Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Happy Book Birthday, Below the Moon by Alexis Marie Chute!

The 8th Island Trilogy, #2
by Alexis Marie Chute
YA Fantasy

Ella Wellsley is not your typical teenager. Cancer left her mute, but not powerless. Trapped in a parallel dimension, Ella rallies her strength to join her family—her mother, Tessa, her grandpa Archie, and her magical boyfriend—in locating the cure to her illness. This cure is entangled in the fate of all worlds, and threatened by the presence of an evil Star anchored in the sea. The Star has thrown life everywhere into chaos—and it is Ella who holds the key to unlocking its mystery.

Caught in a web of betrayal, mistaken identities, secrets, and love triangles, Ella, Tessa, and Archie must overcome their troubled pasts to ensure a future for all worlds. On this journey—armed with unearthly abilities and unexpected allies—each member of the Wellsley family will learn the power of love in the face of their greatest fears.


With unique style, this book hits the heart and imagination, and leads through an exciting adventure with a touch of romance.

This book takes off where the first one left off (so it seems as I didn't read book one). Archie and his family are settling in on Jarr-Wya, but their troubles are far from over. Ella is battling not only her ever weakening health but also her love life. Tessa is trying to save her daughter while dealing with her own troubles. All the while, they are still wrapped up in secrets, war, and lies.

I received this book and didn't realize until I started reading it that it is the second in a series. Unfortunately, the events of the first book are needed to understand where the second one begins. It took me more than a couple chapters to figure out what was going on and the basics of the world. In other words, this is a series which should be read from the beginning.

The characters, the world and the writing style are unique and give the entire book a flair of its own. Each character has their own personality, background, and concerns. This, along with the twisting plots and sub-plots, make it a read with more depth. It's not only about the mystery and layered intrigue—and there is quite a bit of this—but also about the personal battles. I, personally, had a little trouble connecting with the main characters, which I'm sure had a little to do with the fact that I didn't read book one. Also, the style wasn't quite my thing, although I'm sure many readers will appreciate it.

As an extra nice touch, sketches by Ella dabble the pages. While they don't really enhance the story too much, it was a joy to run across them, and they did help develop her character a bit.

This book is sold as a young adult novel, and I'm not certain it really fits in snuggly to this age group as several of the characters are adults and even Ella hits upon more mature worries such as marriage and bearing children. But it's definitely a read to pick up and is sure to grab the right reader.

And here she is...
(from Goodreads)

Alexis Marie Chute is an award-winning artist, author, photographer, and filmmaker. Her debut memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss, was released by She Writes Press in 2017, accompanied by the feature documentary. Chute has been published in PhotoEd, WestWord, Mind Body Green, Savvy Mom, Today’s Parent, Vie, The Bellingham Review, Edmonton Woman, Flurt, Smart Healthy Woman, and the Three Minus One and the Women’s Art Museum Society of Canada anthologies.

Chute has received over 30 noteworthy distinctions for her visual and literary work, such as being named a “Canada Book Awards” winner for her memoir, Expecting Sunshine, and other recognitions such as The John Poole Award for promotion of the Arts, “Emerging Canadian Photographer” by Photo Life Magazine, and Avenue Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40.” Chute was featured in print and video as mother-expert in the pregnancy loss awareness campaign by Today’s Parent Magazine, which won first place at the 38th Annual National Magazine Awards for Best Editorial Package on the Web. Chute’s blog for bereaved parents is called Wanted Chosen Planned.

Chute was the 2012/2013 Artist in Residence at Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, where she began her groundbreaking fine art photo series called “The Quiet Rebuild,” featuring volunteers from around the world. Her photography on the topic of resiliency has been exhibited internationally and her bright-bold abstract paintings are represented at the AR&S Gallery at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Chute also curates the annual InFocus Photography Exhibition & Award during Exposure Photography Festival.

Alexis Marie Chute received her Bachelors of Fine Art in Art and Design from the University of Alberta, Canada, and studied at Media Design school in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated valedictorian with her Masters of Fine Art in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, USA.

Chute is a highly-regarded public speaker. She has presented on art, writing, bereavement, and the healing capacities of creativity through in courses and at conferences in Europe, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada. Contact the Author/Artist for bookings info@alexismariechute.com

When not in her art/photo studio or writing at her computer, Chute loves to spend quality time with her family, read both fiction and non-fiction, watch reality TV, paddleboard, and canoe. She is not a winter person but lives in the frosty city of Edmonton with her husband and their three living children.

Connect with Alexis Marie Chute on these social networks:
Twitter: @_Alexis_Marie
Facebook: Alexis Marie Chute, Art, Photograph and Creative Writing
Instagram: @alexismariechute
Pinterest: AlexisMarieArt
YouTube: AlexisMarieChute
LinkedIn: Alexis Marie Chu

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