by Deanna Miller http://www.deannamiller.com
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
210 pages; ISBN: 0-9725424-1-8
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Brenda Ramsbacher
The scariest part of being an Alula was the probability of being Sent. The Council was adamant on Sending the young through to restore the balance. Hesper was led to understand that aliens had mastered the technique of riding the interplane. This must have caused the balance to shift. But then again none of the Alulas seemed to know the reason for the Sendings. They just knew they were going to help balance the planes before everything merged as one.
For nearly eight years, Hesper had lived with her Aunt Sern. Her mother had been Sent and would never return to the Skymounts. It was known many Alulas would go. Only the brave would venture to another plane though. And these would not remember the life they had known among the Alulas.
Interesting point to understand is that the Alulas are female and have wings. To reproduce they were forced to merge with the Mantaurs, which are male and supposedly the most terrible thing on their plane. The Council worked hard to make sure all of their young were terrified of leaving the safety of the Skymounts. But one night, Hesper flew too far and was forced to land. She sought a cave to hide within for the dreaded Mantaurs followed. But before they arrived, a Boytaur interfered. From that point on, Hesper befriended this Boytaur named Tristan. She would sneak out of the Skymounts to visit this outcast and they would use a combination of her wings and his powerful legs to move about. Hence the title SKY BOUNCE.
Tristan is the mischievous one of the two. It is Tristan who convinces Hesper to attend the highly secretive Sending. Although Hesper is doubtful, she agrees and they bounce up until they reach the location where the ceremony takes place. Everything goes well until one of the Alulas spot them.
Built into three sections, the first talks about the beginning of the Alulas and their relationship to the balance. It also introduces Hesper and Tristan. The second part tells of Hesper’s flight to the human plane, the loss of her memories and of Tristan finding her again. The last is of the barren plane where they will find answers to all of their questions.
Featuring a very simple plot, young readers will be able to follow along easily. The downfall is that they must first understand the form of a Boytaur, Alula, and Mantaur. It is understood right from the first sentence they are not human but the exactness is not explained until later. As an adult, this was an annoyance. However, for a young reader, this slight may go right past their conscience since SKY BOUNCE is a typical fantasy with a setting of it’s very own.
Many children who love the fantasy worlds will enjoy this one. It should be noted that the fantasy world depicted may be difficult to see in the mind’s eye. Quite frankly, this concept simply was not detailed enough although the writing itself is fabulous and puts you right in the middle of the tale. Truth be told, Miller has the makings to be a master storyteller for children.
My oldest daughter, Kristina, also had the pleasure of reading SKY BOUNCE. Her version of events coincide with mine so for this purpose, only the opinion portion of the review will be shared in this paragraph. The quote on the cover is accurate. This is a very readable tale that is difficult to put down until the last page is turned. The visualization of the Skymounts and Council Room were difficult to imagine and more details could have been shared to complete this setting. Yet this fact is minor because Miller grabs the reader and sucks them in the tight web surrounding the character’s personality.
All in all, Miller tells a good tale.
**Kristina Ramsbacher, age 13, contributed to this review**