The 8th Island Trilogy includes Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. Over the three books, we follow the adventures of a quirky family, the Wellsleys. The main characters are frumpy senior citizen Archie, his daughter-in-law, Tessa, and his ill fourteen-year-old granddaughter Ella.
Archie, searching for his missing son, accidentally transports his family—and a cruise ship full of people—to a magical planet. There, they uncover the truth: all worlds are dying. Yet hope is not lost. A way to restore all that will soon be destroyed is revealed, along with the realization that Ella will play a role no one could have imagined—especially not her.
On the mysterious island of Jarr-Wya, many races of creatures battle for dominion and magic lurks around every corner. When the world falls dark, that is when bravery must shine the brightest, and the Wellsleys will reveal the strength they never knew they possessed—as well as the power of love to save the day.
“A Wrinkle in Time meets The Princess Bride.” – Review by Lee Lee Thompson, The Perpetual You Magazine
“Chute’s novel weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for booklovers of all ages.” – US Review of Books
“Fast and bizarre… Never a dull moment.” – Foreward Reviews
Disclosure: I received this book to review through iRead Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
When frumpy senior citizen Archie goes in search of his missing son in the Spanish Canary Islands, he stumbles upon a higher mission: locating a magical cure for his ailing fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Using a portal-jumping device called the Tillastrion, Archie and a stone-headed creature named Zeno are transported to Jarr-Wya, a magnificent yet terrifying island in a connected realm―along with Ella and her strong-willed mother, Tessa, who accidentally stow away on this not-so-secret quest.
What they find on Jarr-Wya is an island tortured by a wicked Star anchored in the sea, and a raging three-way battle for dominion between the stone-wielding Bangols, the fiery Olearons, and the evil Millia sands. Ella’s wit and resourcefulness emerge in this new world, while Tessa is forced to confront her long-buried secrets and a confusing new love triangle. When Ella is captured, Tessa and Archie―with the help of a company of peculiar allies―set out to save her and unravel the terrible mystery of her cure. A mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night adventure of three unlikely heroes, Above the Star reminds us that even the smallest act of bravery can transform our lives and the fates of the worlds around us.
Y’all, I must be getting old because this book was rated PG and I have to tell you, I felt some of it was more PG-13, teetering on R.
Note: Nothing I am about to mention had any impact on my opinion of the book. The below is just my opinion. Think of it as a forewarning. You can make your own decision.
This is a young adult book, geared towards ages 13 to 17, but again; I felt like this would be better suited for the older “young” adults (more like 17+). But, that could just be me and my getting old and my being a parent.
I have to admit, some of the scenes, while not detailed, were… gruesome. And maybe that is just my great imagination, but it was definitely cringe-worthy.
Additionally, I felt there was a lot of “on edge” suspense… almost fear.
Now, this it not to say any of this is bad. I am not saying that at all. I am just giving a warning. My thoughts. You can make your own decision. And I promise you, none of the above stopped me from reading it! I can look past gore (fortunately, it’s my imagination and not physically in front of me) and a good book has suspense. Nothing stated above had any effect on my opinion of the book.
With that out of the way…
This story was something else! Different worlds, creatures, monsters… full on fantasy!
But it also has family, love, and loss. Real emotion. Betrayal, heroics, adventure.
I don’t want to share too much because I feel like the summary of the story really does describe it best without giving away any spoilers. As book one, I feel like we are getting a feel of our characters; a little bit of history and background; as well as a foretelling of what is yet to come.
The story held a lot of information, action, suspense, and adventure!
I can definitely see me allowing my 14 year old to read this… not sure I’m ready for my 12 year old to read it, but we will see what his sister says once she finishes it!
I definitely look forward to the next two installments!
About the Author
Alexis Marie Chute is an award-winning author, artist, photographer, art curator, filmmaker, and public speaker. She has received over 40 noteworthy distinctions for her visual and literary work. Her award-winning fantasy series The 8th Island Trilogy includes, Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. The series has been described as “A WRINKLE IN TIME meets THE PRINCESS BRIDE” by The Perpetual You magazine, and “Fast and bizarre… never a dull moment” by Forward Reviews. The 8th Island Trilogy “weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for blooklovers of all ages” – US Review of Books. Chute’s bestselling memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss, was a top Kirkus title of 2017 and received a plethora of other literary distinctions. The memoir was accompanied by the feature documentary of the same name, which has screened internationally for the last three years. Chute received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design from the University of Alberta, Canada, and studied at Media Design school in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated valedictorian with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, USA. Chute is a highly regarded public speaker. She has presented on art, writing, bereavement, and the healing capacities of creativity around the world. Contact the Author/Artist for bookings firstname.lastname@example.org When not in her art/photo studio or at her computer, Chute loves to spend quality time with her family, read fiction and non-fiction, watch reality TV, paddleboard, and canoe. She is not a winter person but lives in frosty Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her husband and their three living children.