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11-15-2017

Readers' Favorite Editorial Review #1

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.

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.


08-03-2017

My First Kirkus Review!

I'm excited to announce that my fifth book in my Flurry the Bear series has gotten a professional editorial review by KIRKUS REVIEWS. See what they had to say about The Rising Tide. 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:

A courageous bear sails the high seas in this fifth installment of a children’s fantasy series.

Back at home after his latest exploits, Flurry, the live teddy bear, is annoyed when his human mother admonishes him for stealing a pirate movie. Flurry goes to bed, only to wake up to discover that his room has been replaced by the ocean. Flurry and his four plush friends—Noah, Boaz, Honja, and Caboose—pilot their floating bed to shore, where they find themselves on the outskirts of Tigris, a city inhabited by walking, talking tigers. They quickly run into Flurry’s old friend Chingu and old frenemy Drizzle, who are in Tigris looking for Chingu’s brother, Shinyuu, who has been seized by pirates. The group manages to locate Shinyuu, but only after being abducted. They learn they are being taken to the dreaded pirate king Black Bear’d. “He’s the most ruthless and evil pirate there ever was,” another prisoner informs them. “He’s as ferocious at sea as any other grizzly bear would be on land.” A new mission emerges: rescue the captured Capt. White Cloud and keep Black Bear’d from building a secret army, whose vile purposes are more than those of the average pirate. The biggest thing standing in their way is Black Bear’d’s powerful sorcerer, Theran—and, of course, Flurry’s penchant for letting his pride screw up the plans of his friends. Skye’s (Churchianity Pandemic, 2017, etc.) prose is direct and lively, conveying the excitement that Flurry feels through every step of the escapade. The book succeeds in evoking the unfettered imagination of youth: simple conflicts of good vs. evil, with plenty of cannons, sword fights, and swashbuckling. The author makes a minor nod to the trauma these recurring conflicts have on the protagonist—“Flurry’s parents managed to make an arrangement for him to get therapy over the phone, since it would not be possible to take a living, breathing teddy bear to the therapist’s office”—but in general this is adventure without consequence, experienced by a hero who is part animal, part toy, and part energetic boy who never wants to go to bed.

A rousing pirate tale and a welcome addition to the Flurry series.


01-02-2015

Facebook Messages

I was looking through some old messages and found these on Facebook. I thought they were worth posting. I enjoy getting feedback such as this.

~J.S. Skye