Official Review: The Promise: a perilous journey

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Mindi
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Latest Review: The Promise: a perilous journey by Hank Ellis

Official Review: The Promise: a perilous journey

Post by Mindi » 07 May 2018, 04:56

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Promise: a perilous journey" by Hank Ellis.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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It is not every book that can portray the true essence of childhood adventure, but Hank Ellis' The Promise: A Perilous Journey does just that. It is a story that will keep both younger and older readers intrigued even though it appears to be written for a preteen level.

This story is about two brothers, Peter and Dave, who love nature and adventure. They explore a lot in the woods close to their home and discover a hidden cave which leads them to more extraordinary discoveries and adventures. Readers are kept on the edge of their seats while they wonder about the meaning of the boys' findings.

I would define this book as a type of magical realism. I enjoyed the mix of magical elements and real-life situations that were intertwined throughout the story. There appeared to be a slight coming-of-age theme and various moral life lessons to be learned. It has a weird mix of similarities to Bridge to Terabithia, Chronicles of Narnia and an Amazon video series called Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street. Those stories are all among my favorites which is why I was drawn into this story so much.

One of the aspects of this book that I loved was that it portrayed childhood adventure as it used to be, before cell phones and other technology. There was no indication that the story was set in the past, so it sets a good example of modern-day kids having true childhood experiences without the use of devices. The book also seemed to promote respect for parents and kindness to others. There was also some religious symbolism which is one of the reasons I detected some similarities to works by C.S. Lewis.

This book had very good grammar and appeared to be professionally edited. If there is anything negative to say, I can think of a few times that the brothers' exploring tended to drag out a bit and get a bit wordy. However, it may have been necessary to lead up to the extent of their discoveries. It definitely is not something that I will take off points for. It's just a note for those who may read and feel like the storyline is dragging at times. It really does all come together in the end.

I feel like the ending leaves enough questions for a sequel. However, it is also just enough balance of questions and answers for it to be the end, if that is what the author intends. If there is a sequel, I will definitely read it.

I am giving this book 4 out of 4 stars. While I noted a few imperfections, I was very intrigued by Ellis' writing, and the storyline was very interesting and appealing for all ages. It is a must-read for those with a love for the magic of childhood.

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The Promise: a perilous journey
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kandscreeley
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Post by kandscreeley » 08 May 2018, 12:41

I like a balanced ending like that. Just enough questions that you want a sequel, but everything is still wrapped up enough not to have to be wondering. This one sounds quite interesting, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks!
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Post by Tamorie21 » 08 May 2018, 12:53

Narnia and Bridge to Terabithia were also some of my favorites, and if this book is similar in style and lesson to those, then I wouldn't mind giving it a read. It seems very interesting and I'd like to see what they come across and experience as they explore. Thanks for this!

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Post by teacherjh » 08 May 2018, 14:38

I love your phrase "magical realism". I think that is my favorite part of the Harry Potter series. It is done as if it really could be happening today.

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Post by Ginnamassa19 » 13 May 2018, 04:51

Good writing, editing and magical realism? Sounds like a must-read! Thank you for writing this review, it was very helpful and now I kind of want to pick the book up myself :P

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Post by NL Hartje » 20 May 2018, 15:27

Man, I loved Bridge to Terabithia when I was young. I even did a diorama box about it :lol2:

You've captured my attention by likening it to so many favorites. I think I'll pick this one up for my son! Thanks for this great review!
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