Book Jacket

 

rank 172
word count 67757
date submitted 07.02.2011
date updated 23.04.2014
genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Children'...
classification: universal
complete

The Boy from Earth

L.B. Ven

Bookworm Jack Disor was more than excited to find a world as fantastic as his favorite fairytale, but he never expected to be the villain

 

While procrastinating at the start of the school year, Jack stumbles upon a ruin that opens to the world of Zajitar. Awestruck at first by its lakes in the sky and man-eating unicorns, he soon realizes he can’t find a way back to Earth.

Jack causes a commotion for arriving through the ruin, which at this point was only a decrepit tourist attraction in Zajitar. Tevarya, a magical old woman who can control dirt, sees something in the peculiar stranger and promises to help him return home. The catch: he has to join her small band of magical outcasts in a centuries-old war against the ruthless, militant Therador Empire.

Before Jack can argue that he has no powers outside of long division and diagraming sentences, he begins to magnetize random objects and burn down a forest while asleep. Tevarya is not at all surprised by this and the magical outcasts gain a bit of confidence, despite being greatly outnumbered by their technologically-advanced enemy. But when the Therador Empire learns that Jack is from the ‘mythical’ world of Earth, the war suddenly becomes all about him.

 
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adventure, asian, children, comedy, ethnic, fairytale, fantasy, folklore, funny, humour, lgbt, magic, middle grade, multi cultural, race, racial, witc...

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molsonroy wrote 73 days ago

The Boy From Earth is a gripping tale filled with enkanting, a kind of elemental-based magic, and mysteries, some of which remain unsolved by the end of book one. The success of the story lies in the reader’s desire to want to read on and solve those mysteries.

Why does Jack’s grandfather have books about Zajitar?

Exactly what kind of an Enkanter is Jack? Just when we think we have started to understand his powers, Tevarya is struck down before she can give them a name.

Who are the children at the end of the book who seem to know more about Jack than they should?

I, for one, am ready to know the answers. With its vivid descriptions of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of this strange new world, the Boy from Earth kept me engaged from beginning to end. Bring on book two.

Matthew Olson-Roy

Seringapatam wrote 428 days ago

I was drawn into this book at an early stage. There is a brilliant narrative voice here in the heart of this book and I can see good times ahead for it. Your MC is well described and the pace matches the character in every way. This is not normally for me but as it hooked me in the way it did, I didnt want to put it down at all. There is a great premise for the book and I loved it. I score it high.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks. Sean

tjmurray83 wrote 478 days ago

Very original idea -- the premise hooked me right off. Then I read it and there's strong dialogue and characters. Interesting take on the "finding yourself in another world" subgenre, which usually has the characters giddy to be in the new world.
I'll shelf this and high star rate it.

Kate LaRue wrote 509 days ago

Lyle,
This is quite a magical beginning, from the discovery of the glowing book to Jack being transported to a different place. The myths behind the Tagu-An give the narrative a mystical quality. Jack's mom's cooking adds to the tropical setting. I hope to have time to come back to this and read further. For now, high stars.
Kate

rikasworld wrote 602 days ago

This is very original. The first chapter about Jack's family is hilarious and quite sad at the same time. Once he reached the other world, I really like the mixture of everyday and fantastic like the crimsroth being in a nature reserve. You have created some weird and wonderful foods and creatures. I like the pet bed rug, particularly when he blows his nose on it. Jack is a convincing character, his homesickness is a good touch, mainly book characters entering a new world don't seem homesick at all - which is odd.
There are some typos (just little things like a missing ed on gallop in the last para. of 5) but nothing that at all interferes with enjoyment of the read.
The plot sounds intriquing and the dialogue is great. Hugely imaginative. High stars, of course.

Rachel H Campling wrote 23 days ago

Gripped! Well written. The story draws you in and leaves hints and what will come.
All the best,
Rachel

tecmic wrote 59 days ago

Absorbing first chapter, nice writing style and a satisfying hint of something special to come. I'm a science based fiction advocate but can be captured by good imaginative fantasy and this looks like good imaginative fantasy...backed.

molsonroy wrote 73 days ago

The Boy From Earth is a gripping tale filled with enkanting, a kind of elemental-based magic, and mysteries, some of which remain unsolved by the end of book one. The success of the story lies in the reader’s desire to want to read on and solve those mysteries.

Why does Jack’s grandfather have books about Zajitar?

Exactly what kind of an Enkanter is Jack? Just when we think we have started to understand his powers, Tevarya is struck down before she can give them a name.

Who are the children at the end of the book who seem to know more about Jack than they should?

I, for one, am ready to know the answers. With its vivid descriptions of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of this strange new world, the Boy from Earth kept me engaged from beginning to end. Bring on book two.

Matthew Olson-Roy

HH-DK wrote 140 days ago

Hello!
A strong narrative, credible and interesting characters, a plot which develops fast enough to keep me firmly in place, and a high level of penmanship. This is an excellent book, and I am sure I shall enjoy reading the rest of it shortly.

HH-DK

The Imagineer wrote 153 days ago

Your descriptions are above par, your story is enthralling, and your creatures are varied. Each chapter has a hook, and it keeps the reader interested. I finished this like I finish a book of Percy Jackson & and the Olympians, fast and loving it! I am SO glad that this is part of a series! Highest stars and best wishes.

Good Fortune in your Authoring.
Author of, "The Midnight Hotel" & "Thanalosian"

Seven Everson wrote 156 days ago

Hi L.B.

I do love a good adventure story - this is exactly what I used to read (and write), when I was a kid.

I have some comments, but the main one is about the dialogue. Sometimes it reads a little too obvious and unnatural, like you're trying to tell the story through it. Things like:

"Hey, that's similar to the Tagu-An near my village."

I think he'd say something more like "Hey, that's like Tagu-An".

The best line though, and it made me laugh out loud (which rarely happens), was the one about the fourth language being tantamount to child abuse. Hilarious. Also, did we catch Jack's age? I must have missed it. This line made me wonder exactly how old he was, to be using a line as clever as this. I ask too, because the premise implies that he's in his mid teens but the writing tone suggests younger.

I suggest reading the dialogue out loud and listening for the authenticity. Or better yet, get someone else to read it to you so you are able to hear it.

The plot itself has great promise, as does the way you get us to the cross-over of worlds in a single chapter.

All the best.

xxxSeven Everson
Ashes of Eden

billydot wrote 163 days ago

I have read three chapters of The Boy from Earth, and - wow - how fast-paced and exciting this is! I can't help but notice it shares a somewhat similar theme with my current work in progress (not on this site), which starts with a boy born into a family of geniuses but craves adventure and, of course, ends up in different worlds. Given an obvious love for similar themes, I was enthralled.

This is so unique, with an unusual setting, strong flavours of Japanese animation and a hint of the craziness of cartoons like Adventure Time. I felt the first chapter in particular could do with some ironing out with minor things such as comma placement and cohesion between and within sentences. But these things are indeed minor and can be fixed with the help of a good editor. Chapter two picked up significantly on that front. And the ball keeps rolling, and rolling... I LOVE the unexpected turns of events.

Packed with imagination and crazily unique concepts, I am going to stick this one on my shelf.

billydot wrote 167 days ago

I looked at the premise for this book and knew it was for me. I have only read the very start, but am actually looking forward to getting up and reading more tomorrow.

Don't they say that the first page counts for everything? :)

sensual elle wrote 170 days ago

This tale is extraordinarily imaginative and witty. Starting with one of the funniest synopses, this presents a tour de force enjoyable by adults and children– which I fall into is arguable. A unique and wonderful aspect is that for once the story doesn't take place in Britain or greater Europe or North America… but the Philippines. This means many of us half a world away can visit two new places. I very much admire this story. Backed.

t23please wrote 192 days ago

Hi

I really enjoyed the start of your book, and thought the synopsis was good too. The characters are straight-away engaging, and the story sets itself up as fun, quirky and adventurous. The idea of the floating lakes and tiny hoovering moon really caught my imagination too.

I'll keep your book on my radar and look to add it to my bookshelf when there is a spare space.

All the best

Tim - The Latter Day Church of Tiny Tim

Sue Harris wrote 240 days ago

Hi there,

I have just read the first two chapters and I must say what a brilliant piece of work it is! Soooo imaginative and original. I was grabbed immediately and sucked into the unfolding story with avid interest. You write beautifully, well done I will put it on my WL and will back it when I have the space. I love it!

If you feel inclined, I would much appreciate your feedback on The Contest. It is a quirky fairy tale set in today's climate of technology dependence, boundless legislation and reality TV and celebrity obsession.

Best wishes
Sue Harris

Sue Harris wrote 240 days ago

Hi there,

I have just read the first two chapters and I must say what a brilliant piece of work it is! Soooo imaginative and original. I was grabbed immediately and sucked into the unfolding story with avid interest. You write beautifully, well done I will put it on my WL and will back it when I have the space. I love it!

If you feel inclined, I would much appreciate your feedback on The Contest. It is a quirky fairy tale set in today's climate of technology dependence, boundless legislation and reality TV and celebrity obsession.

Best wishes
Sue Harris

Lyle B wrote 252 days ago

Hi Erin! Thanks so much for reading the first two chapters and giving your critique. Interestingly, the comments you raised are addressed in Chapter 3, which is dialogue driven. As for Chapter 2, when Jack is transported, he doesn't speak the two old ladies' language and can't really question them, though he tried...

Thanks again for reading!!!


while fantasy is not my particular genre for reading and writing, i am finding this story interesting. though i've only gotten through the first two chapters, i can see the potential in it. it sounds like it would definetely appeal to the young adult groups--or maybe even younger. loved the descriptfulness in the first chapter and the introduction of these two new characters in the 2nd. the only thing that bothered me is that it was described very well of the "house" that jack was transported to in this new world and his activities of getting through that first night--but then it just skips to say "in the following days..." where he goes about his "chores" of gardening and watering rocks, but i never saw where he really questioned these two ladies of where he was and how he got there. he doesn't even question if there's anyone else around--it was almost like he just accepted that this was his life now, this was his home, and that these two old ladies were his family. he didn't even seem to have any concern about his family back home and whether he was ever in any real danger here or not.

Though i've never been a fan of fantasy, i did like the references to demons and sorcery and some of the stuff that seemed out of the ordinary or impossible--like jack's father hanging from the ceiling in the library from gravity boots--like that was just some normal everyday activity that he would do. i fell in love with the tv show "Charmed" years ago--as well as one of the characters, Piper (played by Holly Marie Combs) and so whenever i see some sort of reference to the supernatural or sorcery or the like, it makes me smile 'cause i think back to that show--which instantly makes me a fan of the book and i want to read on. :))))

Just read the first two chapters, but am wanting to continue on to find out what is next for Jack...what adventures he will find himself in....and if he will ever get home again.

Nice job, Lyle--you've defintely peaked my interest. will put it on my shelf and will continue to read on!!!
Erin

halliwell4 wrote 252 days ago

while fantasy is not my particular genre for reading and writing, i am finding this story interesting. though i've only gotten through the first two chapters, i can see the potential in it. it sounds like it would definetely appeal to the young adult groups--or maybe even younger. loved the descriptfulness in the first chapter and the introduction of these two new characters in the 2nd. the only thing that bothered me is that it was described very well of the "house" that jack was transported to in this new world and his activities of getting through that first night--but then it just skips to say "in the following days..." where he goes about his "chores" of gardening and watering rocks, but i never saw where he really questioned these two ladies of where he was and how he got there. he doesn't even question if there's anyone else around--it was almost like he just accepted that this was his life now, this was his home, and that these two old ladies were his family. he didn't even seem to have any concern about his family back home and whether he was ever in any real danger here or not.

Though i've never been a fan of fantasy, i did like the references to demons and sorcery and some of the stuff that seemed out of the ordinary or impossible--like jack's father hanging from the ceiling in the library from gravity boots--like that was just some normal everyday activity that he would do. i fell in love with the tv show "Charmed" years ago--as well as one of the characters, Piper (played by Holly Marie Combs) and so whenever i see some sort of reference to the supernatural or sorcery or the like, it makes me smile 'cause i think back to that show--which instantly makes me a fan of the book and i want to read on. :))))

Just read the first two chapters, but am wanting to continue on to find out what is next for Jack...what adventures he will find himself in....and if he will ever get home again.

Nice job, Lyle--you've defintely peaked my interest. will put it on my shelf and will continue to read on!!!
Erin

Drachma wrote 257 days ago

Thanks so much for your backing of Heir of Drachma. As you can tell, it is a work in progress (probably also a trilogy, like The Book of Drachma). You support means so much!
I have put The Boy from Earth on my watchlist, and I'll give you feedback as I get a chance to read it.

JPK wrote 285 days ago

Hi Lyle
Finally got round to "The Boy from Earth". Whilst SyFy is not generally my cup of tea I found this instantly attractive. What makes this good is that it is a very easy read and its a simple as that (no critique needed at all). I have spent years traveling in S.E Asia and your story is just so written in a very visual way .... love your atmosphere, scenery ...... I can transport myself there.
I am keeping this one on my Watchlist and will monitor its chart position and even now it is holding a respectable position and I hope I can help it move up the charts when space becomes available.
Wishing you success with this one ...... it may take its time (not a long time!) but I have a good feeling about this and your writing deserves to be published. Highly Starred *****

Take care
John-Paul ("In Violet")

Janet/Helen wrote 320 days ago

The Boy from Earth. Ch 1 & 2.

An excellent start to this children's story. I love the humour - volumes of The History of Shepherd's Pie! Well written and a good MC in Jack with the information needed about him and his family provided in an effortless way. From what I've read so far I can see this being popular with young readers.
A couple of nitpicks which you can ignore if you wish.
When Jack's dad shouts to him whilst hanging upside down from the ceiling '...though Jack wasn't the least bit surprised of his air-defying ability.' I don't think you can be described as 'surprised of something'. Maybe 'surprised at his ability' or 'surprised by his ability'.
Similarly - 'With his eyes fixed at the strange discovery' 'at' sounds wrong. Eyes fixed on.
Minor points in a very well written story so far. 6 stars and onto my watchlist. Janet

Janet/Helen
The Stranger In My Life

T M Robinson wrote 350 days ago

Your writing is quite good. As the Koreans say, 'You've worked hard'.
A couple of suggestions, which you are perfectly free to ignore.
1. Ditch the table of contents. It's not needed for fiction and will be eliminated by your editor at some point.
2. Think about how to put more action into your subtext. i.e.; The corners of Jack's lips lifted as lightning flashed across his window. Palm branches slapped the rattling panes as a howling wind shook the tree outside his bedroom. A half-filled suitcase rested on his bed, the coverlet tucked with military precision as required by Tom, top-boy at the Saint Pugnacious academy for young gentlemen.

Draw a picture with words. The more eloquent your words, the more vivid the picture will be. Fill the reader in without 'telling' the story. Allow a gentle unfolding.

Also - If a scene feels 'forced', step back and consider alternatives. Placing another character in the scene as a 'foil' for dialog will allow you to inform the reader without narration. The balance between dialog and subtext is subjective, so do what feels right for you, but keep in mind that too much subtext will slow the pace of the book.

Also - walk your prose line-by-line to see what is relevant and what is not relevant to the story. i.e.: "Morning Dad," he greeted his father who fixed a weather machine sticking out of their roof." The roof and the weather machine are a 'red herring' that doesn't really serve the reader. Better I think: "Morning Dad. Yes, that's the last of my luggage."

Good luck

smartguy360 wrote 352 days ago

this book reminds me of John Carter I liked that so I'll definitely be giving this a read

squeezynz wrote 357 days ago

This story doesn't hang about, ripping along at a cracking pace but still giving the reader a sense of time and place and drawing colorful and intriguing characters. Great descriptions of the new and old world and looks to be a great adventure in the making.
Best of luck with this, I hope it does well
cheers
Louise
Cherished Castaway

Ted Cross wrote 373 days ago

I haven't read much YA, so this reminded me vaguely of A Wrinkle in Time in its feel. I did wonder whether the first three paragraphs were needed, as they are purely expository and it might be better to simply start with the actual story and work some of those details into it. Here are a few minor things I noticed as I was reading:

...who occupied every available space... -- the 'occupied' refers to the books while having the feel of applying to his mother, so I'd change occupied to 'filled'.

...got out of his bedroom with a sweat... -- I don't know your nationality, so this may just be a variance of language use, but from my American standpoint, this sentence was jarring.

...pushing a large luggage... -- this is odd to me as well. I've always seen it as 'pushing a large piece of luggage', as I think the term luggage may be plural.

'Up here, son' -- 'son' should be capitalized when used as a title like this, and indeed you do capitalize similar useage later on, such as two paragraphs after this one.

...air-defying ability... -- this jarred me, since it is gravity defying rather than air defying.

incase -- 'in case'

They were all precisely five feet from each other that... -- feels like something is missing, for example, 'They were all precisely five feet from each other, such that (or 'so that')...

Andrewallen82 wrote 416 days ago

I am a new author and would greatly appreciate a quick read it is only 5 chapters and think it a an a decent story so far and will return all reads will give me a chance. I am looking more for pointers than anything else if you love great, but if not please tell me all the same I WILL return the read and back it if I like it. Thanks David It is called Forsaken a not so human man who banished himself to the shadows for 60 years until now. Please consider I am new here and anything would be appreciated

Seringapatam wrote 428 days ago

I was drawn into this book at an early stage. There is a brilliant narrative voice here in the heart of this book and I can see good times ahead for it. Your MC is well described and the pace matches the character in every way. This is not normally for me but as it hooked me in the way it did, I didnt want to put it down at all. There is a great premise for the book and I loved it. I score it high.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks. Sean

sherit wrote 428 days ago

Lyle, I did come back! I was able to read the next chapter before getting ready for work. Curse you, man. I have about a dozen promised reads and two books I'm in the middle of with two more i'm hoping to get to (not mentioning my own book I need to edit and a second one i need to finish) but you made me want to read this....and in my humble opinion that, my friend, is the mark of a good story. I hope to see you rise quickly in the ranks and must find room for you on my WL for now. I tend to put books on my shelf and leave them until they make ED or leave. I'm not one of those shuffle them around kind of gals. Take care.
Sheri Emery / Crazy Quilt

sherit wrote 428 days ago

Hi Lyle...Hope this finds you well. I don't usually like fantasy type literature (oh well, Harry Potter nothwithstanding, but i read those for my kids and got hooked), but this was so well written and likeable I found myself getting drawn in. Chapter one had trouble loading...don't know if that happens to everyone, or is there's really nothing there...I read chapter two as numbered (but it said it was chapter one). I wish I had time this evening to read more, but it's almost 11 here (USA) so I'll try to return tomorrow. Very interesting premise and liking it very much, in spite of myself! Thanks again for your backing of my book. I'll be back!
All the best, Sheri Emery / Crazy Quilt

tjmurray83 wrote 478 days ago

Very original idea -- the premise hooked me right off. Then I read it and there's strong dialogue and characters. Interesting take on the "finding yourself in another world" subgenre, which usually has the characters giddy to be in the new world.
I'll shelf this and high star rate it.

Stark Silvercoin wrote 481 days ago

It’s quite rare to run across something special AND original in the fantasy genre, but The Boy from Earth fits that bill. Told from the point of view of a young boy who falls into a fairy tale, there is a wonderful dichotomy between his normal, mundane life and the fantastic, beautiful place he finds himself. In that respect, it has a bit of a The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe type of feel. But the world of Zajitar is more than just fantasy. There is a war going on between the fantasy-type creatures and the science-equipped Therador Empire. This mix of sci-fi and fantasy should appeal to readers of both genres.

Author L.B. Ven has crafted quite a story to go along with his fantastic setting. Every character seems real, even when they are obviously story-book fare. The dialog is perfect and does a great job of moving the tale forward.

I read all that was available here so far and think that if The Boy from Earth continues the way it has been going, that it should have a bright future ahead of it, crossing genres and attracting a large readership. At its heart it’s a good story, well-told. Everything else is just icing on this delicious cake.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

Kate LaRue wrote 509 days ago

Lyle,
This is quite a magical beginning, from the discovery of the glowing book to Jack being transported to a different place. The myths behind the Tagu-An give the narrative a mystical quality. Jack's mom's cooking adds to the tropical setting. I hope to have time to come back to this and read further. For now, high stars.
Kate

Kate LaRue wrote 509 days ago

Lyle,
This is quite a magical beginning, from the discovery of the glowing book to Jack being transported to a different place. The myths behind the Tagu-An give the narrative a mystical quality. Jack's mom's cooking adds to the tropical setting. I hope to have time to come back to this and read further. For now, high stars.
Kate

Mark Cain wrote 588 days ago

A fun tale! Having it start on Jack's 11th birthday is a bit Harry Potter like, but the story itself isn't.

There's some fun and sometimes funny lines in the first chapter, e.g., "In fact, he spent many a night in the dark with the closet door opened and inviting any monster to dare frighten him." I loved that. Also a book on THE HISTORY OF SHEPHARD'S PIE? LOL!

There was a typo in Chapter one: "I though a demon lives here" Think you meant thought.

I read through chapter six. The story is good, though it unfolds perhaps a little too leisurely. Remember, you want to hook your reader quickly, especially with a children's book.

Some of the names used in your alternative world are tongue twisters. I think it was in Chapter 6 that this particularly caught my eye. I did the same thing in my first book and had people comment on them. You want the names to be magical and exotic, but you don't want them to be hard to say or too foreign.

A lovely tale though, and I'm keeping it on my watch list to see how you do.

Best, and congratulations on a fun read!

Mark
http://www.authonomy.com/books/40009/hell-s-super/

rikasworld wrote 602 days ago

This is very original. The first chapter about Jack's family is hilarious and quite sad at the same time. Once he reached the other world, I really like the mixture of everyday and fantastic like the crimsroth being in a nature reserve. You have created some weird and wonderful foods and creatures. I like the pet bed rug, particularly when he blows his nose on it. Jack is a convincing character, his homesickness is a good touch, mainly book characters entering a new world don't seem homesick at all - which is odd.
There are some typos (just little things like a missing ed on gallop in the last para. of 5) but nothing that at all interferes with enjoyment of the read.
The plot sounds intriquing and the dialogue is great. Hugely imaginative. High stars, of course.

julia rush wrote 605 days ago

Dear Lyle:

Charming fantasy novel. A cross between C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl. I adored the Narnia Series as a young girl and this is written just as well. I am shelving and starring. Good Luck!

Simone Marie
My Rhapsody

fledglingowl wrote 626 days ago

Lyle,
Very strange and delightful book. The story seems a bit higgelty-piggelty, going forward at tangents rather than a straight line. Felt the first chapter was a lot more polished than chapter two. Given you high stars and shelf space.
Short and long pitches are both excellent. Very sympathetic character in Jack, his parents seem so strange and he seems lonely and unhappy. Not sure how young people will react, he seems a bit woebegone for the hero - but then you point out he is the villain. Will try to get back for more.
Good luck on your writing,
Janet
The Milche Bride
Clarissa's Kitchen

Dean Lombardo wrote 632 days ago

Hi L.B.
I am here for a return read. Your story is fun and imaginative -- a journey that at first grounds the reader in everyday reality and then slowly and cleverly transports him/her into a world of fantasy (e.g., the glowing book, the whistling turning into winds, and finally the transportation into the magical world). I also commend you on the the bits of history you were able to integrate through the natural-sounding dialogue of your young characters.
A few suggestions, all pertaining to Chapter 1 (autho Ch. 2), though I did read some of Chapter 2 (autho Ch. 3):

Where you say, "were only confined in books" -- I think I know what you are driving at, but even so "were confined to books" sounds more natural.
"though Jack was the least bit surprised" sounds odd. Usually this construction pertains to the negative and employs "wasn't." So if you do mean to say that Jack was indeed surprised, then I suggest you recast the sentence. Otherwise, say "though Jack wasn't the least bit surprised."
Where you say "he said in a pant," I think "with a pant" works better.
Is Pedro Jack's cousin. If so, you might wants to work in a quick, short and seamless line explaining HOW they are cousins straight away. It threw me that Jack seems like this pale-faced English boy living in the Phillipines while Pedro is this older, browner-skinned, Spanish-blooded lad, and as a reader the relationship didn't compute without a bit of explanation. Just my opinion, though.
I think this story is the right formula for today's market, and your pitch is compelling, so all the best in your efforts to sell it. Highly starred, Dean Lombardo, "Space Games"

Lucy Middlemass wrote 634 days ago

The Boy From Earth

This is a treat! I wish I’d discovered it sooner. I’ve read the first three chapters.

Both of your pitches are great. The “flying brother-in-law” made me want to get stuck in.

There’s so much humour in this. I love Dad on the ceiling, and the conversation about a robot themed party not being the same as a cyborg one. The tropical setting is interesting. You’ve used it skilfully to tell us about Jack’s fair complexion and the lit-up book.

Not sure about the inclusion of dwarves in this way. Some children have dwarfism, maybe some of your potential readers. Perhaps you could swap it for a mythical creature like a goblin?

In the second chapter, I really liked “But no amount of pinching…” and “after he blew his nose on it.” I like the daytime moon, too. Oh, and the porridge tasting “experimental.” Love that.
How could Jack know the old women were grandmothers? An old woman is not always a grandmother.

I didn’t think I had any space on my shelf but this book is going on it anyway.

Lucy

grantdavid wrote 648 days ago

Lyle, What a superbly written story for an oldie! Breezy,"chucklesome", fast-moving, going like a train through briskly moving scenes. I like Jack as MC, too. He's a real character, with ideal parents for such a story.
You get my vote: next available place on my Shelf and top stars,
David Grant,
"Pompey Chimes"

Lourdes wrote 671 days ago

Dear Lyle,
This is indeed an enchanted tale for any age. It is magical and funny, and i enjoyed the first two chapters.
Some of the punctuation raised an eyebrow, but then again, it may be just me.
"You donated those to the orphanage last week, remember!"
"How do i get home!"
Of course these two sentences may be meant as statements rather than questions, in which case all is well.
A marvelously descriptive story with very interesting characters. Looking forward to reading more and wish i had more spaces on my shelf.
Highly rated and will keep in it line to be shelved.
Favourite sentence: "She gave the oven a swift kick, and it yelled back at her in Japanese."
Cheers!
Maria
The Path to Survival

Nanty wrote 674 days ago

CHIRG Review:

The Boy from Earth.
Chapter 1 - An intriguing title. Your first paragraph is super - loved the 'seventh being on purpose', made me laugh. I also liked things can change 'because of a book.' I think many adult readers would agree with this and it's encouraging to belief children will too.
Meters - Not sure if you are American, but would think so. I'm English and we spell it 'metre/s'.
'With his eyes affixed' doesn't read well - possibly - with his eyes fixed.
'they blankly stared' - this sounds awkward - perhaps - they stared blankly.
Breakfast sounds awful - children will love this.
Nippy reply from Jack - 'I think a fourth language at my age borders on child abuse.' Good way to let the reader know Jack is a very clever child, without labouring the point.
'Jack heeded' - sounds old-fashioned.
A nice bit of mystery regarding the book, where it's come from and who previously owned it.
The ideas various individuals have about Marble-Henge were very good and worked well, adding to its mystery.
This chapter is quite long for young children. Perhaps consider making one chapter into two - a good place to do this is when Jack sets off to see Marble-Henge with his cousin Pedro.

Chapter 2: Some lovely ideas here. A forest of giant mushrooms, a house shaped like a three-tiered cake (possibly a mini ziggaurat) and the upside-down island drifting in the sky.
Sayal and Tevarya - completely opposite personalities, came across well, through I think it might be an idea to introduce their names early than you have as the orange-haired woman and the brown-haired woman, got rather repetitive.
Another lovely idea, the sisters arguing grow younger!
Overall: As mentioned above there are some really lovely ideas in the story, though some of the language is a little stilted and some words eg: comprised, desolate, terrain - might be difficult for your targeted audience. Lots of mystery going on and a strange world children can explore with Jack. A nice read.
The above is just my opinion, nothing more and nothing less, and is intended to help. I hope it of some value to you, but if not...well ignore it.
Starred.

Nanty - Chrys!

Shelby Z. wrote 689 days ago

Okay I have to day your opener is very eye catching. Readers like myself love stories that have to do with books tons of books like the family has. Great hook there.
Also I like the idea for your story it is new and creative.
Your MC has a lot of special characteristics to him.
Your title is chosen well as is the cover.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please take a look at my pirate adventure Driving Winds, when you have time.

revteapot wrote 692 days ago

Kyle, I enjoyed this. The transition from one world to another is difficult to pull off, but you've achieved it convincingly.
Well done.
Lindsay
A Priest's Tale

Cariad wrote 696 days ago

This is terrific! Really great I think. I loved the opening paragraphs, the description - so brief but so visual, and those little bits added on that just made me laugh - 'The seventh being on purpose.' etc.
So instantly readable and immersive and perfectly pitched for your audience.

'though Jack was the least bit surprised on his air defying ability.' - was not? and 'of' his air defying.... about?

I won't waffle on. I shall be carrying on reading, so if I come up with anything obvious or shocking or whatever, I'll mention it again. Meantime have big stars and a reserved shelf space as soon as my backlog is done. :)

Lyle B wrote 706 days ago

Thank you so much for the detailed critique! Will defnitely incorporate your constructive comments. Rgarding Chapter 2, I actually had several revisions as some thought the pace was too slow (due to a lack of dialogue) so that's why I hurried up with the expositions. But you made a great observation and I will try to find a way to maintain the 'momentum'.

Thanks again!

I loved your pitch, and took a look at this interesting book. Your dialogue heavy prose style was a pleasure to read, and I liked where you were going with this. I am going to back this book (only the third book I have backed), but I would like to offer some of my thoughts about how you could make it better.

One thing that immediately jumped out was use of adverbs: "excitedly", "disappointedly", "unconvincingly". Any reader of Harry Potter will know even best selling authors can make liberal use of these and be successful, but they tend to be distracting when over-used, and weaken the writing a little. I would prefer to see more of the internal dialogue of the character, showing his excitement or disappointment or that he was unconvinced. I think people would use the term "show, don't tell".

That lack of internal dialogue seemed, to me, to take Jack out of the real world before I really had an anchor on who he is. In the second chapter, the internal dialogue would be essential I think, because he spends 7 days without speaking. You gloss over that with a short report of his night time commotion, but that just left me wondering what he was actually doing all day!

In chapter two, when Jack begins to speak, rather a lot of mysteries are filled in rather quickly. The reader knows that the marble henge was key to the transition to the other world, but why not create more mystery around it? Instead of calling it a portal of time, maybe the sisters would be puzzled as to how he got there, but would know tell of the strange and powerful world beyond the world.

Finally, some vocabulary was repeated. We had commotion at night and the next paragraph commotion in the kitchen - maybe use different words here. Likewise, we were told maybe too often that the sisters are old.

Despite these comments, this is not a negative review. I have just finished a published book that was way worse than anything you have written here, and what you have is a promising and interesting story that I am eagre to continue exploring. It deserves to do well, and I hope you continue to edit it and improve it to make it something that begs to be published.

SirFurboy wrote 707 days ago

I loved your pitch, and took a look at this interesting book. Your dialogue heavy prose style was a pleasure to read, and I liked where you were going with this. I am going to back this book (only the third book I have backed), but I would like to offer some of my thoughts about how you could make it better.

One thing that immediately jumped out was use of adverbs: "excitedly", "disappointedly", "unconvincingly". Any reader of Harry Potter will know even best selling authors can make liberal use of these and be successful, but they tend to be distracting when over-used, and weaken the writing a little. I would prefer to see more of the internal dialogue of the character, showing his excitement or disappointment or that he was unconvinced. I think people would use the term "show, don't tell".

That lack of internal dialogue seemed, to me, to take Jack out of the real world before I really had an anchor on who he is. In the second chapter, the internal dialogue would be essential I think, because he spends 7 days without speaking. You gloss over that with a short report of his night time commotion, but that just left me wondering what he was actually doing all day!

In chapter two, when Jack begins to speak, rather a lot of mysteries are filled in rather quickly. The reader knows that the marble henge was key to the transition to the other world, but why not create more mystery around it? Instead of calling it a portal of time, maybe the sisters would be puzzled as to how he got there, but would know tell of the strange and powerful world beyond the world.

Finally, some vocabulary was repeated. We had commotion at night and the next paragraph commotion in the kitchen - maybe use different words here. Likewise, we were told maybe too often that the sisters are old.

Despite these comments, this is not a negative review. I have just finished a published book that was way worse than anything you have written here, and what you have is a promising and interesting story that I am eagre to continue exploring. It deserves to do well, and I hope you continue to edit it and improve it to make it something that begs to be published.

AeliusBlythe wrote 710 days ago

You have a really nice voice.

Only read the first chapter so far, but it's going on my shelf and I swear I'll come back for the rest of it soon!

minorkey wrote 710 days ago

Great pitch - hooked me in. Some sentences feel stilted but on the whole the first 2 chapters worked very well, gave me something of Jack's personality and homelife (and soon to be future in America) before everything changes. I haven't read any further yet, but for now I'm going to shelve this.

Cas Meadowfield wrote 715 days ago

Wonderful story wonderfully told. So many things to love; places in the sky- strange walking trees, and magical people.
really hope you get this published, as I want to know the rest...

Cas Meadowfield
The Wind Maker

Tod Schneider wrote 719 days ago

A well told tale! You launch quickly in an exotic setting, and keep us on the hook.
Thanks!
Tod Schneider
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Lyle B wrote 719 days ago

I have read the first few chapters and found them so original and unusual. I think the setting is wonderful and the two sisters are great characters. My only criticism would be to wonder if the pace was fast enough for the children's market. After the initial drama of Jack coming through the portal, the pace slows a little. Could you move to the 'war' sections a bit more quickly - or perhaps add a prologue to give readers a taste of the drama to come.
Overall though I love this highly original story.



Thanks for the crit and the backing! And you're right, Kristie, Chapter 2 does slow down the pace, which is why I made it as short as possible (only 6 pages). Chapter 3 has a lot more dialogue and exposition about the war, and also contains the catalyst for the MC to take matters into his own hands. But I will try and incorporate the war storyline sooner, definitely in Chapter 2.

Thanks again!!!

Kirstie wrote 719 days ago

I have read the first few chapters and found them so original and unusual. I think the setting is wonderful and the two sisters are great characters. My only criticism would be to wonder if the pace was fast enough for the children's market. After the initial drama of Jack coming through the portal, the pace slows a little. Could you move to the 'war' sections a bit more quickly - or perhaps add a prologue to give readers a taste of the drama to come.
Overall though I love this highly original story.

Atieno wrote 722 days ago

The dialogue in this book must be the best in authonomy. I love this story. I love the premise, the history, the magic.
You just need to be on my shelve.
Star rated and watchlisted .
Josphine

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