A Quest, A Question and Answer session, and a contest!

July 26, 2008 at 5:03 am (Book Review, Contest) (, , , , , , )

I recently wrote to Kamilla Reid, author of The Questory of Root Karbunkulus, about reviewing her book, she responded quickly, and here is my review of her amazing new book:

Root Karbunkulus: An orphan taken in by unscrupulous aunts that decide to raise her as a way of gaining cheap labor. She doesn’t quite fit in with her town or her family, and feels like something important is missing in her life. It all changes with the ringing of a phone…

The Questory of Root Karbunkulus is a delight for all ages. It is an excellent work of youth fantasy. It reminds me of a type of Cinderella story if Cinderella had been written by someone who felt women should be strong and make their own way in the world.

Read along and embark on Root’s adventure as she explores a newfound home, DréAmm, and follow the first of at least 6 quests. Cheer her on when she is triumphant and be caught up with indignation when things don’t go well for her. She is a likeable character that anyone can identify with – unless you were lucky enough to never feel awkward and out of place as a teenager.

An epic quest for a prize with competing groups narrowing until only 2 teams remain…

As the story unfolds lessons are learned, legends are overturned, and new ones are made as these young heroes quest for the hidden treasures of DréAmm. The world is fun of fanciful, whimsical delights; there is a smile at every turn. You find yourself “rooting” for Root as she tries to acclimate to a new environment and finally find something much more valuable than the treasure they are hunting: friends, mentors and a place to belong.

This book would be excellent for use in the classroom, but I would caution that it should be read by advanced readers with good reading comprehension, unless there is an adult available to help the students puzzle out the meaning of the words. The prose is utterly charming, but some of the phrasing at the beginning had me needing to reread the occasional paragraph for clarity. Not much is explained in advance, this is no omniscient narrator, you learn things as Root learns them herself, giving you a good idea as to her excitement, curiosity and confusion. This book would make an excellent read out loud book to engage students in reading and figuring out the meanings of new words.

I give this book Two Thumbs up, and have been recommending it to all of my friends!

I am only left with one question: “When will the next one be published?!”

Check out the author’s award winning trailer at her website:


And now for my most excellent news:


The author, Kamilla Reid, will be visiting my blog on July 31st! Post your questions for her here, and on the 31st she will be visiting to answer them!


Kamilla has also generously donated some great items, such as an extra copy of her book to be given away here on the blog!


o Post a question for her in order to enter. Be sure to include your email addy

o Linking to this blog entry (and then posting a comment with your entry linking to my blog) will earn you two extra entries if posted by July 30th, and one extra entry after that.

o The person that posts the most insightful (in my opinion) question will also receive an extra entry for this contest.

o I will notify the winner by email on August 4th!


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July 26, 2008 at 5:02 am (Book Review) (, , , , , )

This Review is of the book Aberrations by Penelope Przekop

Abberations was a complete joy for me to read. Angel’s search for the security of love and that which she defines as mother-ness is heartbreaking as she both succeeds and fails to find what she is looking for. Having moved to Houston, this book feels like a slice of what that general part of the south must have been like in the 80’s, and some of it doesn’t feel so distant if you are involved in the GLBTQ rights movement.

Angel is a 22 year old graduate student that is trying to make it by with one parent, two jobs, three friends and a never ending list of questions. She is caught up in several difficult situations. The man she loves is married to someone else, her father is about to remarry a woman that is determined to turn her life upside down, and she is seeking out something, anything, that feels like being mothered. She finally finds a mother of a sort, though it wasn’t anything like she thought it would be, and discovers the sense of mother-ness in a way that she never expected to find it. There is just one more problem, she is struggling to live a semblance of a normal life while struggling with narcolepsy before there were medicines to make managing it much easier. Finally deciding to find relief from her disability through recreational pharmaceuticals and date someone without telling them about the narcolepsy, she finds out that you can’t outrun a problem that lives inside your own body…

The interactions between the people in this novel are complex and as the story unfolds, you are caught up with this motley cast of characters as they navigate their lives through and around and despite each person’s aberration. No one seems to be quite functional, but they all manage to make it work somehow.

Penelope’s description of life as a narcoleptic is hauntingly accurate if you happen to suffer from it the way I did. Before being diagnosed, it could be maddening to experience cataplexy – you think you are losing your mind as you lay there, able to see, to hear, to THINK and respond inside your own head to the external stimuli around you. However not one muscle can move – you lay there helpless – on the floor at the store, school, your partner’s apartment. In those days it wasn’t something that you could easily hide if you had a moderate to severe case of it. Some narcoleptics are lucky – they only experience the EDS or excessive daytime sleepiness. I can sympathize with Angel – during the 80’s the treatments consisted of daytime stimulants, antidepressants that may or may not help cataplexy, and perhaps something to encourage sound sleep at night. These days narcoleptics can find much better medicine, but they function in ways that the medical experts don’t really understand. Let me tell you – being given highly regulated drugs and being told that they have no idea why they work is not the most comforting of experiences! If you want to find out more about narcolepsy check out the following websites:

Narcolepsy Network

Wiki on Narcolepsy

Like the book? Join Penelope Przekop’s fan site on Facebook at:


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