General Jack and the Battle of the Five Kingdoms

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
320 Pages
Reviewed on 10/27/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

David Bush is a medical doctor specialized in haematology. He was born and raised in Malta.He emigrated to the UK but returned to his first home in 2003 where he still practices. He is the co-founder of a support group for patients with blood cancers. Apart from a medical book, he has published extensively in international medical journals.He is a reviewer for selected scientific journals.He is also a regular guest contributor to a popular political blog. Three reasons converge to explain his venturing into the realm of self-publishing. He gave up his private practice to spend more time with his young nephews who inspired him to attempt novel writing. He is a DIY enthusiast for any type of job. He also nurtures a lifelong love of literature.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In a dark kingdom ruled by a merciless leader, King Roar, and his fierce, bloodthirsty felines, the five animal kingdoms live in fear and battle to survive. In General Jack and the Battle of the Five Kingdoms by David Bush, when a young ten-year-old boy named Jack arrives from another land, he shows the animals that if they came together as one, they could easily defeat King Roar. Together, Jack and Miaow, the modest head of the cats, plan their deadly mission; to defeat the seemingly undefeatable. As the war against their enemy comes ever closer, can they truly unite the animal kingdom and bring about their freedom? Jack and Miaow realize that they have only one chance at victory and if they do not succeed they will be finished forever. But little do they realize that their friendship will last an eternity and change the animal kingdom completely.

On the surface, General Jack and the Battle of the Five Kingdoms by David Bush seems like an exciting adventure story and the friendship between a young boy and a timid tabby cat, but the plot is multi-layered and has so many life lessons entwined throughout. Jack, who becomes General Jack, teaches the animal kingdom that by coming together and using their unique talents, they are a force to be reckoned with. Anything can be achieved, even the seemingly impossible if you believe it to be so. The build-up to the battle scenes was amazing and filled with brilliant tension, especially when General Jack and King Roar come face to face. The friendship between Jack and Miaow was one of the finest relationships I have read in a long time and there are some quite heartbreaking scenes between them. The plot encompasses not only life lessons but also political and social topics too. The storyline reminded me a lot of Animal Farm. The author has created a most wonderful story with strong and realistic characters that you genuinely care about. The ending is spectacular and reminds us that life goes on and why it is important to leave your mark for future generations.

Terry Overton

This is one tale of many available stories about animals that take on human characteristics. Going beyond the simple emotions and plots of many children’s books using animals which show love, kindness, fear, and sadness, this book includes a broader range of emotions and actions, many which humans are not proud: power, domination, oppressors against the oppressed, greed, world domination, conflicts, injuries, emotional roller coaster, grief due to death of a loved one. The animals play out several current conflicts between mankind today. The animals take the reader on several adventures through the use of power struggles within and between the five animal kingdoms. And like we observe today in the Unites States, the animals even speak of becoming desensitized to things that previously evoked e stark reaction. Here is an example of a quote, spoken by animals, but reflects true human emotions and how our cultures can impact what we become desensitized to when tragic events happen too frequently:

“Like everyone else, I had become desensitized after seeing so many animals devoured until it affected my immediate family. Losing the two sisters I had grown up with had traumatized me.”

The animals plan their strategies, much like humans, using intelligence gathering, analysis of their observations, and conclusions about which particular animal groups were chummy with other groups and how this impacted the kingdoms. And, as if the content is not already jam packed, the author also uses humor at the kid (and adult) level. For example he does not pass up any opportunity to point out age-appropriate humor kids enjoy such as herbs that are bowel irritants that result in an animal discharging “her pungent and profuse dung all over the place.”

In summary, if you are looking for a book for a teen (and also for adults) who enjoy complex adventurous stories, full of emotions, exposing the good and bad sides of humanity, topped off with a dose of humor-this is a book for you (and your teen!).

Full Disclosure -there are graphic details which some parents and children might not stomach. All in all, most kids of the age group for which it is intended, would not object to these descriptions.

I recommend this book which easily earns 5 stars.