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11-21-2017

The Land of the Sourpie - 5 Star Reviews!

Reader's Favorite had five individuals review Flurry's second book, The Land of the Sourpie. It was unanimous! All five reviewers gave it 5 STARS! See what they had to say below, or click on the book image to go directly to the Readers' Favorite page.

~J.S. Skye




READERS' FAVORITE REVIEWS:

5 STAR REVIEW #1:

The Land of the Sourpie is the second book in the charming series about Flurry the bear by J.S. Skye. After reading book 1, I was glad to see book 2 was available for review. After three months with his new family in the human world (where Flurry was supposed to learn some humility and that he's not the center of the world), Flurry has the chance to visit home. He is also allowed to take his new friends with him. The little teddy bear is excited to see his real family again, but his excitement soon turns into something quite different. He finds out that he has a sister, is utterly upset, and thinks his parents have replaced him. His feelings are the beginning of a new adventure, and poor little Caboose, a polar bear (in teddy bear form!) gets involved. Fall, Flurry's sister, follows them, and suddenly the three find themselves in a less than pleasant adventure in the land of Sourpie: a land filled with sour looking cats with a foul character.

Flurry needs to learn to overcome his pride - which got everyone into trouble to begin with. I enjoyed reading the story and got through it in two sittings because it was hard to put the book aside. Determined kids might very well spend an afternoon and evening reading non-stop. The writing draws you in and is just the perfect level for young readers and older readers who need something a bit lighter for in between, because who really wants to be an adult all the time and only read difficult material? The author manages the fine balance of not writing in too simple a way nor writing in too complicated a way. While Flurry's adventure is anything but smooth, the reading experience certainly is.

There are also some very important lessons in the story that could have an impact on readers of all ages. We learn what happens when you are too self-centered, and that it is important to stand up and take responsibility for the mistakes you made. Flurry needs a while to get there, but showing his development is the point of the story. I feel that this series is very valuable for kids: they can grow up together with Flurry, have fun with his adventures, and learn a lot about life at the same time. And some adults could benefit from the lessons, too!


5 STAR REVIEW #2:

The Land of the Sourpie is the second book in J.S. Skye’s animal fantasy series for children and preteens, Flurry the Bear. Flurry loved living with Mommy and Daddy and his new friends, but he did miss his real mom and dad back in Ursus. So he was thrilled when he heard that he and his friends had been invited for a visit. Flurry couldn't wait to see his mom and dad again! They were excited as well and had prepared a big party to celebrate. When he got there, however, Flurry was stunned to learn that he had a new sister. He felt angry and betrayed, fearing that they had replaced him, and nothing his mom could say made it better. While everyone was enjoying the good food, Flurry and and polar bear friend, Caboose, sat glumly in his room. Then Flurry had an idea -- they'd visit his Uncle Vinegar. Little did the two friends realize the unlikely adventure that was waiting for them.

J.S. Skye’s fantasy novel for children and preteens, The Land of the Sourpie: Flurry the Bear, Book Two, is an enchanting adventure fantasy that entertains as it explores the debilitating effects of jealousy and sibling rivalry. Flurry learns the hard way that his sister is not his replacement and that she's actually pretty cool in a way as well. During their adventure, Caboose and Flurry meet wolf and cat clans who have their own territorial and sibling rivalries. While this book could be read on its own, don't do it. This series gathers steam as it progresses, and you won't want to miss out on any of the fun and excitement. Skye's plot is finely crafted, and his writing is both intelligent and accessible for children -- a rare feat indeed! The Land of the Sourpie: Flurry the Bear, Book Two is most highly recommended.


5 STAR REVIEW #3:

The Land of the Sourpie by J.S. Skye is the delightful second book in the Flurry the Bear children’s series. Flurry is excited to return home to visit his parents and Christopher Kringle in the land known to humans as the North Pole. After spending several months on Earth to try to learn humility, Flurry is allowed to come back and bring his new friends. Upon arriving home, however, Flurry is shocked to find out he has a sister, and jealousy overcomes him. He and his best friend, Caboose, try to visit Uncle Vinegar, but just like his name, he is a sour old bear and throws them out after Caboose knocks over a pile of maps.

Concerned about what her older brother may be up to, Fall follows Flurry and Caboose and tries to convince them to come back to the house. When a map of the land of the Sourpie is found stuck on Caboose, Flurry is convinced it is the place to go for a grand adventure and some wonderful food. Unfortunately, Flurry’s vanity and innocence make him and his companions pawns in the devious plans of Isangrim, the leader of the wolf pack. Left alone at the border of the land of the Sourpie, Flurry, Fall and Caboose find themselves among cats who are not happy to have visitors. King Sourpuss is convinced it is a trick by his brother, King Ja’gwar, to take over his land. With Fall and Caboose prisoners, Flurry has to convince King Ja’gwar to help. As if that’s not enough, no one is aware of the threat of the wolves who have plans of their own.

J.S. Skye has created another wonderful story full of action and valuable lessons for children of all ages in Flurry the Bear: The Land of the Sourpie. Flurry is a clever little bear cub, but he has a lot to learn about being a friend and big brother. He also needs to realize that not everything is what it seems or what he wants, but as he progresses through his adventures, these lessons unfold. The Flurry the Bear series by J.S. Skye is well written, attention-grabbing and full of fun and excitement that is perfect for children. The added bonus of learning some moral lessons also can’t be beat! Another great story with wonderful characters and lessons built in.


5 STAR REVIEW #4:

The Land of the Sourpie by J.S. Skye is the second book in the Flurry the Bear series. After three months away from home, Flurry gets a chance to return home and take his friends with him. His homecoming is nothing like he imagines. Once home, he meets his new little sister, Fall. Feeling replaced, Flurry talks his friend, Caboose, into running away to see his Uncle Vinegar, and the two discover a map to a mysterious place called Sourpie. Wanting to see a land of sour pies, Flurry talks Caboose and Fall into a dangerous adventure in a jungle where unsuspecting enemies lurk. When Fall and Caboose are taken by the cats of Agrio, it's up to Flurry to put aside his pride to save them.

Flurry and his friends have settled into their new life with their human mother, forming a family unit. They're very different from each other in backgrounds and culture, but they provide a balance to each other. Flurry is a bit dramatic and mischievous, but his friends balance him. The Land of the Sourpie focuses mainly on Flurry's relationships with Caboose and Fall. Many lessons are woven into the plot as Flurry deals with pride, jealousy, and anger, specifically when coping with a new sibling. His relationship with Fall is at the heart of the story as he feels replaced by her, and takes those feelings out on her.

As the journey progresses, Flurry bonds with Fall and the two find common ground. Caboose is adorable, looking up to Flurry and always following him around. He has an innocent and sweet personality, clever and full of curiosity. He's the one that starts the journey when his curiosity leads him to knocking over Uncle Vinegar's maps. J.S. Skye has created a world full of imagination that's magical and creative. The Land of the Sourpie is a dangerous and whimsical adventure with a world that you'll fall in love with as much as the characters.


5 STAR REVIEW #5:

The Land of the Sourpie is a beautifully written fantasy tale by J.S. Skye and book 2 in the Flurry the Bear series. Flurry had learnt many things since leaving the North Pole, his most favourite of all being the many varieties of food. He had been sent away from his family to learn humility. He had settled into his new home, made new friends, but when a letter from the North Pole came telling him he and his friends could visit, Flurry couldn't contain his excitement. Little did he know when he reached his homeland that there would be a surprise awaiting him, and it would lead him on an adventure he could never have imagined.

The Land of the Sourpie possesses a fairytale descriptive style that brings to life this charming tale for adult and child reader alike. J.S. Skye successfully portrays and addresses some major emotional issues that children may face and, under the guise of a fluffy teddy bear cub, teaches some important and valuable lessons. The reader is plunged straight into Flurry's world in an action packed adventure written in a level appropriate manner. As a parent, I often say my child has a lot of big emotions for such a little person, and to see this reflected in Flurry came as quite a surprise. This is what every children's book should strive to be; fun with morals and lessons presented in a way so that the child reading it doesn't notice they are there, and yet recognises their value. Flurry really does portray the very persona of a child, from his child-like naivety, to his perception and outlook. His adventure will be loved by children, and appreciated by adults.


11-20-2017

The Rising Tide - 5 Star Reviews!

I'm delighted to announce that, in addition to my Kirkus Review of this book, I also received five 5 STAR reviews from Readers' Favorite. You may receive a FREE copy of this book by joining the mailing list. The signup form is on the main page, my author page, or down below the reviews here in this post.

~J.S. Skye




READERS' FAVORITE REVIEWS:

5 STAR REVIEW #1:

Flurry the teddy bear cub had already been through so much, so he couldn't understand why his mom had been so angry when she found him watching a pirate movie. The adventure was PG13, but tame compared to what he had already experienced in the flesh. The fact that he did something called 'pirating' sounded cool, but his mom had explained why it wasn't. But he still didn't get it. He had developed a taste, an addiction, to adventure and even as he settled down to sleep his mind raced with thoughts of adventure, and how he wished he could experience the thrill again. It's well known you should be careful what you wish for, because when he awoke he was still within the comfort of his own bed, but his bedroom was lost - instead he and his plush bear brothers found themselves adrift in the ocean. An ancient evil is rising, led by the nefarious Black Bear'd, the pirate, and it falls to Flurry and his crew to save the day.

Having read The Land of the Sourpie, which is book 2 in the Flurry the Bear series, I was quite eager to see what misadventures our little teddy bear cub encountered this time. I have to say this series just keeps getting better. As much as I enjoyed the second book, book five, The Rising Tide, is my favourite to date. There's action, adventure, pirates, sorcerers, manipulation, epic sea battles, and dark forces all brought together in a rich and vibrant child friendly world - what is there not to like? J.S. Skye writes in a stylistic manner well-tuned to his target audience, whilst ensuring that any adult would also be drawn into the adventure. I honestly can't wait until my son is a little older because these are, without a doubt, going on his reading list. This is a world of imagination, adventure, and hidden lessons, and any parent should be proud to add this book to their child's library. I found the text size, chapter length, and line spacing ideal for younger readers.


5 STAR REVIEW #2:

The Rising Tide: Flurry the Bear, Book 5 is an action and adventure fantasy novel for children and preteens written by J.S. Skye. Flurry loved to watch pirate movies; he could smell the sea air and feel the deck moving under his feet even as he sat in mommy and daddy’s living room. He was watching a particularly intense duel between two pirate captains when suddenly the television clicked off. Flurry’s protest was silenced when he saw mommy’s irritated face. She had gotten the Fuzzies a movie suitable for children, but Flurry had already seen so much and lived through so much that he was beyond kids' movies. When mommy found out that he had downloaded it off the internet, she was disappointed that Flurry would think of stealing. Flurry was bored with being home, and missed the excitement of his adventures. When he went to bed that night, he wished for something really exciting to happen. He was shocked to discover the next morning that his bed was floating in the middle of an ocean.

J.S. Skye’s action and adventure fantasy novel for children and preteens, The Rising Tide: Flurry the Bear, Book 5, finds Flurry and the other Fuzzies drifting in their beds in the middle of the ocean, and things only get more exciting as the story unfolds. This story is a bit different than the others in that Flurry does not take center stage and must defer to others who are better equipped to deal with the problems that arise. That's especially hard for him when Drizzle, the class geek, turns out to be a gifted strategist. Flurry's biggest challenges are more internal -- learning to curb his impulsive nature and cooperating with others. Pirates are more fun in pretend scenarios than real life as he soon discovers. Flurry's convinced Jack Frost is behind the pirates’ plans, but he’s dead...or is he? Skye’s action scenes are thrilling and action-packed, and this story works quite well on a number of levels. The Rising Tide: Flurry the Bear, Book 5 is most highly recommended.


5 STAR REVIEW #3:

The Rising Tide by J.S. Skye is the fifth book in the Flurry the Bear series, a fantastic blend of fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure that will captivate the minds of young readers—and yours too if you love adventure and the prospect of danger. Flurry and his brothers have just woken up on the high tide, but before the cubs can figure out what is happening, they are already embroiled in a deadly mission. Reunited with the Protector, Chingu, they set out to locate Captain White Cloud and ultimately face the dreaded grizzly bear pirate, aka Black Bear’d. But things get far worse than they could have ever imagined because of an ancient evil that is growing in power, one that is rumored to have its own army now. There is only one way for Flurry and his friends to defeat the evil: they must work as a team, but how can this happen with all their differences?

This is a wonderful story, beautifully written in a language that will enchant any young reader. I enjoyed the POV and the voice that reflects the innocence of a young narrator. The pacing is definite and fast, the plot filled with twists that hit readers like strong waves they didn’t see coming. I enjoyed the intensity of action, the awesome combination of humor and suspense, elements that arrest the reader’s attention and keep them reading until the very last page. J.S. Skye is a brilliant writer and I loved the way he integrates the different elements into the story, making it balanced and deft, weaving strong themes like teamwork and adventure into the gripping plot. The Rising Tide is a delightful read indeed.


5 STAR REVIEW #4:

The Rising Tide is book 5 in the Flurry the Bear series by J.S. Skye, a fantastic adventure in the genre of children's fantasy and science fiction, a story that will also grab the attention of more mature readers. I must say that it delivers a lot of fun for fans of this genre. Meet Flurry and his brothers, cubs who suddenly find themselves awake on the roaring seas without knowing exactly how they got there. But they have no time to figure this out as they are thrust into the adventure of a lifetime, filled with unimaginable dangers. This time, they are reunited with the Protector Chingu. Can they find Captain White Cloud in time to launch a powerful assault on the dreaded grizzly bear, Pirate Black Bear’d? But there is much to overcome, including an ancient evil with its army.

In this beautiful, fast-paced, and gripping narrative, readers are transported to a great and exciting setting where they become witnesses to an action-filled, intensely emotional adventure involving bear cubs and other creatures. J.S. Skye’s writing style is unique and the narrative voice is strong and irresistible. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of plot, setting and characters. Readers quickly learn to care about the characters, even if they aren’t human, and readers will appreciate the lessons in team work and the fact that the differences the characters share can actually be a strong component of their strength. The Rising Tide is an enjoyable read, a story that will keep readers turning pages until the last one. Couldn’t put it down!


5 STAR REVIEW #5:

The Rising Tide: Flurry the Bear, Book 5 by J.S. Skye is the perfect novel for kids who love to read adventure and fantasy novels. Fast paced, entertaining and simply pleasurable, this novel follows the story of a teddy bear named Flurry who lives his adventures quite charmingly. The story begins when our hero, Flurry, is caught stealing a pirate movie and is scolded by his human mother. Sad and angry, he goes to sleep, only to wake up and find his bedroom gone. He is now on the ocean with his friends - Honja, Boaz, Noah and Caboose - on a floating bed, trying to get to shore.

Come ashore to an island where they encounter tigers that can talk, their old enemy, Drizzle, and an old friend, Chingu. Chingu is here to look for his brother who has been snatched by pirates led by Black Bear’d, the most feared grizzly bear. The rescue search leads them to being abducted and later looking for Captain White Cloud. There is a lot going on, too many forces against them, and while they are doing their best, they need to make sure that they stop Black Bear’d from building an army. Can Flurry and his friends stop the devastation from happening?

Interesting and entertaining, I loved reading this novel. I actually devoured it! Flurry is awesome and so are his friends. The story was well-developed, the characters were well-rounded and the plot was superb. I thoroughly enjoyed Flurry and his adventure, how he fought against evil and how he and his friends stuck together. This is one of the best children’s novels I have read this year and I cannot wait to read more from J.S. Skye.





11-15-2017

The Book of Snow - 5 Star Reviews!

I'm excited to announce that I received three editorial reviews for my fourth book, The Book of Snow. All three reviews were 5 STAR reviews! Take a look at what others thought below, and then go download a FREE copy of that book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, or wherever else you get your e-Books from. It's 100% FREE!

~J.S. Skye




READERS' FAVORITE REVIEWS:

5 STAR REVIEW #1:

The Book of Snow: Flurry the Bear, Book 4 is an epic fantasy novel for children and preteens written by J.S. Skye. Flurry was back safe and sound at home with his mommy and daddy in Middleasia, but the young teddy bear was tormented by nightmares. His mommy would come in to comfort him but she knew his mind and soul were troubled by the experiences he'd had. She had often wondered about those trials he'd survived and, thinking that speaking about them would help Flurry heal, struck a deal with him for tasty treats each time he unburdened himself of his past. Sadly, her efforts seemed to make little difference as the young cub continued to be obsessed with memories of his recent battle with the evil Jack Frost. Then Flurry remembered the book Christopher Kringle gave him. He pulled it out of its hiding place and began examining the ornately jeweled tome. As the other Fuzzies watched in amazement, Flurry and Honja, who was right by him, suddenly disappeared into the book. Whatever would they tell mommy?

J.S. Skye’s epic fantasy for children and preteens, The Book of Snow: Flurry the Bear, Book 4, adds the element of time travel to this amazing and profoundly good series. Flurry does seem to be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder when we first encounter him again in this book, but he's not about to get the rest and recovery time he so badly needs. This time, he and the timid rabbit, Honja, are swept into the past via a magical book. I couldn't help but notice how Skye's fictional universe keeps on expanding and in the most unexpected ways. In this novel, Flurry takes part in an epic battle against evil. I particularly loved reading about the city of Ronin and the warriors who make that their home, and watching the ongoing battle between them and the evil Jack Frost. The plot is superb, and the battle scenes are beautifully orchestrated. The Flurry series is morphing into a fully fledged epic fantasy with a white plush teddy bear improbably at the helm, and it works brilliantly. The Book of Snow: Flurry the Bear, Book 4 is most highly recommended.


5 STAR REVIEW #2:

The Book of Snow (Flurry the Bear Book 4) by J.S. Skye is part of a series of children’s adventure stories about a bear who lives with humans so he can learn humility and life lessons. After defeating the evil panda bear Jack Frost, Flurry returns home to his human parents and fellow stuffed animals, carrying a magical book. When Flurry and the cranky, inarticulate rabbit Honja are sucked into the book, they find themselves in the past. Jack Frost’s menacing reign of terror is in full swing. The outcast kick-butt Nikolas Kringle is a long way from being kindly old Santa. And if Flurry and Honja can’t rescue the majestic red panda warrior, Tomodachi, all the panda warriors will be wiped out and Jack Frost’s reign will be eternal.

A thoroughly enjoyable adventure tale. With a bumbling, self-centered protagonist who creates plenty of comedy in the midst of an epic adventure, and a well-structured, authentic Asian feel, The Book of Snow has a little of Kung Fu Panda and a lot of The Hobbit—an exciting story to be read for the sheer fun of it. J.S. Skye keeps the story running briskly and manages each character so they are developed in a minimal amount of time, but still have a strong emotional connection to the reader. I cheered for overconfident Flurry, even when he got on my nerves (which was often!), and sour little Honja, who could only speak his own language, was a great balance for him as they plowed through an action-packed ride. An excellent fantasy novel and a great story for young and old alike.


5 STAR REVIEW #3:

The Book of Snow by J.S. Skye is book 4 in an ongoing series about a teddy bear cub named Flurry, who is alive and part of a group of plush toy animals that have been adopted by a human couple. Flurry the bear has all the innocence and precociousness one would expect from a child. He also has a knack for getting himself into troublesome situations as he allows his curiosity to get the better of him at times. He is drawn toward a magical book in this story that pulls him and his rabbit friend, Honja, into a magical land from thousands of years ago. There he meets talking raccoons, warrior pandas, and devious foxes. Flurry has a positive nature that seeks the good in everyone. This leads him to become the catalyst that encourages magical Kris Kringle and his red panda warriors to finally confront the dark forces of Jack Frost, who holds the land captive beneath his oppressive power.

This was my first experience with Flurry the bear, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The Book of Snow by J.S. Skye starts off as a cute story about talking plush toys who are having trouble playing together without arguing. But then everything changes when Flurry and Honja get whisked away into the magical realm of Kunteris. From that point on, it’s a story of good warriors versus bad warriors with our lovable main characters stuck in the middle. There is a certain intensity to the story that I didn’t expect in a tale that seems to be aimed at younger readers. The good characters are brave, fearless and full of honor. The bad characters are ruthless and evil. Parents beware, there are battle scenes in this story where characters die, although the deaths are mentioned briefly without any gore or blood.

I found the mix of cute and cuddly animals with the epic battle between good and evil to be a lot of fun. The target audience of this book seems to be boys age 5 to 10, depending on the parent’s comfort level with all of the storybook violence that is included. To me, it felt like a Lord of the Rings kind of story with its main character being a teddy bear rather than a hobbit. For parents who would like to read that type of story to their kids at bedtime, Flurry the bear is a fresh and exciting character who will most likely stir their child’s imagination in a good way. There is also a strong enough plot and characters who are likable enough that most parents will find themselves enjoying the story just as much as their kids.


10-05-2017

My Second Kirkus Review!

I'm even more excited to announce that my sixth book in the Flurry the Bear series has gotten a professional editorial review by KIRKUS REVIEWS. Check out what they had to say about The Assassin's Pact. You may click on the image of the book to be taken directly to the review on Kirkus's website, or you may scroll down to read the review here.




KIRKUS REVIEW:

Skye (Churchianity Pandemic: The Blood, 2017, etc.) pits Flurry the bear against cat assassins in the latest installment of his children’s fantasy series.

Following their battle with Black Bear’d and his pirates, the walking, talking teddy bear Flurry and his fuzzy sidekicks have traveled through the animal kingdoms for two months, adventuring with old friends and winning admiration from the critters that they’ve helped. When Flurry tries to finally head for home, however, he and his friends are attacked by the cat assassins of Queen Necatual and the wolves of Furry’s old enemy, Isangrim. With the help of his pal Vallidore the wolf and the cat warrior Purratus, Flurry and his companions escape and travel to the safe cat city of Tikalico. There, under the guidance of allies old and new, they plan to strike at the true enemies behind the recent chaos. Furry learns that Necatual is working with Theran, a sorcerer who Flurry recently tangled with in his battle against the pirates. What’s more, Theran holds information about the return of Flurry’s greatest enemy of all: Jack Frost. It’s cats and wolves versus cats and wolves in this battle, with Flurry—as always—right at the center. Skye’s prose is clean, and the story speeds along like others in the series. The author excels at shuffling old characters in and out while adding new ones, playing personalities off of each other in order to create tension within the group. This volume doesn’t work as a stand-alone; much of the plot revolves around previous events and establishing conflicts for future episodes. Even so, Flurry fans will enjoy the storylines’ progression.

A spirited, if business-heavy, addition to this bear-centric fantasy series.