4 out of 4 stars
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If you want a book that you can't put down, check out The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis. This is the first book of the Emaji Nation series, and I am already hooked! In this Fantasy novel we are introduced to Amanda, an almost-seventeen-year-old girl from Earth. She is spending the summer with her grandma, Mimi Rose, and her step-grandfather, Billy. One day, her grandparents decide it's time to share a secret with her. Amanda follows Rose through a secret passageway in her home that leads to a portal. She enters the rune sequence she was given, and she travels to a planet she's never seen before: Emaji. After arriving, she stumbles upon a silver man with wings sitting upon a hill. He agrees to guide her to the city to meet up with her grandmother. Once reunited, we learn that Rose believes Amanda to be Ha'Ankor, the Sparrow, from a prophecy. According to this prophecy, the Sparrow will defeat Zorn, an enemy of Emaji. It is further prophesied that the Sparrow will marry Solomon, the silver man that Amanda "coincidentally" met when she arrived. At first, Amanda denies her place in this foreign world and does her best to push away from Solomon. After learning of the trials that the people of Emaji have faced, she becomes more open to the possibility of her destiny.
I was hooked on this book from page one. Amanda was an easily relatable character. She is confident and sarcastic, which matches my own personality well. Instead of just accepting what she was told, she asked questions and wanted to learn more about this new world and her role in it. Since Emaji is another planet, they have their own language, in addition to speaking English. As Amanda learns how to pronounce the foreign words, the reader does too. Davis also included a glossary at the back of the book as a reference guide for readers. These features help the reader become a part of the story.
Every book is not without its flaws. I can happily say that I saw no flaws in the plot of this novel. It was well-written and kept my attention from start to finish. I was nervous about the level of editing, after finding multiple errors on the first page. However, this seemed to be coincidental as there were few errors beyond that. These errors were minor and will be submitted to the author.
I usually have a hard time determining the proper audience for novels. This time is different. This novel is targeted towards fans of Young Adult fiction and Fantasy fiction. Language and content is appropriate for the YA genre or young readers (ages 8-12), though a younger audience might have more trouble with the Emajian words, even with pronunciation assistance built into the dialogue.
Despite a few missed errors during editing, The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis is a captivating Fantasy novel that will have you hooked from the start. I feel confident giving it 4 out of 4 stars. I am looking forward to continuing Amanda's journey with the next book in the series.
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