3 out of 4 stars
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The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis is a book filled with magic and whimsy that maintains the essence of human nature in its characters.
The journey starts with the main character, Amanda, discovering a life she was destined for on a foreign planet, Emaji. As Amanda continues to travel on the planet, she begins to learn about the history of Emaji and her role in its future with the help of Solomon, the man she encountered when first journeying through Emaji.
Amanda learns of the different types of magic people possess, such as the ability to control fire or air. She also learns of the journey she will have to take in order to fully embrace her Emaji powers. Most importantly, she learns of a man named Zorn. Zorn once tried to conquer Emaji but was trapped in a barrier created to contain him and his followers. Now, Zorn is gathering his forces to break through and once again try and conquer Emaji. However, there is someone destined to put a stop to Zorn nicknamed, "The Sparrow". Amanda learns that she is the one prophesized to defeat Zorn and quickly becomes conflicted with this newfound identity.
The Sparrow is an excellent reading choice for younger teens or preteens. The overall storytelling approach is one that is easy to digest and enjoyable, so it is better equipped to keep a younger person's attention. Action sequences were written well, with one battle that possessed a Roman gladiator feel to it written exceptionally well that would manage to keep any reader on the edge of their seat.
However, even though the plot revolves around magic and destiny, Davis is keen on making her characters remain human in nature. Amanda and Solomon are both still teenagers. They are headstrong, stubborn, and make mistakes too, making the story more relatable to its intended audience.
While the fast-paced nature of this book will keep the younger audience's attention, at times the plot does not feel as if it was built sufficiently. During different sections of the book, some of the plot points were like reading off a list as one would read a cookbook, giving the writing a rather rudimentary feel.
Overall though, The Sparrow deserves a 3 out of 4 stars rating. The creativity adds depth to the story and the clear editing and manner in which the story is told make for an easy read. While this is geared towards a younger audience, any age can find a pleasant read in this story.
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