Star Child – Book 2: The City of Souls
By Vacen Taylor
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.
With a new addition to their journey, a sealer boy who is bound by the collar of slavery, Mai Long, and Akra escape the clutches of the sand slaveer and then vicious Melkarie beasts.
They travel to Naroan – the forest lands of the soulbankers, the regulators of life and death.
Against the backdrop of rules and suspicion, the children are challenged with unravelling the mystery of the Silvershade, which has been calling to Akra from the moment he arrived in the forest city.
But Long is tormented by his own doubts – he must face a deadly power from the Underworld before it takes him in to the darkness.
I reviewed the first one a little while back, now we re-join the quest in this second in the series. This is a series that older primary school children will enjoy, especially if they like some fantasy and travel. This is a series that children can really get into and also expand their own imaginations.
The book is adventurous as it takes intrepid readers on a journey through this land, so get ready to travel with in a land of dragons and other creatures. With a bit of trepidation and parts of it holding some complexities, this has the potential to stretch children in their reading, which is positive. I would say the book is for age 9+ and will certainly hold their attention throughout this series that has lightness and darkness throughout it, which adds to the excitement and emotions that children love to feel, even the scarier parts as that’s partly what keeps children going back and wanting more.
The book is quite well written and well-thought out and as there is a series, it’s one that could be considered for a Christmas present as this is a series to watch out for more of as the quest unfolds.