Thank you so much to Rachel’s Random Resources for including me in this blog tour. I jumped at the opportunity to read this one, and I’m so thankful to support Vacen Taylor and her novel. Click on the banner for more information on the book and the other stops on the blog tour!
Starchild Book One: The Age of Akra by Vacen Taylor
Genre: MG Fantasy
Blog Tour Dates: 14th – 20th September 2019
Publication Date: 2013
The first book in the Starchild Series
Page Count – 133
Formats Available – Mobi or Epub and Limited Paperbacks
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Vacen-Taylor/e/B00BQ70QXM
The foreshadowing of a dark future threatens the seven nations. Mai is selected to train with the mysterious elemental master Sah Dohba who will prepare her to become the protector of the desert lands. Her brother Long, steps forward to travel with her as her chaperone to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts.
A chance encounter brings them together with Akra, the Starchild. The trio travels on into a battle with the elements. Sandstorms. Deadly creatures. Starvation. Then a chance meeting with powerful earthfollower, sets them on a new path where they must each find the strength to face a terrifying foe from the Underworld.
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.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and Odyssey Books for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
I honestly feel like middle grade books don’t get the credit they deserve, and this is definitely one of those books! I know that I would have never seen this book before if it wasn’t for an email from Rachel to be a part of the tour, and I’m so glad that I got to read it.
It was definitely a fun ride, and the world building that Taylor created was really done well for a MG book. It kept my attention and had me on the edge of my seat. Plus, imagine having to battle these insane sand creatures bent on your destruction, while being told that you of all people are meant for something greater than you ever thought possible.
I totally get the middle child syndrome that Mai faced, despite me being the eldest. I don’t know how many characters that I’ve read about that are the middle child that feel like they are completely invisible. Even my mom’s sibling that IS the middle child felt that way too, and I think it showed even when he grew up. I’m glad that Mai wasn’t stuck with the middle child syndrome for too long though, but was also able to see some of the benefits of it.
Also, I know that Akra is technically the one that is supposed to bring peace and is the “real” chosen one, I have to give it up for Mai. She and her brother went through so much and I think that her story and struggle makes me want to root for her so much more. Sorry, Akra. Nothing against you at all, but you gotta give it up to my girl Mai.
I think that if you get a chance, you should totally read this book and see if you enjoy it as much as I did!