Title: Emerald Illusion
Author: Jennifer Rodewald
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Publishing Date: October 25, 2018
About the Book:
Abrielle used to dream of a different life. Adventure. Romance. Hope.
Not of Kansas.
Now, after the loss of her mother and a move she didn’t want to make, she’s lost the will to dream anymore, let alone believe in her father’s Somedays.
But a swirling wind, a wall of leaves, and a blinding darkness literally transform her world.
She and both of her brothers, Brogan and Matteaus, are swept from Kansas to someplace beyond—to a desert in which everything is watery-brown, including the sky and the light of the weak sun. Abrielle finds herself in the middle of a realm everyone had heard of but no one believed existed. Except this version is rundown and broken, void of color and hope. Not much different from her view of life in Kansas.
When she gathers her bearings, she discovers her youngest brother is missing, lost in a land that is foreign and dying. Finding Matteaus becomes her sole focus, but when she and Brogan meet a boy named Levi, who only adds more mystery to this world that shouldn’t exist, she finds out this kingdom is much more perilous than the children’s book ever told.
Matteaus is in great danger.
There is nothing safe about Oz.
Wonderful! This is the perfect book to discuss and dissect as part of a book club, but it’s not as easy to talk about for a review. I feel that anything I share would give away pieces of the story-line that are best discovered as a reader as the story unfolds. If you are someone who likes to think metaphorically and allegorically as you read– this is the perfect find for you!
I am personally a deep thinker when I read. To be honest, I can’t help it. Especially when the story is less realistic, I find myself seeing if I can grasp the deeper meanings behind the events. Sometimes I’m met with disappointment when there isn’t, but sometimes I get even more out of it than I expected by only uncovering the truth one puzzle piece at a time. This was a story of the latter.
What’s great about this story is that by it taking place in Oz– a popular fictional place to the secular world–it can open the possibilities of sharing Christ with unsaved friends. The battle of good and evil is fought throughout the story in the hearts of the characters. Although they are walking through a fantastical realm, the personal thoughts they struggle with are relavant and relatable to all. Feeling insufficient, unworthy, battling over making the right decisions, etc are all met with scenes that force them to choose between light and darkness.
As I said above, there is so much I would love to talk about, but I don’t want to ruin anything for the reader. This is one of those stories you just have to read for yourself. Once read, there’s plenty to talk about and discuss to get more out of it. The characters are in their later teens to target the young adult readers, but the story remains relevant for adults as well. This would even be a great story for a parent to read with their teen child(ren). Absolutely well worth the read!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to give a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Age Appropriateness/Content Warnings:
*PLEASE NOTE: This section may contain mild spoilers but I do my best to reveal the difficult and/or triggering content without giving away the story
This is one of those stories that would actually be a great option for the advanced younger readers. There is only one instance in my mind to be aware of because it uses the word “seduce.” It is used in the context of one girl accusing another of seducing to get a guy to favor her. It doesn’t go into any further explanation of the word though. Romance itself is almost completely absent from the story. I would recommend this story to ages 12 and up but would consider it for younger readers if they are advanced and can grasp the deeper concepts.