Bewilderness

Book One

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
346 Pages
Reviewed on 11/24/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

When author Kevin Cox decided for fun to write a single chapter a few years back, he ended up writing another and another until finally a novel was born. He was hooked and has been writing ever since, feeling as if it were something he should have been doing his whole life.

Inspiration for Kevin’s writing comes from the world around him – while driving, showering, reading, or listening to a conversation. He enjoys listening to music while he writes, playing songs whose tempo aligns with what he is writing at that time.

Kevin believes that a good story is made up of great characters – ones with struggles and motivations and overcome obstacles in their path. He hopes that his young adult readers find, when reading his books, that we are all going through struggles that perhaps aren’t visible to all. He hopes his stories inspire his readers to reach out to someone experiencing challenges and to also open up to others who will listen to their own troubles.

Kevin lives in southwest Georgia in a small town called Leesburg. When he isn’t writing thought-provoking science fiction fantasy stories for young adults, he enjoys playing guitar, video games, and traveling. Bewilderness is his debut novel, the first in a series.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Amy Powers for Readers' Favorite

In the action-packed, fantasy world of Bewilderness, Kevin Cox brings us the first installment of a teenage girl who has just awakened in an unknown, endless desert. With no memory of who she is, where she came from, or how she got there, she's not sure whether or not to trust the whispers that attempt to guide her. In a moment of danger, she jumps into the water of an oasis, only to emerge in a completely different universe. She is given the name Ambrielle and taken in by the kind old Kavekkian who found her, much to the dismay of other locals who do not trust outsiders. Ambrielle soon finds herself in the middle of a dispute between the Kavekkians and their rivals, and she must find a way to help them reunite while she also searches for a way back home.

I love when genre lines are blurred, and Kevin Cox has managed to do just that. Bewilderness is a brilliant mixture of fantasy, science fiction, action, adventure, and thriller, with just a hint of innocent romance thrown in for good measure. I imagine that teen readers across the board will enjoy Bewilderness, regardless of which genre is most preferred. Ambrielle is well-portrayed as she develops and progresses through her adventure, and the assortment of characters she meets along the way is fresh and unique. I honestly didn't want the book to end, but the way the story wrapped up was absolutely one of the most satisfying endings I have ever read. While it works great as a standalone novel, I can't wait to read more of Ambrielle's adventures in the next book.

Liz Konkel

Bewilderness by Kevin Cox finds a girl with no memory embarking on an epic adventure to return home. All Ambrielle wants when she wakes up on a strange planet is to return home. Only one problem. She doesn't remember where that is. She has no memory of her life before waking. All she knows is that she's in a world without humans and that dark forces are lurking as the world awakens around her. Mysterious voices warn her to beware of the Hollow and a strange girl claims to have escaped the darkness. Ambrielle is soon drawn into the society of the Kavekkian who welcome her into their world until she breaks one of their rules by talking to a member of the Darterrans - their enemies. Her new friends banish her from the mountain and she relies on new allies to help her understand the dark forces that are drawing nearer. She'll do whatever it takes to return home and to avoid the Hollow in the process but it will require two sides to work together.

Even though she's alone, Kevin Cox sets up Ambrielle's sense of wonder and her natural curiosity. The planet comes to life the further she investigates her new surroundings which take her from dunes, rocks, and uneven terrain to the hopeful shift in environment and eventual meetings that change everything. She makes two significant encounters that draw her further into this world and the role she plays in saving it. As she spends time with her new friends, she learns more about her past and protecting the future of those around her. Her memories are scarce, except for a few fragmented certainties like knowing she got a necklace as a gift but not who it came from, but their presence hovers around her throughout her journey. A balance is struck between the planet coming to life and Ambrielle regaining her memories with each piece bringing her closer to the hero she needs to be to face the Hollow. She makes a variety of friends, including Maetha who gives her a warm welcome into her home, Gavian whom she risks everything to befriend, a metallic angel with metal tattoos, and the Whispers that give her warnings and serve as her guide. Bewilderness delivers an epic adventure that comes to life through the curiosity, wonder, and courage of a girl without a memory searching for her way home.

Pikasho Deka

Bewilderness: Book One is a young adult sci-fi adventure novel written by Kevin Cox. A lonely teenager wakes up in a desert oasis with no memories of her past and is soon shaken by the unknown surroundings with mysterious whispers in her head. After conversing with a friendly alien named Sidaire, who names her Ambrielle, she finds herself transported to another world with two clashing groups of aliens called Kavekkians and Darterrans. When the Kavekkians mistakenly suspect her to be a spy for the Darterrans, she is banished from their lands. Now Ambrielle arrives at Elyravess, a world inhabited by advanced humanoid robots who embrace her as the first arrival. Ambrielle must now return to Anatharia and try to make peace between the Kavekkians and the Darterrans. However, an insidious force threatens the fabric of the universe itself.

A sprawling young adult epic adventure novel that is bound to entertain fans of sci-fi, Bewilderness: Book One takes you on a journey through the cosmos filled with dangerous wild predators, clashing alien civilizations, advanced humanoid robots, and much more. Readers will find themselves hooked on Kevin Cox's awe-inspiring worldbuilding and absorbing storytelling that makes each page a breeze to go through. The characters have well-defined traits and personalities that are easy to latch on to. Ambrielle is a likable protagonist you can't help but care about. The book ends on an ambiguous cliffhanger that only makes you more eager to read the sequels. If you're up for an epic sci-fi adventure across multiple worlds, check out Bewilderness: Book One.

Samantha Gregory

Bewilderness by Kevin Cox follows the story of Ambrielle, a sixteen-year-old girl who awakens on an alien planet with no memory of who she is or how she got there. As she searches for answers, she meets some aliens who help her on her journey. They are facing conflict and monsters of their own. Ambrielle must help them as they have helped her, even though she knows she really belongs on Earth. She will however have to avoid The Hollow - if she can figure out what that is before it is too late. Her journey to find her way home begins and she will need all the help she can get.

Kevin Cox has written an entertaining tale with Bewilderness. There is definitely an element of Alice in Wonderland in the story, with Ambrielle lost in a strange world with strange creatures, searching for a way home. I love how the sci-fi storyline worked with this concept and I enjoyed reading about the different aliens. The story jumps straight into the action, with Ambrielle not knowing where she is, but she doesn't lie around; she gets up and starts searching. She is a determined character and one a reader can root for. The story is well written and moved at a good pace. It kept me reading to see if Ambrielle makes her way back home. I think this would appeal to young adult fantasy and science fiction fans, as well as action-adventure fans. I would definitely recommend it.

Vincent Dublado

Bewilderness (Book One) by Kevin Cox has an opening that you will find intriguing enough to start reading. Sixteen-year-old Ambrielle has been deprived of her memories and finds herself in a desert world. Her instincts tell her to pull it all together as she starts to investigate her immediate vicinity. During her exploration, she discovers a portal that gives her a fighting chance to find out who she is. The portal doesn’t take her home, but it gives her hope that someday it will help her find out who she really is. In the meantime, she enters different alien worlds where she blends in and forges friendships. At the same time, she needs to be careful of The Shadows, dark forces that are trying to return to Earth and are tempting to end her unhappiness if she would only join them.

One of the strengths of Bewilderness is its world-building. It truly convinces you of other worlds as the foreign landscapes breathe with life. Think of it as a cross between Narnia and Dune. Kevin Cox writes with the right shade of colors to create a fascinating setting that complements a solid plot. Ambrielle’s need to find out who she truly is reinforces character motivation and identity. She is only sixteen, ravaged by the confusion of not knowing where she is and why the entire universe has given her the overwhelming task of saving it from dark forces. It is an inviting sci-fi story written with a brilliant stroke of the imagination. There is a lot going for Ambrielle as a fragile but tough heroine in this thrilling story of meaning and survival.