Star Child – Book One: The Age of Akra
by Vacen Taylor
It is with pleasure that it is my turn on the Random Things blog tour to review Star Child and today is the day of my turn to present it.
About the Author
Vacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements. A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).
Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018. The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.
Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.
She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.
In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.
What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.
The foreshadowing of a dark future threatens the seven nations. Mai is selected to train with the mysterious elemental master Sah Dohba who will prepare her to become the protector of the desert lands. Her brother Long, steps forward to travel with her as her chaperone to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts.
A chance encounter brings them together with Akra, the Starchild. The trio travels on into a battle with the elements. Sandstorms. Deadly creatures. Starvation. Then a chance meeting with powerful earthfollower, sets them on a new path where they must each find the strength to face a terrifying foe from the Underworld.
This is the beginning of a new children’s fantasy series for children of ages 7+
The cover is exciting with its dragon, suggesting adventure and action. There are 5 in all in this series.
It was first published in 2013 for Australia but now it has broken into the UK market.
The book begins in the land of Sahas with Mai, Akra and Long being the main characters who is the middle child. There’s the familiar child rivalry, especially between sister and younger brother. This is a book about family and adventure. There is excitement and mild trepidation. There is bravery and emotion as different creatures. Always the story is driving forwards and is a great pace to hold attention of children. There is a lot happening in this underworld that is created well by this author.
This book would actually appeal to those children who are into Ninjago and action and adventure heroes from Marvel, as well as those who like giant creatures and exploration in a different land and what does leave a strange taste and a stink? This book would suit girls and boys alike. I reckon it is a good thing it has broken through internationally to the UK market. It read very well and in the style children are used to within the UK and possibly elsewhere in the world.
At the back of the book, after the story there is a glossary that tells readers of the 7 powers and their abilities and of the creatures they meet in the land of Sahas. I think this is pretty smart of the author as children are into this from all the collector card games they play.
I recommend giving this book a try and let’s get children reading again. There is much emphasis on getting children outside, so let’s get children reading from libraries and get them reading in general indoors and outdoors and from there sparks imagination for play both indoors and outdoors.
With thanks to Rachel at Random Things blog and the author Vacen Taylor and the publisher Odyssey Books for providing a signed copy of the book for me to review.
Please note: This is an unbiased review.
Social Media Links –
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/vacentaylor/
Title: Star Child – Book One – The Age of Akra
Author: Vacen Taylor
Publisher: Odyssey Books