Matthew maybe unable to walk due to his disability, but what he lacks in physical strength he substitutes with his strength of character, courage, intellect and extraordinary will power. Since the earliest times, people have always admired and rooted for an underdog in any story. Be it in the myth of David and Goliath, Percy Jackson or even Harry Potter. Set in a similar fantastical world where the waking world co-exists with the Dreamworld, Matthew along with his two best friends, Amanda and Alex, struggle to put an end to the conspiracies of the Ministry of Nightmares.
In the beginning of the story, as a disabled young boy, Matthew is often bullied by his schoolmates. Unable to fight back physically and burdened with ideas of ‘not asking others for help’ as a sign of bravado, he experiences the desperation and helplessness of disabled children first hand. The author has portrayed Matt as a strong, independent protagonist despite his disability. When he goes into the Dreamworld Matt turns into an able-bodied child, where his battles are ultimately fought and won. This is entertaining, and imaginative, but I would have liked to have seen a scene where Matt fights and wins even with his disabled body. This is book one so I expect there is a larger character arc for Matt then what we see here and I can’t wait to see how his character evolves throughout the series. I really enjoyed the inclusion of disabled characters in this story, as I find them lacking in mainstream media. I think this novel stands out among the rest of the young adult fantasy genre because of the fantastic way it utilizes that in the story.
On one hand, the story has a wide spectrum of representation and on the other, it is seriously quite addictive, keeping readers hooked until the end. This alone demonstrates the fact that the author has a gift for storytelling. Towards the end, there is a certain feel-good effect, a kind of satisfaction in seeing the weak, the fallen, the beaten, rise up and confront a force of greater power and evil.
The message the author shares in this heartening story seems to reflect the old saying, “united we stand, divided we fall”, because relying on others or being interdependent is not necessarily a bad thing. Instead, for a teenager this might actually be one of the most important life lessons. The Slayer, the Seer, and the Dream Stealer is an enchanting coming-of-age adventure story that is an epic start to what is sure to be a rousing fantasy series.
Pages: 337 | ASIN: B0B5M9TBXC
Tags: adventure, Alan Frost, and the Dream Stealer, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, coming of age, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, the Seer, The Slayer, writer, writing, ya books, young adult
Time Travelers of the Caribbean is a fun time travel adventure story that combines sci-fi elements with historical fantasy. The book centers around two orphans, 12-year-old Johnny and 9-year-old Ella, living under the oppressive roof of Regina. The kids team up with Regina’s introverted brother Shawn, who happens to have built a time machine with a mind of its own. This tenacious team travels three centuries back to 1699, a period known as the golden age of piracy. Here, they encounter the most vicious of the pirates, Caine Karver. Armed with Ella’s bravery, Johnny’s wisdom, and Shawn’s handy inventions, the trio strive to navigate the ruthless world of pirates, making unlikely allies along the way.
Alan Frost certainly knows how to keep kids entertained. This lively fantasy novel is kid-appropriate and suitable for middle-grade children. However, parents and guardians should be mindful of mild explicit words that are not unexpected in a world of pirates. Beyond this, the book is quite enlightening. Kids and adults have so much to learn from the fascinating facts about ships, pirates’ attitudes, and rules. Alan Frost also shatters the myths surrounding pirates and their qualities.
I was surprised by how quickly this story flew by. I was swept away by the inherent adventure found within the story. The author keeps a consistently high level of intrigue throughout the story that will keep young readers coming back. There are also many lessons and historical facts to be learned throughout the story, which serves to educate as well as entertain readers.
Time Travelers of the Caribbean is a spirited adventure story that follows a spunky trio who are fun to follow. I look forward to more historical adventures the mysterious time machine has for the trio in the next edition of the Shawn From the Shed series.
Pages: 180 | ASIN: B09YSSS27Y
Tags: adventure, Alan Frost, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens books, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, kindle, kobo, literature, middlegrade, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, time travel, Time Travelers of the Caribbean, writer, writing
A Most Unusual Friday Knight follows two orphans on a time traveling adventure to change the course of history. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I am a big fan of time travel. It has always been my favorite sci-fi element, so it was very natural to think in those terms.
The other major source of inspiration was a close friend of mine, who was the model for the Shawn character (the inventor). He is the sort of guy who likes to tinker and take things apart, while also being a bit socially awkward. I was out biking with him one day and I said, “You know, I think I am going to write a story where you are a mad inventor who lives in a shed and invents a time machine”. He didn’t believe me. You can imagine his surprise when I handed him the finished book. Now, that said, the character evolved a lot during the writing of the story, so in the end he was quite different from my friend, but the initial spark did come from him.
Your characters were interesting and fun to follow. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I wanted to write a story where the adult-child role was reversed, i.e. where the children were forced to grow up and make the important decisions because the adult was simply incapable of doing so. So what we ended up with was a situation where it is the adult that keeps getting them into trouble or acts inappropriately, and the kids have to figure out how to get them out of their mess.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
There were a number of key themes or lessons for kids that I wanted to include. Probably the most important would be doing the right thing even when it comes at a personal cost, which I think is something the world is in dire need of right now.
Another central concept is the idea of standing up to bullies (or in this case tyrants) – and not just with force, but by using your wits and thinking your way out of a problem.
Finally, I would mention being kind and accepting towards others even when they may be different or less capable than you are. That will be a theme that will certainly be at the core of all Shawn From the Shed books.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on the next Shawn From the Shed book, which takes place in 1699 – the golden age of pirates. I was hoping to release it before the end of 2021, but it seems that it will be out in early 2022. I am also going to be releasing my first YA novel, a modern fantasy story titled “The Slayer, the Seer, and the Dream Stealer” in early 2022.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: A Most Unusual Friday Knight, adventure, Alan Frost, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, story, time travel, writer, writing
A Most Unusual Friday Knight by Alan Frost is the first instalment of the collection ‘Shawn From The Shed’ which follows the exciting adventures of the protagonist Shawn and his two companions Johnny and Ella. Shawn is an inventor experimenting in his shed when things go wrong and all three of them need to journey back in time to try to fix things.
This is an excellent children’s middle grade novel filled with both science fiction and fantasy as they travel through time to medieval England. Alan Frost is able to magically merge both genres in a riveting tale. The element I enjoyed the most was the underlying mystery of who brought these three unique characters together for their medieval quest, which is briefly touched upon at various intervals, and is definitely an engaging aspect as it leaves the reader wanting to know more.
The style of writing is perfect for a children’s middle grade story, and the metaphors used to describe certain elements of the story such as ‘The sound cut through the silence, like a shriek’ and ‘like lightning during a storm.’ Are simple but help the reader to fully imagine what is happening. It definitely speaks to a younger audience in this way. While I enjoyed the story, I felt there was not a lot of details on the background of the characters, but I am sure we will get to know a little more with each novel.
A Most Unusual Friday Knight by Alan Frost is wonderfully imaginative and certain parts reminded me a little of the story of Robin Hood but with science fiction elements incorporated into the fantasy tale. The story also ended in a way where it is introduces the start of the trios next adventure, this will definitely keep readers interested and keen to get their hands on the next instalment to be a part of the next expedition. This is an enchanting historical fiction story that will take young readers on a fun and exciting adventure through time.
Pages: 94 | ASIN: B09FPVTYMB
Tags: A Most Unusual Friday Knight, adventure, Alan Frost, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, children's middle grade, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, time travel, writer, writing