Alane Adams is a first time author and philanthropist and her The Red Sun is first in a series called Legends of Orkney, published by Spark Press.
"SparkPress is an independent boutique publisher delivering high-quality, entertaining, and engaging content that enhances readers’ lives, with a special focus on female-driven work."
My library came to purchase this book because of personal contact with the author. She is an advocate of literacy and has agreed to present programs for us in Lexington. One of the exciting features of partnering with the author on this book is the related game BattleKasters. It is a virtual card game. Players download an app to their devices. Each time a player finds one of the game beacons (strategically located in various places around town) he can access a new card. Cards can be used to cast spells, defend, provide wisdom and other things needed for completing the adventure. I don't know what the goal actually is - we cannot play until we get the beacons and set them up this summer. Such a great idea.
The book itself is ok. It's a familiar storyline - a boy has lived to his adolescence without knowing that he is descended from a line of magical beings. In this case it's twelve year old Sam who is a descendant of Odin and a witch. Good and Evil wars within his mind and heart. Once the witches discover that he has been living in Midgard, they work to bring him back to Orkney and to his destiny as a witch. But Sam is also a Son of Odin and he knows that this is his true destiny. But the power of the evil witches is attractive and causes a war in Sam's mind.
Although some have called The Red Sun a Harry Potter type story, the front cover blurb calls this book a Percy-Jackson-meets-Norse-Mythology. That's a good description, for it's more similar to Percy than to Harry. The writing is fine, but nothing special. The characters are fairly wooden and typical. Still, this ends up being an exciting story and will interest kids.
My main objection is the two young female characters. They are pretty worthless and are often described as being saved or carried by one of the guys. The Legends of Orkney needs a little Hermione.