Friday, February 22, 2013

Amarias Adventures Book Two: Escape from Riddler's Pass

Amarias Adventures Book Two:  Escape from Riddler's Pass opens with Jesse, Rae and Silas trying to find and rescue their friend, Parvel, while being pursued by conflicted Captain Demetri. Author Amy Green quickly draws us into the conflict. Soon, we are cheering for these former members of the Youth Guard. As we continue reading, we realize the Youth Guard was actually being selected in order to be killed covertly.  The king intends to weed out the strongest children in the kingdom, and decrease chances of a rebellion.

Rae and Silas, as members of the Youth Guard, have skill and training equipping them to complete a successful rescue mission. However, Jesse's crippled legs and Silas' anger prove to be significant obstacles to the mission. Being trapped in caves and captured by the cave-dwellers (Roarics) doesn't help, either. The children must escape from the Roarics and navigate the caves with the help of clues hidden in riddles (Riddler's Pass).  

Plot Spoilers Ahead: They succeed in rescuing Parvel, who challenges the idea violence will solve their problems.  Parvel's strong faith in God impresses Jesse, who soon finds himself trusting the still, small voice in his mind and looking for ways to solve their problems without violence. A massive cave-in at the mountain makes Captain Demetri think the children are dead. They are granted a temporary reprieve, and the book ends with the children walking along as they listen to Parvel tell the story of Creation.

What I Like:  The story is full of action, and the characters are well-rounded. All three children have reasons to hate the king or the Rebellion. Green clearly portrays their dilemmas between choosing violence or trusting in more peaceful ways.  Despite their dilemmas, the violence in the book is muted and not disturbing.

The riddles were clever, and Jesse is a likable character we want to succeed.

The cover is appealing, picturing a maze and leaf emblem, with rich golds, browns and blues.

What I Dislike:  I often feel confused when jumping into the second book of a series.  I wish I knew more about Captain Demetri, as well as the reason Jesse has joined forces with Rae and Silas.  I would guess these questions are answered in Book One.

Also, some of the elements of the book were reminiscent of popular mainstream series, such as having the land divided into Districts with certain natural assets and the government setting out to kill youth without being detected.

Overall Rating:  Good

Age Appeal:  9 and up

Publisher Info: Warner Press, 2011; ISBN: 978-1-59317-433-0; Paperback, 172 pages, $7.99

Buy it Now at for $6.29
OR Buy it at for $7.99.

Special Note:  Read Lori's review of Book One here!

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