Today I’m sharing a review as part of an Irish Banana Blog Tour. If you’re looking for an adventure book for middle grade boys, you definitely want to check this one out. Keep reading to find my review, some content information, a bit about the author, other stops on the tour, and a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself!
The Blue Moon Narthex (Karmanic Sovereign Legion #1)
N. J. Donner
Steel Page Press
Published February 7, 2017
About The Blue Moon Narthex
The balance of good and evil has been left in the hands of a thirteen year old…
Since the beginning of time, Karmanic matter worked silently and unassisted keeping good and evil in balance, until growing greed in the world meant Karma couldn’t keep up. As World War I rages, the secret Karmanic Sovereign Legion works behind the scenes to help Karma.
A suspicious train accident and an odd stone-shaped object that belonged to his father thrust Cole McCarthy and two schoolmates into the middle of this battle to keep dark forces in check.
With only the powerful stone, a letter, and grandfatherly Norm to guide them, the trio must unravel clues and tap into unknown strengths to discover who Cole’s father really was and keep themselves and those they love safe.
Includes chapter 1 of book 2 in the Karmanic Sovereign Legion series!
This book definitely made me think of the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Cole isn’t as snarky and full of attitude as Percy, which was nice. I liked the relationship Cole shared with his father through letters and the stories he learned about from his father’s associates. His friends, Sophia and Britten, rounded out his inner circle nicely. I thought Sophie was pretty much adorable.
The story contains a large cast of characters, and I sometimes found it difficult to keep everyone straight, especially when several characters had similar names. For the most part, though, this didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the story. I thought often even minor characters had clear roles and specific goals and character traits. It felt like this story introduced me to a whole scene of characters who will probably reappear later on.
Elements of mystery and suspense kept me moving from chapter to chapter. Cole’s compassion and his determination kept me rooting for him from the first page to the last. Late elementary school readers who like adventure or suspense stories should totally get a copy of this book.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
The main character is a young wealthy white American. He joins a league whose lead council is made up of members of various races, but those adult characters play very minor roles in the story.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
One instance of mild profanity. One instance of crude language (a girl refers to a rival as “the north end of a south-facing donkey.”
One vague reference to the creator of the universe. The premise of the story is that Karmanic energy (like karma) can be tracked and harnessed by those doing good deeds and stopping those who try to do bad deeds. Artifacts provide some characters a magical ability to travel instantly from one place to another. The villain uses henchmen that seem sort of blurred and ghostly.
Creepy sort of ghostly bad guys chase the good guys. Cole participates in a sporting event that’s a bit dangerous. It’s clear the bad guy’s goal is to kill Cole and anyone who tries to stop him. Cole believes his mission is to kill the traitor who killed his father. There are a couple of very brief battle scenes, no gore.
About N. J. Donner
N.J. Donner is the author of the new Karmanic Sovereign Legion books. N.J. loves to explore. The world fascinates him and he wants to figure out why and how things work, including Karma.
College adventures took N.J. far from his small Nebraska hometown to the southern hemisphere and the inner city. This was the beginning of his wanderlust and today he loves to travel with his wife, Amanda, and their three children.
N.J. became the first person to graduate with a minor in international affairs from Nebraska Wesleyan University and spent the years right out of college building a successful steel company.
Check Out the Other Stops on the Tour