INSIDE THE SUN
The 8th Island Trilogy, Book Three
by Alexis Marie Chute
Young Adult Fantasy
All worlds are dying, and it’s up to one broken and dysfunctional family from Earth—the Wellsleys—to save the day.
Cancer-ridden Ella celebrates her fifteenth birthday beneath an enchanted mountain, but it is what lies even farther below—the mysterious Star in the sea—that demands she grow up quickly. While Ella grapples with the sacrifice she must make and the lies she is forced to tell, her mother, Tessa, is hell-bent on protecting her.
Through bizarre encounters, love-sick Tessa realizes that she is not the lonely orphan she believes. Her husband, Arden, and father-in-law, Archie, are not the only ones with magical bloodlines. This revelation changes everything.
As Archie chooses to embody his unexpected ancestry, he learns that leading the charge in the ultimate battle against evil won’t be as easy as he thought. He’ll need his family—and the strange allies he has gained—by his side to give Ella enough time to set things right.
Can they defeat the unstoppable Millia sands—and another unexpected foe—before everything they hold dear is destroyed? Or will their adventure tear them apart for good? The finale to The 8th Island Trilogy will hold you spellbound until the final page, and long after.
Note: This is the third and last book in the series and does not do well as a standalone, since the tale and characters build on events from the other books.
In some ways, this book reminds me of A Wrinkle in Time as fourteen/fifteen-year-old Ella and her family try to defeat an evil, which is trying to take over the universe and has the objects needed to unlock doors to various worlds. Along the way, she learns to know a variety of imaginative creatures and predicaments, builds friendships and inspires the reader in her own way. Her family also plays a key role as they do anything they can to find a cure for her and support her in all ways.
Ella is a strong heroine, but not in the physical sense. She suffers from cancer and hits this book a little bit worn from the continual pain and fight. Thanks to an earlier event, which has impeded her voice (and not in a way you could simply guess), she uses sign-language and art to portray her thoughts. These illustrations are included in the book, which not only give a lovely, extra glance into Ella but also gain bonus points because...well, even older audiences appreciate illustrations.
Unlike strong heroines in many young adult books, Ella doesn't go on her journey alone. She might have the ability to stop the evil, but it's not something she can do on her own. Some support is in the small things, while from others, it is much more direct. But this is important also because Ella is fighting her own, inner-battles, which threaten to overtake her at times. All of this makes her easy to root for and keeps the tension and emotions high.
This series is written in several POVs. While Ella is in first person, the others are written a little more detached in third. I'm not a huge fan of this form of writing, but it isn't enough to make me dislike a book or mark it down. Although, I do find that it kept Tessa and the other characters an arm's length away in comparison to Ella. And in this tale, Tessa's story is not one to be overlooked as she drives a strong sub-plot.
Tessa learns quite a bit about herself...as does the rest of Ella's family...in these pages. Not only that, but she's involved in a bit of a love triangle between her husband and another man. While interesting, I found this end a bit pulled out at times. But then, this book (like the others) does switch between fast and slow gear. For an action girl like me, who enjoys character depth but not when it draws out, some of these scenes had me skipping a paragraph or two. And there were tiny moments, where I wanted to put the book aside and do something else for a bit.
Still, this is a wonderful ending to an interesting series and wraps up almost everything nicely and that while keeping the emotions and tension high. Ella and her family are hard not to fever for as they hit the final scenes. I found this a lovely novel, especially for the lower end of the young adult audience. Fans of science fiction, with characters who dig in, and story-telling, which does hold action but draws back every now and then to catch its breath for a calmer pause, are sure to enjoy this one. And beware because the plot is quite original and takes very unexpected twists.
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Find out more about Alexis Marie Chute...
Facebook: Alexis Marie Chute, Art, Photograph and Creative Writing
LinkedIn: Alexis Marie Chute
Other important links:
Above the Star https://www.alexismariechute.com/abovethestar/
Below the Moon https://www.alexismariechute.com/belowthemoon/
Inside the Sun https://www.alexismariechute.com/insidethesun/
The 8th Island Trilogy https://www.alexismariechute.com/8thislandtrilogy/
Expecting Sunshine Memoir https://www.alexismariechute.com/expectingsunshinebook/
Expecting Sunshine Documentary https://www.alexismariechute.com/expecting-sunshine-documentary/
General Alexis Marie Chute website https://www.alexismariechute.com/
Alexis Marie Chute on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15746544.Alexis_Marie_ChuteAlexis Marie Chute on Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alexis-marie-chute