I know I’m into a great book when between reading sessions my mind is swirling with thoughts of “What will happen next?” JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD is a thrilling, hard to put down fantasy adventure that will have wide appeal. I was lucky to read the story before its scheduled May 19th release.
The world building by author Donna Galanti is excellent and with every conflict you feel as if you are in Joshua’s shoes experiencing each new frightful turn. There’s barely time to breathe. You’ll be pushed forward by end of chapter cliff hangers and frequent action scenes. Told in first person, Joshua’s voice is spot on as he wrestles with who he is in two different worlds and what his future has in store for him. Bring on the sequel because I’ll be the first in line for another adventure.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015 PAGE COUNT: 278
FULL PLOT (From Amazon):
Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever. To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him. In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD by Donna Galanti
- The creatures are magical and frightening. Not only will you find them in the skies above, but be careful when crossing any creek. You may not make it to the other side.
- You are in the story with Joshua because the sense of sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste pull you in. A great lesson for those writers needing a boost with flat scenes. You’ll be inspired to add more perception to your own writing from the wonderful examples in this tale.
- The old line says “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but you can in this case. The cover here is a peek as to what lies ahead: action, adventure, and mystery. No false advertising there.
- The scary elements are handled perfectly for the MG audience including the scariest plot point of all: Children are kidnapped from Earth to be slaves in another world. Yikes.
- The inclusion of Greek gods in the storyline was a fun way to give meaning to this distant world.
FAVORITE LINES: The foxes jerked their heads up in unison, and it felt like spiders skittered up my spine. Red eyes glowed bright like lava and burned fiercely into mine, hungry for what I feared was me.
QUOTE FROM AUTHOR: (From Donna Galanti’s website) “But it was my son, Joshua, who inspired me to write and finish my first book about a boy who finds adventure in the mountain forest when he meets magical animals and they band together to fight a power-hungry fox who plots to rule the world. It’s hidden in a box in my closet, but I went on to write Joshua and the Lightning Road and can’t wait to share the first book in the series with you!”
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.