Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Book Review: 'Heritage (Imagine Book 3)' by Jenna Greene
Canadian author Jenna Greene teaches middle school in Alberta, Canada and so it is rather natural that her books to date are for young adults – especially in the age group that Jenna teaches.
For readers new to both the author and especially to the Imagine Series it is helpful to recap the initial books before entering book 3. Jenna has summarized the books in an interview – ‘In IMAGINE we are introduced to teenage Kat Bowers and pre-teen Becky Thatcher as they are ripped from their earthly realm and transported to Oren. Abandoned almost immediately by the presence Enalie that brought them there, they have to survive on their own in strange territory, armed only with the information that they each have special skills that will help defeat a powerful warlord named Nandor. REALITY takes place several weeks after the final events of the first novel. Kat begins a self-imposed quest to find a way to send Becky back to earth, even though this means traveling to a remote, treacherous part of Oren and searching for a portal that may not exist. Characters introduced in the first book have their own journeys and struggles to overcome here, as they deal with an organization called the Coalition, which seeks to eradicate all magic from Oren. In HERITAGE as Becky tries to adjust to life back on Earth, in Oren, Prince Eston suffers under the deadly effects of broxide poisoning. While Cristox Savu joins with an unlikely friend as he attempts to save his people from extinction, Leda and Jamee, two of the three Naturals, those born with magic, struggle to defend the sanctuary of the Painter's Valley. And, even as they finally face the feelings they have for each other, Kat and Ino must evade the Coalition's clutches as they journey to discover what is affecting magic across Oren--before it is too late and magic, and an even deadlier enemy, destroys Oren and everyone Kat cares about.’
The contagious manner in which Jenna relates this strange fantasy is grounded in reality – a factor that makes the ‘other world’ and incredible creatures held in place She opens this 3rd book as follows: ‘“How do you feel, Becky?” Fiddling with her braided pigtails, she bumped her heel against the leg of the chair and shrugged. For weeks she’d been asked this question, by many different people. She hadn’t known the answer then, and she didn’t know it now. The man, a therapist of some sort, uncrossed his legs and leaned forward on his stool. Placing his folded hands on his bearded chin, he smiled. “A silly question, really. I apologize.” Keeping her gaze lowered, she raised her eyebrows. What was this one trying? “I’ll answer my own question. You’re feeling confused, angry, and sad. Tired of meetings like this, with your parents waiting expectantly outside the door.” He paused for a beat. “Am I close?” She didn’t answer. “Well, how about if I give you a break from the constant interrogation. Your parents don’t need to know exactly what went on between us here. Let’s just talk.” She met his gaze. Straightening, he grinned. “I see. Been delivered that line before.” He held his hands up, palms forward. “Just talk, I promise. We’ll find a harmless topic. Say… math. Let’s discuss math.” Her nose wrinkled. “No? Something else?” He stroked his beard. “Computer games?” She shook her head. “Literature perhaps?” Her heart skipped a beat. “Aha!” He clapped his hands. “I’ve caught your interest. Prepare yourself. I’m about to ask you a really hard question.” He squared his shoulders and wiggled on his perch. “What, milady, is your favorite book?”
The writing is solid and definitely directed toward the younger set, but that is yet another reason why the book works well. If authors can conjure books that attract youngsters to read, then we must bow to them in thanks. Reading Jenna Greene results in that old urge to sit on a park bench and just gaze and chat about all the possible variations of ‘world’ there are/can be! Grady Harp, November 18
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.