I recently got to read the sequel to Acea and the Animal Kingdom, which I review here. At least, I read a draft of the sequel. Through my mad connections, which I totally have you guys, author Kyle Shoop sent me an early draft to read and comment on. Because it was an early draft, the book that is eventually published will not be the same as I read it, and for that reason I don’t want to do a full review. I do, however, want to say a couple things about the book and the experience.
First, it’s really fun to get an early copy of something. Especially as a writer, looking at someone else’s work before it’s all polished and shiny is really interesting. I can’t wait to read the book in its final version to see what has changed. In addition to professional interest, it’s also just fun to have access to something most people don’t. It feels like being a kid again and joining a secret treehouse club.
Second, the book itself is immensely fun. It’s written for children, and that comes through in the writing. That is not say it’s bad writing, but simply that it’s not as nuanced or subtle or dense as say James Joyce. Think early Harry Potter style. Easy to read, and fun. You guys, so much fun. It was hard to stop reading. There are different views on art and on what constitutes good art. One thing many critics forget is that kids loved The Power Rangers, not because it was good but because it was fun. I’m not comparing the Acea books to the quality of The Power Rangers. God knows, they are so much better than the writing for that show. What I am saying, is that the strength of these books lies in just how imaginative and fun they are to read. For my money, that’s exactly what I want from a kids’ book.
Sorry, that’s veering dangerously close to actual review territory, but I hope you get the point. If you liked the first Acea book, you’ll love this one. Finally, I want to say thanks to Kyle for letting me read it, and trusting me enough to make suggestions and comments on it. One of the hardest things about writing is finding good people to criticize your work in the way you need it. I hope my suggestions helped, but even if they’re all rejected it was an honor just to be a part of Kyle’s writing process. Thanks Kyle.