Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review: Ameca J and the Legacy of Menindus

Ameca J and the Legacy of Menindus
Ameca J and the Legacy of Menindus by Paul Xavier Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Fantasy Reading Level: Middle Grade Book Available: Will be released by Storyteller Publishing on October 9, 2012

Disclosure: I received a free ARC ebook version of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: The Legacy of Menindus... Teenage life seems vastly unfair to fourteen-year-old Ameca – or Ameca J, as she prefers to be called – always being pressured by her dad to watch out for her stupid and annoying ten-year-old sister, Fraya. But when the girls are mysteriously transported by The Spirit to a dangerously different world populated by mediaeval Men, noble Elves, magnificent Dragons, and savage creatures, Ameca’s whole perspective has to change, and change quickly, if they are to escape the clutches of an evil entity known as the Scelestus, who wants them for the magical powers they did not even know they possessed. Their stressed out and overworked father Paul is summoned by The Spirit to join his daughters in the mythical land of Mythrania, where he learns that they are the One, the Flame and the Flower. They are the heirs to the legendary High Magi, Menindus, who foretold of their coming to save this world and their own... But this is no fairytale; the dark entity known as the Scelestus has a plan to harness the power of the universe and to completely dominate all life.... Can Ameca and her family stop the Scelestus, and prevent a catastrophe that would see the enslavement of countless worlds, as well as the destruction of their own...?

My Thoughts: This is book one of the Ameca J. Chronicles; the author is in my LinkedIn Network and asked me, in June, for a review of the book prior to the publication date. My apologies for the delay, but as you see, I am getting the review up well before publication.

In many ways, this is a highly derivative work, but it is self-consciously so, with constant references to the Lord of the Rings and Star Trek, among others. While there are some fairly creative differences, the similarities to the LotR especially are striking, especially with the werethralls being made from the Elfen, just like the orcs and Elves in LotR. However, I quite liked the direction taken with Irat, Dratch’s brother, and the differences between the powers of the Magi.

This is a fairly light-hearted piece – while there is lots of violence, it’s mostly at a bit of a distance. It’s the nameless and faces masses that are hacked to bits en masse for the most part. It’s not to say there aren’t direct affects upon the main characters, but they’re disproportionately small. While the book didn’t “wow” me to the extreme, I did enjoy it; it’s a fun and fast read, and should be well-accepted by fans of the genre, especially among younger readers.

At least three more books are expected in this series: Ameca J & the Revenge of Rex-Ultar, Ameca J & the Demon God of Mythrania and Ameca J and the Rise of the Serpii. I shall be interested to see where this series develops as it is published.

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