Book I of the Almana Series

Young Adult - Fantasy - Urban
298 Pages
Reviewed on 05/31/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

With four fabulous children and two equally fabulous step-daughters, Julayn Adams has been likened to the little old lady who lives in a shoe, minus the old part, of course. She and her husband, along with their kids and the laziest cat in the world, Triscuit, reside in Melbourne, Australia after having moved from the United States. Julayn has enjoyed working in a variety of professions including sonography, preschool teaching, and professional princess (true story). Having now turned her passion for writing into a career, she enjoys her days reading and writing in the Australian sun. Julayn’s first published work is a picture book illustrated by her son, Gavin, entitled "My Brother’s Name is Masen": a true story about Gavin’s relationship with his autistic brother. Now, with books I and II of the Almana Series published, she looks forward to the release of Almana’s final chapter, "Insurgence", in late 2018.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Westmoreland for Readers' Favorite

Almana (Ali) is an angel, a heavenly servant of God, with a very special talent: Ali can see visions of the future. Recently, she has been burdened with two contrasting visions. In one, Earth and its humans prosper and recover from the terrible war that has been raging. In the other, all hope for humanity is lost. The only difference between the two visions is the life of a young human girl named Alexa. But when none of the Protector angels will agree to spend their days guarding Alexa, Ali takes it upon herself to request the duty. But the human world is a very different place than heaven, and Ali will quickly discover that there is a great difference between observing the dark side of humanity and experiencing it firsthand. Alone, isolated from the place that has been her home since before the dawn of time, Ali must learn to navigate the new human emotions she has begun to experience, all without losing sight of her mission. The fate of the human world depends on her, as does the fate of Heaven.

Almana is a pleasing and accomplished YA novel. The diverse cast of characters is incredibly well done, with fascinating backstories and well rounded personalities. The plot is gripping, throwing you right into the action from the first sentence without any unnecessary build up. The scenes are described well, and the descriptions flow through the story rather than being obtrusively placed within it. I highly recommend this novel, and look forward to reading the next installment in the series!

Grant Leishman

Almana, Book I of the Almana Series by Julayn Adams, is a dystopian, fantasy adventure. Set following World War III, humanity is struggling to survive in North America, especially on the West Coast and Los Angeles. The city is ruled by an evil overlord, Equis, who commands obedience through fear and terror. Scattered around the surrounding countryside are small enclaves of survivors who are determined to rebuild civilization and live happy and productive lives, despite the horrors that have been bequeathed them. The angel Almana has been sent into one of these enclaves. Heaven and the angels, it appears, have almost given up on humanity. They tried desperately to stop the conflict before it began, but man's evil nature won out in the end. Almana's specific task is to protect a young girl, Alexa, who is destined to be the one who will save the world and humanity. When Almana arrives in this tiny settlement, she meets and falls in love with Alexa's brother.

This story has a real feel of the old West about it, with good, upright citizens trying their best to live fruitful and productive lives, whilst surrounded by violence and terror. The story is full of the usual issues and petty jealousies that one would find in any small, self-sufficient community. I particularly liked the way the author was able to weave a real humanity into Almana's character, who is, of course, a supernatural being. The romance, I felt, was especially well done by author Julayn Adams. I enjoyed this story much more than I expected and as the first book in what is clearly to be a series, I must congratulate the author on hooking the reader to await the next episode of this captivating tale. If dystopian, young adult fantasy is your thing, I am confident you will love Almana. This is an excellent beginning to this new series and I'm very much looking forward to reading the continuation of the story in Visions, Book II of the Almana Series.

Lit Amri

In Almana (Book I of the Almana Series) by Julayn Adams, World War III has ravaged most parts of the world. The ruthless dictator Equis and his gang, Armageddon, are quickly gaining control over the majority of the U.S. population. The heavenly realm is giving up on humans and just waiting for the end. Yet, a Seer named Almana had a vision of a human girl, Alexa, and knows that she’s the hope for her kind. Despite not having any real experience with humans or their world, Almana, aka Ali, gains permission to go to the human realm and protect the girl. She won’t be able to come back until the world’s last day. Her encounter with Alexa happens as soon as she descends to earth and the inexperienced angel must do her best to ensure her mission succeeds.

This biblical, dystopian novel is wonderfully written and peopled with solidly realized characters. The plot is well-thought out and has a good pace, even though I was a bit surprised at how fast Ali and Alexa met. Surviving life through the perspective of an angel who’s out of her element, and her bond with her human family against the backdrop of a dying world is intriguing. Although I’m not much for YA romance, Adams deftly captures moments of needed happiness, friendship, and love, but ultimately, it is a story of saving both heaven and earth, as well as getting through the obstacles and loss to achieve that goal. This is a great start for the Almana series from Adams, and the solid ending will keep readers excited for the sequel.