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Posted on August 28, 2012

A.E Howard's debut fantasy novel, FLIGHT OF BLUE, holds wonder, peril and darn good character names. The lovely cover drew me in and the adventure inside has me clamoring for more. Kai and Ellie are wonderful protagonist and I find I want to know more about Serina and her magical messenger organization. Throw in such inventive creatures as Name Monsters and wraithlings and you have a yarn I want to devour.

The author establishes a wonderful sense of place and history with her setting. She gives enough fantastic elements and sprinkles in just the right dollop of juicy lore for the reader to feel satisfied, while leaving you craving more of the expansive world she has created. Pacing is solid and I found Kai's narrative voice to be likeable and just right.

Many other reviewers mentioned Reginald the possum, and I really liked him as well. So much so, I wanted to see more of him in the book. Hopefully, book two will give him a larger role as he is a memorable character. And this is from someone who finds possums both creepy and cute, but really more creepy than anything else. To get me to enjoy Reginald is saying a lot. If A.E. Howard keeps this up, she'll write kindly snakes into her next book and have me rethinking my Indiana-Jones-sized dislike of said serpents.

Sebastian and Eben are wonderful companions for our heroes and they round out the cast with an endearing ragtag panache.

I found I wanted to know more of Shadrach's past, which is good as it promises to figure in greatly to Kai and his true role in this series. The magic has rhythm and logic and never feels false. It's also given weight and respect, something that is often missing from other fantasy novels.

Flight of Blue is a confident romp with loads of dastardly doing, creepy ne'er-do-wells and the element that always makes a book series memorable to me, heart.

While the stakes are grim, the book doesn't feel unapproachably intense and off-putting. It plays out its dangers with realism and a nod to adventure that doesn't have to deal in death tolls and grisly displays. Not that I don't enjoy books with those elements, I just always sit back and smile when I find a book that is all-ages and still has stakes that maintain suspense and interest.

I can't wait to read the next book in this fine series.


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