and deliver an fun fantasy read.

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