Check out this book review and podcast provided by Wisebear Books in their inaugural Digital Book competition. I found out about this competition by email. It’s a great way to get exposure and these ladies Quinn and TJ are very professional and friendly.
IMHO, I think this review is good, and not bad for a book written by a 17-year-old!
Seeking his revenge on Neiko for exposing him, Francesco banishes Neiko into ancient Egypt just like he did her friends eleven years ago. During her stay there, she unravels the mystery of what happened to her four friends. Now she’s faced with a bigger problem—how to get home. After a series of unfortunate events, Neiko is now entangled with Pharaoh Ramesses II. Francesco also comes to make sure their fates are sealed. Can Neiko and her friends beat impossible odds and return to Hawote and back to the present?
About the Author: A.K. Taylor grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned about nature. She enjoys hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has
various collections. She also has interest in music, Native American history and heritage, Egyptian history, and the natural sciences. A.K. Taylor has been writing and drawing since the age of 16. A.K. Taylor has graduated from the University of Georgia with a biology degree, and she shares an interest in herpetology with her husband.
For more information about the author go to: http://www.backwoodsauthor.com
Escape From Ancient Egypt by A.K. Taylor is an ambitious book with some important messages, but also some structure challenges. It’s important to note we are evaluating Escape From Ancient Egypt as a stand alone novel despite it being the second book in
the Neiko Adventure Series as we have not read the series’ first installment. However, we have some basic knowledge of the first book as well as a cursory understanding of the its plot and characters.
The author attempts to bring readers up to speed in the first chapter as Neiko updates her personal journal—we read as she writes. This is a good idea in theory, but there is a level of complexity to the author’s fantasy which makes this background information difficult to fully comprehend in a few digital pages. This makes the novel’s beginning a little confusing as there are a lot of characters and plot lines to explain. It takes a few chapters for readers to get their bearings, but stick with it as it does get easier.
While this book is written for young teens and up, the subject matter at times is far too mature for its intended audience. There is also an imbalance between the youthful tone of the writing and the seriousness of the content. Readers observe Neiko experience a
range of emotions as she is transported back in time against her will to Egypt during thereign of Ramasses.
The novel’s villain, Francesco has schemed to remove Neiko from her position of power and authority within the hidden Hawote tribal community by secretly sending her to ancient Egypt using a magic crystal. When other leaders within the community discover where she is, Francesco is commanded to bring her back. He returns to ancient Egypt not to rescue Neiko and her warrior buddies Tito, Sito, Mactalon, Panthero, but to ensure her permanent place 3,000 years in the past as an Egyptian slave. He also aims to becomeRamasses advisor and confident. Francesco’s goal is to learn from the great Pharaoh and then return to his own time to gain control of the seven tribes and that can’t happen if Neiko is around.
Francesco’s plan seems to be going well—almost too well as Ramasses becomes obsessed with 21 year old Neiko. The Pharaoh is determined to not only marry Neiko, but appoints her to be his Great Wife ahead of Nefeteri and other unnamed wives. The great honor brings with it the threat of immediate death to her in the event of Ramasses own untimely passing. Apparently it was common in Egyptian culture for a great wife to be either buried alive or killed once her husband has gone the way of all the earth—a
sobering thought at any age.
To say that Neiko is resistant to all that is going on around her without her knowledge or consent is a gross understatement and yet many of her efforts to change her circumstances don’t seem logical and perhaps a bit immature and repetitive. Neiko is essentially being abused mentally and emotionally by her fictional captor husband whose primary goal in the context of this storyline is to make Neiko love him. This doesn’t seem to be appropriate subject matter for a young teen girl audience given the adult ages of Neiko and we assume the much older Ramasses.
While Neiko won’t give Ramasses the time of day despite their shot gun wedding of sorts, an odd union between she and Nefeteri develops. Neiko’s de facto sister wife is sympathetic toward her. The women are more comrades than rivals. This is a nice
surprise and effective as it would have been easier to pit the two women against each other, but then again our protagonist has enough on her plate with Ramasses.
The Escape From Ancient Egypt storyline is good conceptually with lots of action and we did find ourselves anxiously wanting to know how the author resolved Neiko’s dilemna. Taylor also does a nice job of drawing the reader into the fictional world of ancient Egypt
literally with her fantastic artwork interspersed throughout the novel.
Our recommendation for this book would be for an older teen audience. That said, there is a fair amount of slang and unorthodox dialog that is better suited for a middle school or elementary age audience, hence the structure and balance issues we referenced at the beginning of this review.
As a digital work, this book exceeds all primary requirements for a good reader experience. What’s great about digital publishing is the opportunity to resolve editing, dialog, and character issues for subsequent book release updates.
Neiko has tremendous potential as a literary role model for young girls as she can teach through her fictional examples how to take control of their own lives, but it has to be in context with the appropriate story for the right age group. In that respect, we look
forward to future installments of the Neiko Adventure Series.
This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our
honest, unbiased book reviews.
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