Excerpts From An Unknown Guidebook, Book 1: Phases of the Moon – Review
I enjoy reading new book series and entering different worlds. Of course, not every fictional universe ends up being worth my time, but I’m still all for giving new works a chance. Phases of the Moon is the first in the seven-part Excerpts From An Unknown Guidebook series by Josef Bastian. Yes, I know, a series with seven books is ambitious. However, having read the first installment, I wouldn’t mind seeing this series continue.
I was provided a free physical copy fo Phase of the Moon for review. The opinions are my own.
If you’re looking for something to read which is targeted at tweens and young adults, I recommend checking out Phases of the Moon by Josef Bastian. Our young protagonist is Aaron, who discovers he is to succeed his grandfather as a Folkteller. In the book’s Tellerian Universe, a Folkteller has to share stories that must be told to keep evil at a distance.
Folktellers also have Travelers and Guardians by their side. The Shadow People are beings bent on stealing powers from the tales by Folktellers because they can’t make their own.
Here’s the official synopsis:
There’s a story in the story
Like a wheel within the wheel
Through the world we see and feel.
There’s a tale within the fable
Like a gear within the gear
Marking time forever
Until the secret is revealed . . .
In every age, across time and space, there have been Folktellers. These are the select few who have been chosen to collect and share the stories that must be told.
Aaron is an average midwestern teen or so he thinks. When his grandfather disappears under strange circumstances, Aaron’s ordinary existence changes forever. He will soon discover a mysterious world where stories are powerful and dangerous, where deadly enemies and dark forces lurk just out of sight.
Accompanied by his friend Jake and an odd girl from another dimension, Aaron must save his grandfather from the gathering darkness, and the shadowy creatures that thrive within.
In time, Aaron will learn that whoever holds the story, wields the power, and that the choices he makes will change the destiny of the entire universe.
It is your typical YA fare with a lead who discovers he is special. He then embarks on a journey to master his powers and fight evil along with his companions, in this case, a boy named Jake and a girl from another dimension named Wendy.
I liked how the main characters were handled. Though Jake and Wendy end up in a relationship, she is still her own character with a personal arc. Furthermore, even with Aaron as the lead, both Jake and Wendy get stuff to do as well. Aaron is a likable lead and I look forward to seeing him grow.
Phases of the Moon touches on many universal themes including love, loss, feeling as if you’re not good enough, friendship, and responsibility. There’s also a lot of world-building going on, which (from what I can tell) will continue to expand as the series moves along.
Fantasy readers might not find anything spectacularly new in Phases of the Moon, but I do think they will enjoy Aaron’s adventure. The writing is fast-paced with a good dose of action, humor, myth, and character interactions.
Excerpts From An Unkown Guidebook, Book 1: Phases of the Moon will be available on August 15, 2018. You can go ahead and pre-order it.
You can follow author Josef Bastian on Twitter. He also has an official website.
Feel free to share your thoughts with us once you have read Phases of the Moon.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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