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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Aster The Spirit Talker: A Middle Grade Fantasy is a fantasy novel for children and preteens written by Allie Compeau. Aster was all sorts of excited and just a little bit scared about her family’s move to their forever home. Her dad was in the military, so she had grown up never being in one place for very long. This would be different. Her father had retired from the military and would be a commercial pilot, and the house they would be living in was theirs. When they arrived, Aster marvelled at the architecture of the new house -- it was so much like the fairytale cottages she envisioned while reading her books! Then she saw the backyard -- it was huge and filled with lush greenery and flowers. And, looking up, she saw geese honking overhead, and she was thrilled when her dad said that he had seen deer in the yard when he first saw the house. Going inside, Aster’s bedroom was perfect; the lavender tones of the walls and furnishings made her smile, and the view from the large picture window facing out on the backyard and the woodlands beyond it was mesmerizing. But Aster’s sparkling new world was soon to get even better and brighter.
Allie Compeau’s fantasy novel for children and preteens, Aster The Spirit Talker: A Middle Grade Fantasy, is a marvelous tale about a sheltered ten-year-old girl whose move to a new house is world-changing. I loved watching as the timid and insecure Aster grows into a strong and daring young heroine, one who learns that fear is normal, but acting in spite of your fear is bravery. Aster’s animal companions are a treat to get to know, and the work they do helping her prepare for her role in saving the planet makes for a grand story. Compeau’s plot is exciting and fast-paced with plenty of pitfalls and villains to make readers wonder if Aster will even survive, and her characters are credible and well developed. Allie Compeau’s animal-oriented epic fantasy for kids is well worth a read, no matter what your chronological age. Aster The Spirit Talker: A Middle Grade Fantasy is most highly recommended.