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Friday, July 16, 2010

Blog Tour: The Wordwick Games, Book 1: Rise of the Fire Tamer by Kailin Gow

Welcome readers!
Glad you could join us today here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  This week (and next) has been all about blog tours with two guests stopping by with their latest additions to the reading world.  Yesterday, we had a Mystery/Thriller...a rather good one at that.  Today, we switch gears back to the the genre-land of Young Adult but before I jump into the review, we have a special treat!  A guest post from the author herself on how she views a rather interesting topic....ladies and gents, I am pleased to welcome author Kailin Gow to the spotlight, courtesy of Pump Up Your Books.
Take it away!

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Guest Post
Grounding Reality in Fantasy
by Kailin Gow
Rise of the Fire Tamer (The Wordwick Games, #1)


In my newest book series, The Wordwick Games, with Rise of the Fire Tamer Book 1 just released, five teens are challenged in a game so real, they don’t know whether to believe it’s real or it isn’t.

Part of this illusion is the establishing of a world so familiar yet so fantastic to us that there is already a sense of reality in this world. As Gem, Sparks, Rio, Jack, and Kat step into the mysterious castle for the first time, they see a castle steep in history. So much has happened in this medieval castle. In The Wordwick Games, Anachronia is the world the five teen gamers enter, thinking it is the 10th level of a virtual game they are playing. To enter this world, they must first begin at Word Castle, a medieval castle I based on Warwick Castle in England. I’ve visited Warwick Castle a number of times and it has always had an impact on me. The castle, the land, the peacocks, and yes, even the ghosts (it’s said to be haunted). Finally, I had to make it a character in a book, and it became a major character in The Wordwick Games Series.

The medieval qualities of Anachronia and our familiarity of this time period through fairy tales and folk tales which brings us knights, ladies, dragons, ogres, trolls, and wizards set the reality of this fantasy adventure novel. Having five teens that walk and talk like real teenagers also provides the realism of this novel. They are familiar faces and people who we know in school or in our daily lives so we are transported with them into this amazing adventure.

Do you know of any books which feature a building or a place so important to the plot, it becomes a main character in the book? If so, which books and what is the name of the building or setting?

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Author Bio
Kailin Gow is the author of over 30 books for all generations, but her specialty is the young adult/teen genre. Her books have been recommended by PBS Kids, the PTA, homeschooling organizations, and on the Best Teens Books list. She is a mentor for young women, has founded 3A for Autism (Actors, Artists, and Authors for Autism), and runs a publishing and production company known as Sparklesoup, a mid-size publisher and production company.

Her latest young adult fiction novel is Rise of the Fire Tamer.

You can visit her website at http://www.sparklesoup.com/ or join her Facebook Author page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/YA-Books-from-Kailin-Gow/104549539596369.
 


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Well, what do you say folks...do YOU know of any books that feature this particular set up?  Do tell!  Now, on to the review....
 
The Wordwick Games, Book 1:
Rise of the Fire Tamer
by
Kailin Gow

Welcome players, to the game of your life!  No, really.  Henry Word, the mastermind behind a popular game called Wordwick Games, holds the fate of a few lucky players in the palm of his hand.  The chosen five are about to win their way into the gaming mansion (think Willy Wonka minus the chocolate, plus a massive gaming set up), but that's not all...there's a surprise aspect to their winnings.  What's the surprise?  Why, the chance to play the brand new level which is so far untested, unseen, and unchallenged...Anachronia.  This mysterious level is fully immersing (via individual game pods) in the sense that you see, hear, and feel everything around you...from the beauty and wonder, to the ogre battles and play on words.  Wait, should you really being FEELING the pain from a battle in a virtual world?  Looks like more than the win may be on the line here.  Armed with a few select weapons and the use of 'ruler words' (words that actually have an effect on their surroundings or themselves....sorta like a spell without being so wordy or rhyming) these five unlikely heroes will need to work together in order to prevail over the obstacles ahead, a daunting task when only one can truly win.  Will they be able to unleash the power of words before it's too late?  I certainly hope so, as the fate of Anachronia rests in their voices alone...

All right, lets get to the good and the not-so-good with the later leading the way....(hey, what can I say, I'd rather get that portion out of the way and end on a high note)...first up, a bit of a spoiler, so for those that can't handle this one, avert your eyes. ***SPOILER*** It's not a major issue, but it was a bit disconcerting to this reader.  Unless I missed something when reading (which if I did, please feel free to let me know), the cover image is of the 'fire tamer'.  If that is the case, unless the chosen character got contacts along the way, the image does not match the book description.  I mean we have the blond hair, porcelain skin and....green eyes.  Oh, wait, the cover shows them being BLUE.  Hmmm, cover art oversight...perhaps.  Grant it, it doesn't ruin the story, but was a bit boggling when I was reading.***SPOILER OVER*** Anywho....

Next up, the storyline.  It has SO much potential, it just felt like the author didn't explore it enough.  I know it's just one part to an upcoming series, but there were characters introduced for a milli-second that instantly disappeared.  It felt like she just started their stories for the sake of introducing a new obstacle for the lead characters...in which case, it seemed pointless (the intros not the story).  I mean if they are important enough to conjure into existence, tell me more about them.  You don't have to go all J. R. Tolkien on me, but something more as opposed to nothing.

One more thing (I promise, then I move to the goodness) to note...there was one habit within the book that was consistent, but also a bit bothersome.  At the end of every chapter (okay, the beginning of two of them), there is a character wrap up of sorts.  What do I mean?  I mean literally a separate line or paragraph for each of the main players plus the wizard (yep, there's a wizard) when appropriate.  Although they may have meant to merely keep you up to speed on everyone, it felt as if readers were not being given enough credit...as if they didn't think we could keep track of the story on our own.  Have faith in your readers....if you're story is good, we'll keep up, no worries!

With all of that being said, I bet you think that I didn't like it, right?  WRONG!  Hey, you can give criticism about a book but still enjoy the journey!  The main characters were an interesting mix, though I was a bit creeped out by the wizard a time or two (the reason for which is revealed later in the story).  The "word power" used was a great touch and a definite part of what drew me to the title in the first place.  You get to enjoy the story while expanding your vocabulary at the same time.  Who said educational reading can't also be fun?  Oh, and did I mention Anachronia, when not in the throws of war, sounds simply magical?  Yes, it does.

In the end, I still like the concept overall and would definitely consider reading the next installment in the series (due out later this year) to see how she carries the story forward.  A recommended read (with warnings) for all those who KNOW the power of words.  Special thanks to author Kailin Gow and Pump Up Your Book Promotions for the opportunity to participate in this great tour, not the mention the great guest post and chance to review this title.  (THANKS!)  For more information on their comings and goings, check out their respective sites!

Until next time....happy reading!

4 comments:

Dorothy Dreyer said...

"Hey, you can give criticism about a book but still enjoy the journey!"

This is true, I've read books like that (though I can't seem to think of ones in particular at the moment, lol).

Great analysis of the book!

GMR said...

Dorothy Dreyer: Thanks! It really was fun overall. LOL on the not remembering...it always happens that way, doesn't it? ^_^

Kailin said...

Hi!

Glad you found the book fun and educational!

Aww - Thank you for noticing the huge potential here. There are a lot of characters in this series so it's a juggle fitting them all into this first book. But they will all(including the minor ones)get more time throughout the series. Five books planned already, yet there could be up to eight. And the series is under consideration to become a game. It's pretty exciting.

I'm glad this book was able to be featured here and that you enjoyed reading it!

Thank you for having me here :)
hugs,
Kailin

GMR said...

*BIG smile* It's great to see an author that visits AND comments on sites featuring their book!

Kailin: Yes, the potential is great, can't wait to see the rest of the series. WOW, five books planned (or 8)? That's great! Really want to see how you take the story to the next level. Thank you so much for stopping by and best of luck on the coming installments!

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