Artima's Travels - Part II

Ella (All about Artima's Travels)

Young Adult - Adventure
460 Pages
Reviewed on 12/06/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Artima's Travels - Part II: Ella is the second novel in the All about Artima's Travels series by E. A. Dustin. The story follows the 17-year-old Ella, an old soul very much like her mother Arty Ressols. Growing up with her mother by her side was good enough for her, but things turned upside down when she found out that her estranged father had passed away. Ella learned of a half-brother named Colton, and she wanted to meet him. Ella did what any headstrong teenager would do, and ran away to California to form a relationship with her brother. At first, the siblings connected, but Ella couldn’t help but wonder whether something was wrong with Colton. What she discovered would shock her to the core and make her question many things about her family. As she and Colton dig deeper, they realize their ancestors had a dark past and that may be the reason why Colton was different. What is it that they discover and how does it put Colton and Ella in danger?

A fast-paced, adrenaline-inducing, action-packed novel, Artima's Travels - Part II had me hooked from the beginning. At first, I dismissed Ella as your typical teenage character, ready to torment her mother just for the sake of it. As the story progressed, I realized how wrong I had been. Ella was far too smart for her own good. She was intelligent, and so was Colton. The combination of the siblings and their chemistry was outstanding. They handled the mystery of their family’s past with an intensity and ease that surprised me. Their development was so natural that I didn’t even realize it until I reached the crescendo of the story. E. A. Dustin did plenty of research to bring readers something new about WWII and how it impacted the lives of people stuck in the concentration camps. The narrative style is perfectly smooth and flows fluidly. This is a brilliant young adult novel that is free of unwanted romance, swords, and knights in shining armor!

Alex Ndirangu

Ella observes from a distance as her father's loved ones assemble around his open grave. She is consumed with regret for not having tried harder to get to know him when he was alive. On the few occasions that Ella inquired about her father, her mother brushed her aside and said that "he wasn't normal" and that they were better off without him. Now that Ella is fast approaching eighteen, she has begun searching for answers. While her mother is away on a business trip, Ella meets with her half-brother, Colton, and she learns about his unique abilities. He has a brain implant that allows him to relive the history of anything he touches and even commands electronic devices with a wink or raising a finger. This incredible technology is led by a Los Angeles agency where many of Colton's family members work. But many secrets cloud the agency's activities, and Colton's implant may be linked to a science project that was related to Nazi research during World War II. Colton had previously traveled to Los Angeles for medical check-ups, but he invites Ella to accompany him on this occasion. What family secrets will these two young minds unearth? Pick up a copy of E.A. Dustin's Artima's Travels - Part II: Ella (All about Artima's Travels) to find out.

This book maintained a moderate pace with a brilliant narration style and well-crafted dialogue. It was entertaining to read. The short paragraphs kept my eyes flying over the words. Learning more about the Nazi era was something I did not expect. E.A. Dustin's descriptive writing style transported me back to 1930s Germany. I felt sorry for the Germans who refused to support Nazi propaganda because of the suffering that they would endure. I adored the realistic touches that the author applied in this book. Colton's "unusual smartphone" sometimes malfunctioned, just like the electronic devices we use in real life. This was just one of the many scenarios that made the book's fictional premise feel plausible. The characters all actively participated in making the story lively. Readers who enjoy a blend of science and fantasy will love Artima's Travels - Part II.

Essien Asian

Ella's search for her father and his side of the family leads her to a funeral. It is here she meets her previously unknown brother, Colton, and the beginnings of a filial bond are forged. Colton will introduce her to the true story behind her father's origins in Nazi Germany which will give Ella cause to question the wisdom of her action. What Colton does not tell her is that the Steinmar family has nurtured a secret since the early days of the Second World War concerning their uncomfortable role in that unpalatable part of history. Ella must decide if being a part of this family is worth the risk she is taking in Artima's Travels Part II: Ella (All About Artima's Travels) by E.A. Dustin.

E.A. Dustin combines some creative science fiction writing with the legends of Nazi experimentation on test subjects to create an interesting time-traveling storyline for Artima's Travels Part II. He uses an immersive technique with his storytelling to bring the early days of the Third Reich to life in a vivid fashion. The characters have backstories that are thoroughly fleshed out and fluidly connected, leaving little room for misunderstanding the subplots which are key in a story that jumps as rapidly between timelines as this one. Ella's motivation in her determination to seek out her roots is so natural that I could not help identifying with her. The unraveling of the Steinmar family secret was the high point of the novel for me. This novel has a family-oriented theme which made it a worthwhile reading experience.

Vincent Dublado

Artima's Travels - Part II by E. A. Dustin is a fascinating tale that magnificently blends history with science fiction. Ella just learned that her grandfather was once a Nazi. She thinks of her history teacher’s words explaining that for much of the post-war period, thinking and teachings about WWII remained black and white. You were either on the side of the Allies, or you were evil. To be a collaborator was a label that dirtied and shamed those who had lived when others died, and all Germans at the time were considered evil Nazis. But her teacher had discussed many shades of grey, such as people trying just to survive and follow along out of fear, but the winner wrote the history, and those shades of grey were omitted. Ella hoped her grandfather fell into that grey area. But hoping isn’t enough, and her search for the truth will lead her to experimentation by a secret government agency.

The best compliment I can pay Artima’s Travels - Part II is that it becomes even more interesting as you get to know the characters because their lives are strongly connected to the storyline. In this tale of enhanced intelligence, family secrets, time, luck, and fate, E.A. Dustin delves deep into the psyche of his characters and the plot becomes promising. Its climactic act feels satisfying and you will want to find out what is in store for Ella next. Her family’s history is explained in a manner that makes you feel sympathetic enough to care to travel with Ella to uncover the truth. It doesn’t resort to having characters explain too much, because Dustin makes sure to let events unravel according to the characters’ actions. For anyone who loves a good marriage between science fiction and Nazi history, Artima’s Travels - Part II is worth checking out.

Foluso Falaye

Ella is determined to discover who she is. This is despite her mother Arty's evasiveness, which is most likely the result of her father's ties to the Nazis and undisclosed medical research. Regardless of this, Ella intends to meet her half-brother Colton to get to the bottom of everything, but she is utterly taken aback by what she finds. It seems that Colton has an implant that can scan gene expressions and compile all the inherited epigenetic information. Subsequently, secrets about a pivotal period in history continue to emerge, leaving the two half-siblings with even more questions. E. A. Dustin's Artima's Travels - Part II: Ella (All about Artima's Travels) combines sci-fi with historical fiction in a compelling tale that swings back and forth in time and builds on the thin line between some of history's most heinous atrocities against mankind and mind-blowing advances in science and technology.

Artima's Travels - Part II is jam-packed with intriguing scientific and idealistic themes, like premonitions, telekinesis, psychic skills, brain implants, and epigenetics that will delight sci-fi lovers and those who enjoy delving into enigmatic ideas. Dustin writes in a dualistic manner that both entertains and enlightens the reader about the depressing impact of war atrocities. Though the pace is somewhat relaxed, the mystery of unraveling the thrilling narrative of a man stuck in a perilous historical government and the scientific organization's guarded, but gradually unveiled plans for the protagonists had me entirely engrossed in the novel. E. A. Dustin's outstanding sequel exposes the brutal and distressing truth of war and the master race ideology in a tale that keeps you turning the pages to discover more. After reading the first two in the series, I'd be overjoyed to read the third book on Artima's Travels.

Delene Vrey

Artima’s Travels – Part II by E. A. Dustin follows Artima’s daughter, Ella, on her journey of learning more about her father’s side of the family. The only information she starts off with is that her mother has said that they are not normal, meaning Nazi descendants. Ella’s father has passed away but she has a half-brother, Colton, whom she approaches. He teaches her about their ancestors and the experiment of which he is a part. Seeking more answers, she accompanies Colton to LA where their Uncle Walter works at the family company, Reco. She expected Uncle Walter to be welcoming and open to sharing their family history. However, it seems as if Uncle Walter has a hidden agenda. What could he be hiding from her and will his reasons for keeping her in the dark ever come to light?

Dustin wrote Artima’s Travels – Part II in the engaging third person. The novel covers a variety of genres from fictional history to science fiction which all have their climax/origin in the Second World War. This young adult novel touches on matters such as the importance of family and the devastating effect secrets within a family can have, even generations later. The importance of communication with one another to avoid difficult situations and unnecessary trouble is addressed. Another important topic is that of knowing the complete history of a matter, to make an informed decision and ensure that the circumstances that caused terrible events do not repeat themselves. Dustin has written an engaging and thought-provoking novel bringing history and people's actions into the spotlight. None of our actions are isolated and always affect others, be it positive or negative. This novel shows us how what we once thought to be science fiction is slowly starting to become reality. Very well written!