Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Sunborn Rising by Aaron Safronoff with Giveaway

Sunborn Rising Beneaht the Fall

Sunborn Rising: Beneath The Fall
(Sunborn Rising #1)
by Aaron Safronoff
Middle Grade Fantasy
ages 9+

"Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall is the best vivid fantasy YA book of the year." --Entrada Publishing

On a distant world of forests floating on an ocean around a star,
a blight threatens to plunge all life into darkness.
But three friends seek the light.
Together, they will Fall and be lost.
And at the very Root of darkness, they will find themselves.
But will it be enough to help them find their way home?

The world of Cerulean

Light and water flow from the ocean into the roots of the Great Trees, up through the boughs, and out over the lush canopy. But the once vibrant treescape has grown dim over generations of arboreal life, and the creatures of the forest have forgotten the light.

Barra, a young, willful Listlespur, finds her late father's hidden journal, and reads about the old world and the mysterious plague her father believed destroyed it. He wrote that he warned the Elders. He urged them to take action. Those were his last words.

Together with her two best friends, Barra will explore every bark, wood, and leaf of the Great Forest to relight her world and complete her father's story, even if she has to travel beneath the Fall.

​Buy the book:   Amazon ~ Author Website


This is probably one of the most beautiful middle grade fantasy books I've ever held in my hands. To finally find a novel which packs in not only an adventure, which satisfies even the upper end of the middle grade, but remembers that an audience of this age also still appreciates colorful illustrations is simply a treasure in itself.

The story takes place on a lush fantasy world, with creatures so amazing that they can only originate from dreams. There are three friends, each very different not only in their physical attributes but in personalities as well, who take off on a somewhat accidental journey to save their world. The plot itself is nothing very new, but it doesn't have to be. Kids will dive into to and enjoy the vast array of creatures and scenes along with the adventure.


Barra, a type of cat creature, is the main character. She's willful, seeks adventure, curious and a little careless, but she's chucked full of determination. The introduction of her home life really lures the reader in, offering first a taste of simple life before heading off into danger. The attention to details and the fantasy involved would be enough on it's own. But the illustrations bring the world a step further, letting the reader fully plunge into the curious atmosphere.

It takes a couple chapters for the adventure to really get going, allowing the world to sink in and the characters to take hold of the reader. When things get underway, the action is fast paced. New scenes and a vast array of creatures pop up, making it crucial to pay attention. But just as it seemed a bit much, the pieces start to fall into place and the entire picture takes form.

This is written in third person and is at a perfect level for kids ages nine and up. The attention to details is balanced with adventure, making a lovely mix. The story does sometimes flip from Barra's point of view to another character's, which, unfortunately, was sudden and jolting. There were also a few points which weren't fully explained and left dangling. But in general, this is a fun read which holds the attention the entire way through. I did read it in one sitting and breezed through quicker than I thought. In other words, it's not a heavy read but simply a joy.

Summed up, the book is a masterpiece in the illustration end and definitely worth the read. I personally wish more middle grade books would take this plunge. The story is adventurous, although it could be a little stronger. Still the fun adventure grabs and holds the whole way through, bringing the reader on a fantastic journey.

And here he is. . .

Aaron Safronoff is author of the Discovery Award winning science fiction novel, Spire. Since his debut, he's published a sequel, Fallen Spire, and a novella of literary fiction, Evening Breezes.
Safronoff's diverse background includes the formal study of computer science, bio-chemistry, and culinary arts. However, most of his career has been in the videogame industry in quality, production, and design.

Today, Safronoff is the co-founder and Chief Storyteller of Neoglyphic Entertainment, and is busy writing his fifth novel, the second installment of the Sunborn Rising series.

​Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Want to see even more about Sunborn Rising? You can follow the tour:

The blog tour runs from 27 June till 10 July, you can view the tour schedule here.


1. Five winners will each receive a signed hardback copy of Sunborn Rising AND a free signed CD of the original musical soundtrack (open to USA only)

2. One winner will also win a 16’x20’ high quality (giclĂ©e) printed piece of the original art on canvas, signed by author Aaron Safronoff as well as Christopher Chamberlain the Art Director (valued at $100) – open to USA only

3. Ten winners will each get a gifted Kindle copy of Sunborn Rising with a $10 Amazon gift card AND a free digital download of the original musical soundtrack (open international)

Giveaway ends Aug 6, 2016.

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Aaron Safronoff said...

Thank you for hosting, and for the spectacular review. :-) I'm so glad you enjoyed the story! Book 2 is on the way, and I hope it answers some of your dangling questions.

Sandra Watts said...

I'd like to win it because it looks like something my teenage son would enjoy.