Fantasia Reviews Alora: The Wander-Jewel

Alora: The Wander-Jewel by Tamie Dearen
Published 2/13/2014
Ages 12+

Alora: The Wander-Jewel is a YA fantasy novel written by Tamie Dearen, and while this book marks Miss Dearen’s first foray into fantasy writing, she writes a book that is both ambitious in scope and fun to read.

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“Fifteen-year-old Alora has visions. Only while in the shower. And only of one stranger: a handsome boy with long brown hair, intense green eyes, and the oddest clothes. A boy who vanishes whenever she opens her eyes.
And then one day, he doesn’t…
Alora’s safe world is soon turned upside-down as she’s thrust into another realm where her soulmate waits, magic abounds, and unfathomable evil seeks to claim her.” – From Amazon

Story –fullstarfullstarfullstarfullstarhalfstar Very Good

Miss Dearen writes a tale of a girl and a boy, and though it is something that we feel like we have seen before, there are many elements that are fresh and new. She creates a developed and magical world that exists alongside our own and gives us many great moments and laughs while delivering a story of substance, full of memorable characters, though perhaps relying on the traditional fantasy tropes a bit too heavily at times.

“Alora fought the urge to beat on the tile wall. He’d disappeared again. Who was this boy she kept seeing?”

Style and Formatting –fullstarfullstarfullstarfullstarhalfstar Very Good

As we look for indie authors, we are always pleased to find a work that is well edited. Though there is the occasional missing punctuation, there are no more errors than you would expect from a big publisher with teams of editors, we applaud Miss Dearen for this amazing feat. The style is fast paced and keeps the action moving, but on occasion, it feels like it could be slowed down as we, just like Alora, are discovering this world for the first time.

“The expedition group headed north at a fair but steady pace, with the six young riders in the middle of the pack, on three horses.”

Literary Value –fullstarfullstarhalfstarAverage

Romance? Check. Young protagonist? Check. Handsome man-candy? Check. We realize that this may not tick many boxes for hardcore fantasy fans, but if you are looking for your first taste of the genre, this is a great place to start. It is not too bold with its world building or the themes it tackles, but it is a successful story none the less and one that leaves you craving more.

“Kaevin opened his eyes, shivering as he lay in the cold wet snow. he shook his head and blinked, trying to clear the fog from his pounding head. He felt a body next to him.”

Overall –fullstarfullstarfullstarfullstarhalfstar 4.5, Very Good

Miss Dearen has woven a story that grabs your attention and does not let you go until the very end. The characters are fun and authentic, and as original as genre considerations would allow. While not as adventurous as it could have been, it is a fantastic read and worth a look.
Despite the fact that a few of us were not the intended audience, we all enjoyed reading the book, which says a lot. Do we recommend this book? Absolutely! However, we do so with a caveat. If you are not a huge fan of YA, it may not tickle your fancy, you have been warned.

Alora: The Wander-Jewel is available on Amazon.

Miss Dearen’s Website

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