Alexander Drake Blog Tour & Giveaway with Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows

alexander-tour

Today I’m reviewing the first two books in the Azra’s Pith Series. This is a middle grade fantasy series by Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows.

alexander 1

In Book 1, Alexander Drake’s Extraordinary Pursuit, we meet young Alexander Drake. He lives alone with his distant father and has recurring dreams of his mother who has passed away. When his father leaves on another trip, Alexander is sent to stay with his grandmother. In his father’s old room, Alexander discovers a box in the bottom drawer of the dresser. Inside is an odd-looking key and maps and pictures drawn on a tweed fabric. His curiosity gets the better of him, leading him into the forest near his grandmother’s home and on an adventure that will change his life.

Alexander 2

The second book, The Return of General Drake, picks up immediately where the first book left off. Alexander makes it to Verhonia, which angers the evil Imperius. His minion, Roman, prepares his murk army to attack the city. With the safety of the realm in jeopardy and Alexander under a spell that has placed him in grave danger, General John William Drake returns to Verhonia. Can evil be defeated or is all lost?

The premise of this series is a great one. A young boy without friends, who is feeling neglected by his only living parent, is sent away and ends up on a life-changing adventure. In Alexander Drake’s Extraordinary Pursuit, Alexander discovers many surprises about his destiny and his family. The book ends with a cliffhanger that leads into the next book.

By Book 2, Alexander is starting to put some of the pieces together. What he underestimates, however, is how far the evil Imperius is willing to go. With his plan to stop Alexander from reaching Verhonia a failure, Imperius wages war on the city and casts a spell over Alexander, sending him on a journey to Cantilonia. Though General Drake had vowed never to return to Verhonia, with Alexander in danger he has no choice.

What I feel Parkinson-Bellows does well in these books is create a series set primarily in a mythical land filled with quirky characters like Ferdinand, a talking frog and Cozmo, a cunning wolf. These are exciting adventure books filled with action that middle grade readers will devour. Where the books fell a bit short for me was in the stilted dialogue and lack of depth in character development. My feeling is that the focus on creating quirky characters might have led to how the dialogue didn’t flow well to me. The conversations didn’t seem natural. There are also places in both books where resolutions came too quickly for the characters, so there isn’t a digging into the characters’–primarily Alexander’s–emotions and thought process.

That said, both books were enjoyable light reads. Though, I don’t like it when a book ends in a cliffhanger that forces you to buy the next book in order to see how it all plays out, these are short and economically-priced stories, so it doesn’t prevent the reader from continuing.

Rating (for both): 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Alexander Drake’s Extraordinary Pursuit
File Size: 1169 KB
Print Length: 110 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing (June 6, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B0054RFVTY

The Return of General Drake
File Size: 269 KB
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing (April 25, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00CK12HEE

lizzie

Being the frizzy-haired tomboy with buck teeth gave me a slight case of shyness as a kid. A colorful imagination meant escape and adventure at the drop of a hat.

Over the years I learned that the insecurities I carried around were a waste of time. I still prefer a football game to a manicure any day of the week. That indispensable imagination has found its way into my writing providing a sense of joy and a true purpose.

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Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash (Ends 5/15/13)

Enter for your chance to win at http://www.iamareader.com/2013/02/alexander-drake-blog-tour.html

 

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One thought on “Alexander Drake Blog Tour & Giveaway with Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows

  1. Pingback: Alexander Drake Blog Tour

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