Young Adult - Fantasy - General
228 Pages
Reviewed on 08/30/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

A dark adversary is eliminating Celestials, beings of light, and a teenage boy and girl fight to save their younger siblings from his clutches in the entertaining fantasy novel, Aphotic by D. R. Mattox. Frozen in place, Joan is horrified to witness a Scant, an emissary of Dark abduct her brother, Leo. Using her abilities to bend time and space, she warps to find the residence of the keepers of the quantum device that opens the tunnel to a refuge for Celestials. She arrives in time to see a man and a woman taken by the same Scant who took Leo. Before he subdues them, the Scant taunts them with the fact he is coming back to take their children, Ko and Aileen. Seconds before they disappear, the mother drops the device on the floor for Joan. When Ko and Aileen arrive, Joan whisks them out of the grasp of the Scant and warps them to another place. The three attempt to locate the sanctuary and work out a way to rescue Leo. Can they elude the Scant and rescue Leo? Or is it already too late to save him?

The fantasy novel Aphotic by D. R. Mattox is an original analogy featuring the birth of dark and the resulting conflict with light. Applying scientific aspects of astrophysics and quantum physics, like time warps, molecular displacement, quasars, nebulas, and the fascinating concept of a black hole sucking out all light, it is a gripping story with enthralling concepts. Skillfully written, the story has a sound plot, an intriguing story world, and well-rounded characters. It is an entertaining novel that will delight those between the ages of twelve to eighteen who enjoy science fiction stories mixed with fantasy where young adults and children with powers outsmart the villains, save the day, and are the heroes.

Rabia Tanveer

Aphotic by D R Mattox is a young adult fantasy novel that will be loved by readers from middle-grade students to people of all ages. The story follows the struggles of Ko and his sister Aileen as they try to make sense of the chaos around them. Ko and Aileen have a grand time at Stono Beach but that turns out to be a mess when their parents don’t come back to get them. It seems like something terrible has happened to a lot of people and Ko and Aileen are alone now. With the parents taken to the Aphotic by the Scant, they are all alone. What are Ko and Aileen are going to do?

If strong characters, an incredible plot, and a fast pace are something you enjoy in a good novel then you will love Aphotic. Ko is such a good big brother; he humors Aileen, keeps her safe, and allows her to be herself, even when things are scary. Ko has a sense of responsibility and he knows that he needs to take care of Aileen until they can get their parents back. The Scant is like an urban legend that you don’t want to believe in but it still lies at the back of your mind. Joan is a very well-developed character. I admit I didn’t understand her in the beginning, but as I read on, I understood her much better. Aphotic by D R Mattox is a wonderful story filled with adventure and a mystery that will keep readers hooked to the book.