Below the Moon (Book #2 in the 8th Island Trilogy) by Alexis Marie Chute

8th Island Trilogy, Book 1 Review
8th Island Trilogy, Book 3 Review

Synopsis -

Ella Wellsley is not your typical teenager. Cancer left her mute, but not powerless. Trapped in a parallel dimension, Ella rallies her strength to join her family―her mother, Tessa, her grandpa Archie, and her magical boyfriend―in locating the cure to her illness. This cure is entangled in the fate of all worlds, and threatened by the presence of an evil Star anchored in the sea. The Star has thrown life everywhere into chaos―and it is Ella who holds the key to unlocking its mystery.

Caught in a web of betrayal, mistaken identities, secrets, and love triangles, Ella, Tessa, and Archie must overcome their troubled pasts to ensure a future for all worlds. On this journey―armed with unearthly abilities and unexpected allies―each member of the Wellsley family will learn the power of love in the face of their greatest fears.

Review - 

Below The Moon is book two in the author's 8th Island Trilogy series. As I said in my book #1 review, the plot for this story spans all 3 books, so I highly suggest you read it starting with book one.

In book two, the characters we follow are still on the island world of Jarr-Wya which has fallen into discord, and they are still seeking a cure for Ella's terminal illness.  The native Olearons seem to feel if they can just find the star under the sea, they will find all the answers to the discord and ailing nature, and be able return this world to a state of peace and harmony.  Those from earth expect to find Ella's cure. But this quest has undercurrents of deceit that could threaten its success.  All is not as it appears. As the story progresses, we learn secrets about Tess and Archie in particular, as well as the history of the races found here that starts to shed a light on what is happening.

The dark themes and loss of life continue in this new book, so I again feel more appropriate for older readers in this age group.  And the pace of action is sometimes a bit too swift for me personally - one thing after another with little in between. I would love a little more pause time to develop the characters and their interactions, and at least one catastrophe seemed to come out of the blue. That said, the author again offers strong writing, good flow and I suspect the YA readers that this series targets will probably happily embrace the constant action. The story travels to earth and then ends just as they all head back to Jarr-Wya where it will pick up in book 3. Note - I love the asides to share pictures of what Ella draws. A nice touch.

A good fantasy series for older YA Readers (and adults who like YA Fantasy), who embrace a story with a dark, evil edge.  

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 book lovers 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 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.

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