Monday, March 19, 2018

Review: Destiny's Gambit by R.J. Wood

Destiny's Gambit

Destiny’s Gambit
The Voyages of Jake Flynn #1
by R.J. Wood
Middle Grade Fantasy/ Science Fiction/ Sword and Space/ Space Fantasy
January 24, 2015

Jake Flynn’s parents disappeared when he was a baby. On his twelfth birthday, the mystery of why his parents disappeared begins to unravel when he discovers a glowing talisman with a message from his father.

Jake is directed to a derelict sailboat in a field. He watches in awe as the talisman knits ropes and sails for it out of golden energy. Awash in light, the boat sails up into space, and the voyages of Jake Flynn begin.

During the quest to find his parents, Jake encounters space pirates in tall sailing ships, channelers that can wield energy like magic, and evil cabalists led by a sinister snake-woman. Assisted by a young healer and her aged protector, a spirited cabin girl, and a salty space captain, Jake learns that he too can channel, and that he is central to stopping the cabalists from resurrecting a long-dead evil.

Puzzles, a pirate asteroid, walking the plank, fantastic magic, traps, treasure caves, multiple planets and great ship battles – Jake must experience them all on this epic sword and space adventure.

By the end, Jake will discover the truth about his destiny, realize that family can transcend blood lines, and understand that his own needs are sometimes less important than those of others.

You can find Destiny’s Gambit on Goodreads

You can buy Destiny’s Gambit here:
- Amazon
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- Kobo
- Smashwords


This is an exciting space adventure with a huge twist of pirate ships and seafaring adventure. . .just in space.

Jake's parents disappeared when he was a baby, leaving him to grow up under the care of his grandmother and somewhat strict uncle. On his twelfth birthday, he discovers a talisman with a note from his father. Determined to find his parents, he heads off into space with a ship and must face all sorts of adventures, dangers and excitement on his quest.

This is an delicious mixture of space and all things nautical. The idea of a ship sailing out into the galaxy grabs right away, and the descriptions make it easy to get drawn in and lost in the adventure. Jake's a brave boy with tons of determination, a lot to learn, and a good heart. He's a great character to relate to and cheer for. . .and inspire readers to dream of such adventures of their own.

The length and language make this a good fit for the upper end of middle grade readers, ages ten and up. The author uses nautical terms richly and whenever they fit the situation, considering everything takes place in space. This might be a little overwhelming to readers, although ship fans are sure to enjoy it. It's an enchanting weave of science fiction, fantasy and steampunk, making it hard to categorize, but a treat to read. The pacing holds tight and steady the whole way through, insuring a read that  The ending leaves off with tons of questions still open for the rest of the series, and it is an ending which leaves the reader wanting to know more and continue. That this was published in 2015, I'm hoping that the next books will appear soon, though.

And here he is. . .

R.J. Wood
R. J. Wood has been creating stories and adventures for others since 1979. A bard at heart, he trained in Drama (BA) and History (MA) while at university. He currently lives near Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State with his wife and children. There he does a little fishing, some adventuring, and of course, his writing.

Like everyone of my generation and beyond I have been heavily influenced by film. I like to think of my books as movies in my mind. I developed my creative writing through fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal RPGs. My degree in drama helps me with story, characters, and especially dialogue. Having an advanced history degree is excellent for plots and characters, but it also helps me with world building.

You can find and contact R.J. Wood here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Instagram


cleemckenzie said...

The combination of space travel and pirate ships just has to be good.

Tonja Drecker said...

I've always been a fan of the mixture...pirates, sails and space screams fun.