Friday, July 1, 2022

Review: Grounded for All Eternity by Darcy Marks

 We're starting off the month as hot as the weather...well, at least, the theme is warmer than warm. This one centers around a boy and his team, who were born and live in the Underworld. When they accidentally find themselves on Earth, their biggest concern is getting back before their parents notice they're gone. Which with a little thought, makes total sense to me because who would want to go against parents who guard evil souls? 

Now, I thought this one might head in a direction of mischief, but I'll already say that I was more than a little surprised at where the plot flies...or rather walks, since wings aren't allowed to leave that realm. See, that's already a hint at the fun!



GROUNDED FOR ALL ETERNITY
by Darcy Marks
Aladdin
Middle Grade Paranormal
384 pages
ages 8 to 12


COMING...
JULY 26th!!!







A group of kids from hell come to Earth on one of the craziest nights of the year—Halloween—in this snarky, witty middle grade adventure about teamwork, friendship, shattering expectations, and understanding the world (or otherworld) around us.

Mal and his friends are just your regular average kids from hell. The suburbs that is, not the fiery pit part. But when Hell’s Bells ring out—signaling that a soul has escaped from one of the eternal circles, Mal and his friends can’t help but take the opportunity for a little adventure.

Before they know it, they’ve somehow slipped through the veil and found themselves in the middle of Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween night. And what’s even worse, they’ve managed to bring the escaped soul with them! As the essence of one of history’s greatest manipulators gains power by shifting the balance on Earth, Mal and his squad-mates—along with some new friends that they meet along the way—work desperately to trap the escapee, save the people of Earth from the forces of evil, and find the portal back to their own dimension.

If they can’t manage it before their parents realize they’re gone, they’ll be grounded for an eternity. And an eternity in hell is a very, very long time.


GOODREADS   /    AMAZON   /   B&N 


MY TIDBITS

It's not Halloween, yet. Not even close. But I'm still going to already shout this one out as a must-read for that upcoming holiday. 

Mal is an average kid. Well, for Hell that is. He lives with his parents, goes to school, and has pretty much the same problems as any kid on Earth. Go figure. When a soul escapes one of Hell's levels, the entire town goes on high alert with fire-shield-dome and everything. His parents are on call and need to find him a babysitter because it's school break. Just when Mal's convinced his vacation's ruined, his friends come to the rescue, but their secret fun out doesn't end exactly the way they hoped it would. Accidentally slipping through a gateway, they find themselves on Earth. Not only do they have no clue how to return home before their parents notice that they're missing, but they see all sorts of evil creatures which shouldn't be on Earth. Now, they not only have to find the way home, but they'll have to deal with the escaped evil themselves.

This was so much more fun than I thought it might be. Although Mal has wings and lives in the Underworld, it's not much different than life on a town on Earth. The author allows several chapters for the reader to sink into Mal's life and really get to know him, where he comes from, and all the details living in the realm of death entails. And it isn't boring, in the least. Mal's easy to identify with, laid back, and faces many of the same issues that many middle graders do. By letting the reader to get to know his reality first, it makes the adventure on Earth that much more enjoyable...and relatable.

The writing flows very well and naturally, never letting anything feel choppy or forced. The friends interact as any would and could be the kids down the street. There are enough oddities to keep the reader in the pages, and as the story progresses, this slips over to surprising twists and tension. Some situations have the reader wondering what the friends will do, while others will cause a smirk or a snort. It's a nice balance of adventure and fun.

Along with a fun tale, the author has woven in well-known literature, historic figures and myths. Dante's levels of Hell, Faust, Methuselah, and more give a nod at all those history and literature buffs. I found it a nice twist, although I'm sure some of these will go over readers' heads. But having them mentioned and playing a role is a nice bonus.

This is an easy read with tons to like. The plot and setting are original, and the characters are easy to root for. I do see this one as being a winner with more than just a couple readers.



And here she is...

Darcy Marks is a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Kempo-JuJitsu, as well as a Black Belt in Arnis, the Filipino art of stick-fighting. She teaches women’s self-defense and works as a forensic toxicologist. Darcy is a mother of three is and an avid fangirl living in northern Vermont. Visit her online at DarcyMarks.com.


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