Monday, February 6, 2012

Sonora and the Eye of the Titans

Author Travis Hall
Genre Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages 299
Stand alone or series Sonora Series (estimated 5-part series)
My Average 8 pages a day
Reading Difficulty 
(on a scale of 1-5 5 = dictionary vernacular)

Sonora and the Eye of the Titans

Sixteen-year-old Allora lives an average life in small Sandy, Oregon until a prank during cheerleader tryouts causes her hands to burst into flames, and send out an energy signature. She soon discovers that she and a tightknit group of people in her community are refugees from a planet who's leader desires to rule Earth – again. Now, the quiet community is being turned upside down with the appearance of assassins sent to seek out the source of the energy signature. Allora and her friends know they must train their combat skills as well as learn to harness their hadrons if they want to survive, and even that may not be enough. Their only hope for survival is to find an ancient artifact left by the original Sonorians, the Eye of the Titans.  

"She [Milly] had sworn to protect the secrets of the Gateway, and knew the consequences of failing to do so. Forces in Sonora had no care for order an peace. They wanted this world for their own, and they would stop at nothing to conquer all. There was only one thing stopping their progression into Earth, and they were closer than ever to achieving their goal. Milly would give her life to stop them."

Hit The Mark:
Author Travis Hall has given this book such a creative storyline, and the different characters and folkloric aspects improved its sense of allure. 

  • I loved that Sasquatch and his “twin” the Indomitable Snowman are brought into the story as Guardians. The scenes with Sas are some of my favorite. His character was dead-on for what I imagined Sasquatch to be like – Curious and always testing his human knowledge. 
  • Stories that can entangle mythology into their plot (i.e. the Percy Jackson series and the Kate Daniels series) help ground fantasies. By adding ancient myths has a tendency of solidifying any fantasy. With fantasy’s, everything seems so unreal until you include history or mythology to give it a past, something the reader has in common. 

Hall does a great job leaving his readers wanting. Lucky for you [readers], there will be four more books in the series. 

Needs Improvement: 
Like everything else in this world, nothing's perfect. 

  • One of the biggest issues while reading this novel was that the characters robotic dialogue. Contractions were mostly absent throughout the novel. Periodically, I found myself replacing the proper language with contractions to make them sound more realistic. 
  • I also wished for more detail on characters and scenes, especially when the scenes involved something foreign to normal people. Allora was missing a solid description that stuck with the reader and I confused most of the creatures with each other because I didn’t really know what they looked like. 
    • I was curious throughout this novel if the author suffered the same issues that I do… lacking a sense of smell. Though it wasn’t completely lacking, there was a partial absence of scents in this novel. Personally, I think adding a little more descriptions (and bumping up the use of olfactory) will knock this novel to the next level. 

All in all, I enjoyed reading this novel. It was by far the best self-published book I have read to-date, and I imagine the plot-tingiling suspense will only intensify in the next four installments. 

Rating: B-

If you like Percy Jackson series, Frey, Damage, or Unearthly, you might also like this novel.

About the Author

An Oregon native, Travis Hall never dreamed he would become a writer... until he dreamt of a strange world with amazing creatures. That night, he put pen to paper, and thus began Sonora and the Eye of the Titans. Now living in Sun Valley, Idaho, Hall is currently working on the next installment of the Sonora Series, Sonora and the Scrolls of Alexandria
"The second book takes Allora, Dax, Tanner, and Katie to places like Mt. Olympus, Egyptian Pyramids, and Shangra-La in their search for the lost library of Alexandria. But its always taking the realistic approach within the narrative of the story."
When Hall isn't writing, he's watching movie trailers. 

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