Journey to Nora
A. J. Fenical
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (01/14)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘Journey to Nora’ by A.J. Fenical on Blogcritics.
“Journey to Nora” by A. J. Fenical is an adventure to a different galaxy where Shawn and his friend Stewart find themselves right after the disappearance of Shawn’s father. Shawn and Stewart get to know his father’s secret life when they are recruited by a special team lead by General Stone to rescue Shawn’s father, who is possibly still alive and held prisoner in Nora. Shawn and Stewart begin to uncover almost immediately the mysterious work of Gr. Higgins, Shawn’s father as they get practically adopted as by the team. But the more they learn about their new family the stranger things get until Shawn is forced to confront the truth: who is his father and family?
I liked the concept of A. J. Fenical’s “Journey to Nora,” and I think it could be a great book, but unfortunately I do not believe that the writing style and craft is developed. Fenical created a wonderful plot as well as colorful characters that are fun and intriguing. However, he felt short with the narration and dialogue. The narration was flat and did too much telling and very little showing. The dialogue was not interesting and, although sometimes funny, more often than not it lacked purpose in moving the story forward. Being Fenical’s first novel, I am hoping he keeps working on his craft and comes back with a sequel. I do think the story deserves it. Also, the book is in need of a professional editor as there were many editing issues that took me out of the story. I think a good editor would have helped in flushing out the problems I mentioned before as well.
“Journey to Nora” by A. J. Fenical is a neat story filled with possibilities of good action as well as colorful and interesting characters. I enjoyed the storyline enough to ignore the editing and writing style issues, and am sure other readers will also enjoy this interplanetary adventure with a twist in the end.