Above the Star (Book 1 in the 8th Island Trilogy) by Alexis Marie Chute

8th Island Trilogy, Book 2 - Review HERE!
8th Island Trilogy, Book 3 - Review HERE!

Synopsis - 

When frumpy senior citizen Archie goes in search of his missing son in the Spanish Canary Islands, he stumbles upon a higher mission: locating a magical cure for his ailing fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Using a portal-jumping device called the Tillastrion, Archie and a stone-headed creature named Zeno are transported to Jarr-Wya, a magnificent yet terrifying island in a connected realm―along with Ella and her strong-willed mother, Tessa, who accidentally stow away on this not-so-secret quest.

What they find on Jarr-Wya is an island tortured by a wicked Star anchored in the sea, and a raging three-way battle for dominion between the stone-wielding Bangols, the fiery Olearons, and the evil Millia sands. Ella’s wit and resourcefulness emerge in this new world, while Tessa is forced to confront her long-buried secrets and a confusing new love triangle. When Ella is captured, Tessa and Archie―with the help of a company of peculiar allies―set out to save her and unravel the terrible mystery of her cure. A mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night adventure of three unlikely heroes, Above the Star reminds us that even the smallest act of bravery can transform our lives and the fates of the worlds around us.

Review - 

Fantasy/SciFi books placed in unique worlds have to be one of the more difficult genres to write successfully. The author first has to fully visualize what the world will look like; how the laws of nature will work; how it looks, feels and smells; and what beings live there; and all BEFORE they can start writing. Then the challenge becomes how to slowly introduce the reader to this world and those that inhabit it without distracting from the story line.   Alexis Marie Chute handles all these challenges beautifully in Above the Star - the first book in her 8th Island Trilogy.

In book one, we follow the adventures of a family - mother Tessa, daughter Ella who is desperately ill, and grandfather Archie (along with other cruise passengers) who are cast into a unique and unfriendly world called Jarr-Wya.  There they find their husband/father who has been missing for 2 years, but transformed into a being of this world. The different races are in conflict and the world is changing, perhaps even dying. Two quests are presented. The first, can they save this world and perhaps bring it back to a place of peace between the races.  And second, can they find a cure here for Ella whose life is slowly but surely fading.

I personally enjoyed reading Above the Star. But I do want to add that there is a LOT of death and darkness in this story. Definitely for older YA's! The story flows smoothly and draws you in. I love that different generations and genders are featured and each have an important part to play.  If you're someone like me who enjoyed reading YA fantasy series along side your teens, you'll enjoy this one as well. One note - the plot travels through all three books, so I would strongly suggest reading them in order.

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Meet the Author - 
Fab Author Interview HERE!

Alexis Marie Chute is an award-winning author, artist, photographer, art curator, filmmaker, and public speaker. She has received over 40 noteworthy distinctions for her visual and literary work. Her award-winning fantasy series The 8th Island Trilogy includes, Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. The series has been described as “A WRINKLE IN TIME meets THE PRINCESS BRIDE” by The Perpetual You magazine, and “Fast and bizarre… never a dull moment” by Forward Reviews. The 8th Island Trilogy “weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for blooklovers of all ages” – US Review of Books. Chute’s bestselling memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss, was a top Kirkus title of 2017 and received a plethora of other literary distinctions. The memoir was accompanied by the feature documentary of the same name, which has screened internationally for the last three years.

Chute received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design from the University of Alberta, Canada, and studied at Media Design school in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated valedictorian with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, USA. Chute is a highly regarded public speaker. She has presented on art, writing, bereavement, and the healing capacities of creativity around the world. Contact the Author/Artist for bookings info@alexismariechute.com When not in her art/photo studio or at her computer, Chute loves to spend quality time with her family, read fiction and non-fiction, watch reality TV, paddleboard, and canoe. She is not a winter person but lives in frosty Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her husband and their three living children.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter Facebook Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ YouTube ~ LinkedIn