The Best Moments In Reading Are When You Come Across Something- A Thought, A Feeling, A Way At Looking At Things- Which You Had Thought Special And Particular To You. And Now, Here It Is, Set Down By Someone Else, A Person You Have Never Met, Someone Who Is Even Long Dead. And It Is As If A Hand Has Come Out, And Taken Yours.

Alan Bennett

The History Boys

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Kingdom Of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

The Kingdom of OceanaTitle: The Kingdom Of Oceana
Author: Mitchell Charles
Publisher: Butterhorse Media
Publication Date: November 27th, 2015
Genre: YA/Adventure/
Length: 222 pages
Source: Publisher

Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki's spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE. 

One of the hardest things about writing, is creating a setting with enough detail to seem vivid and vibrant, but not too much as not to bore the reader. This book was a perfect balance and every single time something was described or a feature of something was explored you felt like there was a reason behind it. I have never been to Hawaii, yet the setting intrigued me and made me feel like I was in a place I have never actually been to. An author that manages to successfully convey something like this, is therefore a master in creating a good setting. What I thought was very clever, was how he used words from the language that the characters in the book used since it helped us understand the culture they were from.

I thought the idea of having a “guardian animal” was super cute, and made the overall aesthetic feel a lot more “customizable” if that makes sense. As for the main characters, I feel like a had a problem with how static they were. Yes, they were well written, however most of them remained the same throughout the book. Take Ailani’s older brother that is destined to be king as an example. While making the future king slightly evil is an interesting writer’s choice, I feel like Nahoa didn’t really evolve at all. He remained the spoiled brat and it was clear he was not meant to be king. I don’t feel like that’s even a spoiler alert since it’s so obvious due to the fact that The Kingdom of Oceana is kind of like a Disney movie. Actually as a fact, it’s quite similar to Disney’s new movie Moana. Except of course, the main character is male. The island is also quite literally the definition of “exotic”, which makes the story a lot more fun.

3.5 Stars, the book didn’t get the full set of points because of not enough character development, as well as not static enough characters. Points for the setting and immersion into the story.

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