Far From Shandesto (Arcanaland, #1)

Far From Shandesto (Arcanaland, #1) The Likable But Flawed Teens Sofia, Jen, Rob, And Holly, The New Girl Brave The Woods To Steal A Trophy Souvenir From Madame Elizondo, The Fortuneteller They Soon Discover, However, That The Real Danger Lies Not In Shandesto, But Through The Portal To Arcanaland, A Mystical Land On Another Plane And Home To A Dizzying Array Of Magical Realms Like Coldania, Roundtable, Mana, Animalya, And Samhain , And An Even Dizzying Array Of Characters Including Fedelm, El Colgado, A Host Of Gnomes, The Lady De Los Muertos, And The Ghost Of Father Andrew In This, The First Book Of The Series, They Find Themselves Reunited With The Missing Boys, And Together They Must All Find A Way To Navigate The Wondrous But Dangerous Realms Of Arcanaland If They Ever Hope To Find A Way Home. Being overweight and missing an eye, Holly feels like an outcast, so when the cool kids ask her to go on a dangerous mission, she readily agrees The four teenagers accidentally enter a strange universe that is like a cross between Narnia and Alice in Wonderland but with a twist everything is based on the New Age concepts of tarot The magical possibilities range from wacky and zany to spooky and scary My favorite part was the food and drinks, which were so much fun To get back home the kids will need to go on a quest to retrieve certain objects based on a deck of fortune telling cards Aside from the tarot cards, the fantasy realm also contains various mythologies from around the world, including just for starters, England, Mexico, and Hawaii I really enjoyed exploring Aracanaland with all its bizarre twists and turns as well as terrifying dangers.I would have given it a five star rating except for the characters being a little underwhelming I got into Holly s character right away because she was so clearly portrayed as suffering from low self esteem but at the same time it was revealed early on that she was bright and adventurous the others seemed lacking in personality, and only towards the end of the book did we get a little details I hope each teen gets their chance to shine as the ser
I m often a slow reader, as I don t get the time to sit and read a book in one or two sittings, and normally I only manage a chapter or two a day But, with Far From Shandesto, I found the rare moments to sit and read this book in two sittings And what a ride it was The language is easy to follow, as you d expect from a YA book, and
Far From Shandesto was an enjoyable blend of many of my favorite fantasy and sci fi novels It parallels The Chronicles of Narnia by being about a fantasy world called Arcanaland which is accessed by a piece of furniture in our own world Children have been replaced by horny teenagers, and the whimsy has been cranked to maximum overdrive The amount of imagination pumped into this story is almost overwhelming, but appreciated all the same.It feels almost as if it was intended to be a video game or RPG campaign before it was ever a book Our band of heroes learn they must fetch a very long list of items to earn their bridge back to the world they know, but the majority of this first entry in the series focuses on trying to use an alternate method first.The plot meanders a bit and the finale insists you must continue reading future books to gain even temporary or partial closure, but it overcomes these weaknesses with a technique that felt familiar to me from Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy, one of my absolute favorite series Although the action may seem without consistent purpose and direction, the world it
An adventure tale set in a different world with a computer game like feel to it.When three popular kids from the local HS pressure a fourth, picked upon fat girl to enter a house in a woods supposedly home to a witch, all four of them wind up being whisked away to Arcanaland This unusual, exciting world comprises many other lands , with different creatures inhabiting each one, that the kids must travel through to collect thirty six specific items while assisting anyone who asks for their help Once collected, the thirty six items will form a bridge to the Emperor s Wheel which they can spin for a chance to return home.After meeting up with other kids from their HS, whose disappearance years earlier spawned an urban legend about a lecherous killer that pales in comparison to the truth, they split up into two groups and set out on different adventures, one group seeking a shortcut home, the other looking for the items needed to build the bridge Although this premise seemed interesting, parts of the story failed to keep me engaged There were several wordy litanies, repeated at least twice, that describe various spells, the thirty six items to be collected, the thirty levels in a book depository and what each level contains, as well as frequent descriptions of the whole group of seven kids and one adult, by their hair, eye and clothing colors.The strengths of this tale lie in the various adventures of the two gr
Holly succumbs to peer pressure as she is keen to fit in and out be an outsider and act on a dare She is definitely the character I m most drawn to This teenage dare, leads Holly and her friends into a new magical world where they meet up with some boys who had a similar fate to them a few years earlier This magical kingdom is akin to C.S Lewis Chronicles of Narnia, but modern with a new age twist of tarot cards The tarots are quite important as they pretty much show the girls and boys how to get back home I m sure many teens can relate to this novel fascination with tarots and chakras The author has created a cohesive world in Arcanaland, especially handy for the first book in the series She gives ample descriptions and the inhabitants are well developed I enjoyed discovering this mysterious and magical world As you would expect, the characters are quirky and out of this world
Four young people enter a witches house as part of a dare and end up being transported to a magical world, full of mythical creatures, where nothing is what seems and all our physical rules are turned upside down.All the characters both human and mystical in this book were well drawn and the mythical world is well developed believable The central themes of trust and betrayal and the quest of the youngsters to get back to their original lives, with different groups pursuing different ways home, were all well handled.My 4 star rating instead of
What an enchanting tale I absolutely loved this story Although I believe it has been written for teens tweens, I enjoyed it fully as an adult This author s ability to explain scenarios, locations and characters in detail is extraordinary The story has something for everyone, bringing together some character types that one doesn t usually see in the same story Despite differences among some characters, there is a sound story of friendships being formed and maintained, combined with a beau
Fantasy and magical realism collide in a fun filled adventure with plenty of nail biting action and some harrowing scenes as the heroes must be brave and courageous to fight their way home Reminiscent of Lewis Chronicles of Narnia fans of fantasy and magical creatures will
The potential of this book gleamed at me from its opening line Everything changed the morning Sofia decided to sit beside Holly on the school bus Holly is an ugly with rust red hair, a single eye, and pounds that outweigh her confidence Picked as the underdog by the popular kids at school, she is pressured into stealing something from the local witch things take an unexpected turn when she and the rest of the kids have to hide in the witch s house, Pevensie sibling style.This story is indeed reminiscent of Narnia and Wonderland and Oz, what with parallel worlds and portals through household furniture and talking beasts and witches and stone statues it also reminded me of the recent remake of the Jimanji film, given that it deals with the exploration of a new world where time seems to stop still and the need to escape it, the characterizations there s always that one girl who gripes about her looks great for comedic effect , and the magical world building in a place full of gifts and curses and tasks and a whopping list of them at that I also loved the notion of a world where the board gets reset when newcomers arrive, and places and things rearrange themselves I enjoyed the imaginative magic of singing shoes and a gravity reversed volcano.Given that this book is
Far From Shandesto starts as a typical youth fantasy might, a group of teenagers vanishing into another world, thanks to a portal under the couch of a Fortune Teller Portals under couches explains where my remote controls are always vanishing to.From there, we launch into what I suspect will be the first of many books that are a combination of C.S Lewis and the 39 Clues, heavy influenced by tarot I believe not really my forte.Starting with the positives Holy Tolkien, this is one of the most richly detailed fantasy worlds that I have ever read I can almost see the maps and histories the author must have created to give us such eclectic and such in depth world building In just this first installment, there are mythological elements drawn from Hawaiian legends, Gaelic traditions, the Arthurian tales I almost feel like the author took a bunch of my favorite elements and created a world for each one in Arcanaland If we get airships and pirates in the next installment, then I can probably cry Bingo.Other positives include plot and pacing for the most part being solid As with anything I read on Kindle, I feel obligated to advise if the book passed a successful editing, and it certainly did I loved the impish quality of the zany fo