Category Archives: Reviews

Return to Lan Darr Review #5

5stars FIVE STARS!

We recently reviewed book one in the Heroes of Distant Planets series by Anderson Atlas, so it was a pleasure to read a preview copy of the second book in the series. While too many action/adventure titles aimed at middle grade and “younger” young adult audiences seem to focus on the “movie-worthy” adventure–meaning the Hollywood-esque action series, as if the author wrote it with a movie franchise in mind–it’s refreshing to read a series that actually works in the crucial world building that so many fantasy fans crave.

Both of Atlas’ books have relied heavily on the type of characterizations that made books like A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, and even the Harry Potter series so popular with readers. The main characters not only travels to far off places, but he meets a widely varied cast of alien creatures in every new location. The creatures themselves not only have full enough physical descriptions to hold the readers’ interest, but they have their own backstory and struggles woven in.

Speaking of struggles, Return to Lan Darr opened with one of the most realistic and timely portrayals of modern-day teen problems that any book has presented in a long time. It’s particularly upsetting to read ridiculous or outdated portrayals of bullying, and the concept that a handicapped student (the main character was paralyzed in the car accident that killed his parents) is “untouchable” when it comes to bullying is horrifically inaccurate. School systems and administrators like to tell themselves that any student with special needs is somehow safe from that kind of thing–mostly because we like to tell ourselves that adults would never bully a handicapped person, so therefore kids would be kind enough to leave him alone–but as Atlas clearly demonstrates, it is simply not true. After Allan’s diary where he writes down his adventures on Lan Darr (from book one) is stolen and passed around the entire school via a Facebook-like social media site, he has more incentive than ever to try to get back to the planet and fight Jibbawk in order to save his new friends.


Return to Lan Darr Review #4

“lots of surprises in this book, ones that I didn’t see coming, and others that helped bring the story together. Beyond the shock, the adventure, and treks across the galaxy, there’s a budding romance that I found to be one of the best I’ve ever read.”

Read the Entire Review Below:

I have read a few books by this author so I’m familiar with his style of writing and I’ve come to enjoy it. My review may be biased here but I think anyone who picks up a copy of Atlas’s work will fall in love with this awesome and adventurous story.

I have to say I am somewhat envious of Atlas, its been a longstanding passion of mine to do something to help shine light on characters as unique as Allan. Atlas beat me to the punch. So the next best thing would be to give this book the review it deserves. Passion aside, Return to Lan Darr is just as good as Book I in this series, if not better. If you haven’t read the first book, it isn’t exactly necessary to grab a copy as Atlas does a wonderful job at keeping the audience updated on things but it is definitely worth a read and helps bring a bit more meaning to the rest of the story.

We have a very unique cast in this book. Allan is a paraplegic, which is interesting alone, but there are also talking animals, creatures, aliens, and a number of intriguing humans who play a part in this series. Allan is most definitely my favorite because he’s so strong, physically and mentally. I think it takes a lot of bravery to be confined to a wheelchair yet take the stand that Allan did and discover an entirely new world!

There are a lot of surprises in this book, ones that I didn’t see coming, and others that helped bring the story together. Beyond the shock, the adventure, and plain old treks across the galaxy, this Book II has a budding romance that I found to be one of the best romances I’ve ever read. I think it was a wise yet cautious step that Atlas took in developing a relationship between Allan and his love-interest. Everyone deserves to have love and to demonstrate that so well in this book is something I greatly appreciated.

Once again, the imagery and the detail were spot on in this book. I couldn’t have asked for more to see and envision as I read the pages of this novel. You don’t have to have a large imagination to see this story play out in your head, but Atlas makes it clear just how large his imagination is with the depth he includes in his dialogue and the deliberate detail he uses in is descriptions. I am definitely a fan of this author and I look forward to reading more in this series.

I would recommend this book to readers of all ages and interests. If you’re looking for a unique adventure, this is the book for you. You will not be disappointed in this series whatsoever!

Valicity Garris‘s review

Review #12 Surviving the Improbable Guest

“Author Anderson Atlas offers an inspirational message of hope, reminding readers that our greatest limitations are the ones which we cling to in our mind. Positively uplifting moments abound within this story in which a boy, who basically believed his life was over, travels to another world where he becomes a hero. Surviving the Improbable Quest is an exhilarating tale full of frightening and wondrous creatures.”  Literary Classics Book Reviews

This review is so great I feel inspired! I really hope that any kid in a wheelchair or with a disability will find this book and enjoy it. If you feel so inclined, click over to Literary Classics and thank them for the great review!