Saturday, November 27, 2021

Review: Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm by Lori Adams

We're diving into the world of pirates and open seas....and magic! Today's review spins the myth of Davy Jones into a magical and very adventurous tale for high-sea lovers with a brave and risk-friendly heroine. It's the first in a new series and sets sails on November 29th (so, just a couple more days to wait). 

Ready for a peek?

by Lori Adams
Spyhop Publishing
Middle Grade Fantasy
360 pages
ages 9 to 14

NOVEMBER 29th!!!

When a young girl learns she is the Last Heir to the infamous pirate Davy Jones, she is whisked away to begin life aboard an enchanted schoolship for Pirate Heirs where danger and excitement awaits. 

Contemporary kids who happen to be Heirs of the most villainous and celebrated pirates in history. Superstitions, mysteries, curses, secrets, strange ocean creatures, undead pirates, and seafaring legends will thrill middle-grade readers in this rollicking, globe-trotting adventure. 

Avalina Jones, the Last Heir of the infamous pirate Davy Jones, has never heard of Sea Magic, flying dinghies, Pirate Heir schoolships, phantom islands, or creatures called Half Ones. And she has never understood her strange connection to water. When a beautiful woman arrives in a swirling waterspout, Avalina’s life explodes with more adventures than she can possibly imagine. She takes her rightful place aboard a giant Pirate Heir schoolship teeming with Heirs of the world’s most nefarious pirates.

Raised as a Landlubber, Avalina quickly realizes bizarre and danger are normal aboard Pirate Heir schoolships—food fights back, school supplies giggle or explode in your face. And not everyone can be trusted.

When Avalina is accused of a terrible crime, she must prove her innocence or risk being banished from the schoolship forever—and this in the middle of a crucial Treasure Hunt!

Avalina races to unlock secrets of the ship, and makes a dangerous discovery that threatens everyone aboard. With the help of her new friends Charlie, Pippa, and Bummy, Avalina draws closer to the truth, unaware that a deeper, darker fate awaits.

Worlds collide for middle-grade readers who will love the fast-paced thrills, colorful characters, secrets, legends, and the interplay of fantasy and reality in Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm. Author Lori Adams expertly delivers a story that is timeless, bringing together elements of sea lore, magic, and adventure. The first book in a seven-book series, Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm, is a romping tale for middle graders who are searching for the next enduring fantasy classic.



High seas and pirating adventure mixes with imagination and quirky magic to create a very rich world, and one with more than a little bit of fun.

Avalina Jones has spent most of her childhood at the orphanage, gazing across the Mississippi River. Not only does she feel as if it's calling to her, but strange things happen around her, which makes her positive she isn't like the other children. The headmistress doesn't seem surprised but refuses to explain exactly what's going on. When an odd woman comes to the building in a flying boat and kidnaps Avalina with the promise to take her where she truly belongs...and the woman knows her dead parents...the adventure begins. Avalina is a 1st year student on a famous, pirate ship school, might have a curse, and has more than a few enemies.

This is a fun adventure from beginning to end. It packs imagination upon imagination...and I do mean to the gills. Every page swims with magical hints, objects, characters, and quirkiness, creating a very rich fantasy world, where nothing seems to be impossible and surprises lurk past every gangway. The characters are just as rich and pop off the page. There's never a second for boredom and always something happening. So, get ready for fast-paced adventure because this book has that. Tons of it.

To say that this one reminds me of Harry Potter's Hogwarts is an understatement. There are many parallels in the world, although in this book, everything takes a very strong pirate twist. In that sense, I found it clever and loved getting lost in the fun. However, all the quirky details also became too much, at times, and ended up overwhelming a few of the scenes. Still, the richness is amazing and is sure to thrill younger readers.

Avalina Jones is a character to root for from beginning to end. She gets herself into sticky situations, is a bit head-strong, and yet, even held back and careful, at times. She fits her age group pretty well and definitely slides into a great character for a middle grade read. The tale is tense and also stays age appropriate. Fantasy and pirate fans are sure to enjoy this one.

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