I am so honored that my second book was reviewed by Diane Donovan from the Midwest Review. Diane has been reviewing books for over 35 years with over 500,000 book reviews including The Rise of the Griffins. She is such a genuine and beautiful soul and I am happy to have made her acquaintance.
Here is her review of The Prophet's Journal. You may also find it in Diane Donovan's Literary Services in the Children's Bookwatch of Midwest Book Review:
Middle-grade readers to adults who enjoyed the story of boy/griffin hero/villain in Hale: The Rise of the Griffins will find its sequel, Hale: The Prophet's Journal, a satisfyingly, equally powerful follow-up. It carries Hale into more adventures as he continues to confront his new powers and role in life.
The story opens with Hale's father Felix's nightmares and his determination to break away from his dearest, oldest friends to confront King Bayo's rule and son Hale's dangerously powerful, growing gift.
As the story moves between Bayo, Hale, and Felix, it develops a powerful plot in which young readers once again are called upon to question who is the hero, who is the villain, and who is only human, in their responses to life's adversity and opportunities.
Hale trusted his Griffin brother Bayo, who let him down. It's been eleven years, but the latest rescue attempt shatters all hope that Hale can be saved. And yet, this is not the end of the story; but the beginning.
As events unfold with a host of characters questioning their intentions, beliefs, and impact upon their worlds, prior fans of The Rise of the Griffins will appreciate the same attention to psychological development and conundrums that made the first book so compelling.
As Hale, a siren song, and an awful power are changed by an unexpected savior, satisfying twists and turns develop which continue to challenge the young reader's perception of who are the good and who the evil characters in the plot.
Nothing is black and white. Nor are the motives and questions of a host of characters that struggle with danger and sometimes even act against their own interests.
Sometimes readers will admire Hale: "Epic battles showcase Hale’s courageousness and righteous actions when he defends the innocent. The more Marcus watches, the more he is in awe of Hale. For every obstacle Hale overcomes, he remains true to his character." Sometimes, they will hate him. This changing sense of purpose, perspective, and a waking world in which the history of the Griffin clan comes dangerously to life, makes for a complex, involving read that is one of the hallmarks of a superior fantasy story.
All ages will appreciate the ghosts, mysteries, and struggles which continue to evolve, involve, and consume Hale, his family, and those around him. The blend of fast-paced action, multifaceted characters and purposes, and more developing details about the Griffin clan and their world makes for a satisfying sequel that should be in any collection seeing patron interest in Hale: The Rise of the Griffins.
Midwest Book Review, Children's Bookwatch
JK Noble | Author | Artist | Philanthropist
Published author of the new YA Fantasy Series, HALE.
Creator of the LMB franchise and the Encourage Literacy Foundation.