Jayden Blue and The Sword in his Shadow

A World So Close Book 1

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
142 Pages
Reviewed on 08/24/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Have you ever wondered if there are other worlds? Alternate realities? What if one of those worlds was calling you to enter, a world that only you and your best friend could see and experience? What if, after the return, you couldn’t remember anything, at least, not at first? Would you still believe it? That’s Jayden’s dilemma. But, first, he has a daily ritual of playing tag with his two cats, Hex and Halo. Every morning, Jayden tries to escape the house before they can catch him. He never succeeds, but it’s a fun game. Then, when he starts seeing strange horizons and a crow that appears to be leading him somewhere and his cats are also trying to tell him something, Jayden and his best friend, Raylene, follow the urge and enter a fascinating alternate reality. It’s a great escape from the troubles facing them in their own world. And, there’s a sword for Jayden, one that exists in his shadow.

Edward Allen Karr’s middle-grade novel, Jayden Blue and The Sword in His Shadow, is the first book in A World So Close series. This is a quick and easy read that will appeal to those slow, hesitant readers. With lots of dialogue to engage the reader, the plot develops quickly, beginning with the quirky tag game with the cats that opens the story to both fun and adventure. The characters are well developed and young readers will instantly relate to the everyday problems both Jayden and Raylene face at school, including the looming book report that’s due on Friday. A great read!

Astrid Iustulin

Jayden Blue and The Sword in his Shadow is the first book in a series by Edward Allen Karr. The protagonist is Jayden Blue (also known as Blue J), ​​a boy who, in the morning, before he meets his friend Raylene and goes to school, tries to avoid his two incredible cats, Hex and Halo. One morning, however, his attention turns to a bird. It flies off right away, and Jayden wonders where it went. Also, soon his cat Hex will show him that the wall in his room has something extraordinary. Could it be that there is a connection in all of this? Discover something incredible with Jayden and Raylene and live this beautiful adventure with them.

Jayden Blue and The Sword in his Shadow tells a story that will thrill young readers. It is a great pleasure to be in the company of two characters like Jayden and Raylene and to see how they spend their school days (which can be difficult, especially for Jayden) and their great adventure. I must also add that Karr characterizes Jayden's two cats, Hex and Halo, well. I love cats, and these two are adorable because they are both entertaining when you read about how Jayden tries to avoid them every morning. They play a pivotal role in the story, especially Hex. I recommend this book to all young readers who enjoy reading amazing adventures, and I hope to have the opportunity to read more about Jayden soon.

Laura Imaz

Jayden Blue and The Sword in his Shadow (A World So Close Book 1) by Edward Allen Karr tells the tale of Jayden, a seventh-grader who each morning tries to avoid his two cats, Hex and Halo, as he heads to school. He always rides the school bus with his best friend Raylene but one morning a weird event occurs. He follows a bird's flight path, and then it vanishes from view. No one seems to notice this odd occurrence and Jayden ends up being unable to talk about it. What might have occurred? While preparing an awkward English report and dealing with an uncomfortable situation at school, Jayden discovers a passageway to a world he could never have imagined. There, he'll encounter something unexpected that is exactly what he needs.

A bashful young boy tries to muster the strength to face his fears in the amusing tale Jayden Blue and The Sword in his Shadow. With its fluid writing and remarkable characters, Edward Allen Karr provides a genuinely valuable lesson to those willing to learn. Since it is a children's novel, the plot develops gradually, but this aids in the narrative's growth. Hex and Halo played an important role in the story and were Jayden's and Raylene's amusing and engaging friends, I fell in love with the cats each time they appeared. I think it's important to emphasize the significance of Raylene's support throughout the story. While Jayden was struggling because of what was occurring at school, Raylene was constantly there to reassure him that he wasn't alone and that she wasn't making fun of him. I found it admirable how thoroughly this book addressed bullying, which is a really serious issue.

Miche Arendse

Jayden Blue and The Sword in his Shadow by Edward Allen Karr is a tale about an ordinary boy named Jayden who simply wants to be able to sneak out of the house without his two cats Hex and Halo noticing. All is well in Jayden’s life until one day he notices something is a bit off, mainly that Hex had shown up out of nowhere two years ago. When Jayden finds a strange passageway that seems to lead to another world, he decides to explore it along with his friends. It is in this other world that he uncovers strange occurrences and finds something that might help him in the end.

Jayden Blue and The Sword in his Shadow by Edward Allen Karr is a fantastical story following a young boy and his adventure in a world that is almost dreamlike. No one that comes into contact with this other world or even goes there can remember it. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story as it really gave a sense of fantasy and mystery that stems from a childlike sense of wonder. The story was well written and posed such an interesting concept I couldn’t help but get lost in the plot while reading. That and my love for cats really made this book so enjoyable for me. The characters including Hex and Halo made this story fun in the most wholesome way. Karr did an amazing job and I would highly recommend Jayden Blue and The Sword in his Shadow to young readers.

Pikasho Deka

Jayden Blue and The Sword in His Shadow is the first book of the A World So Close series by Edward Allen Karr. Jayden Blue is about to start seventh grade with his best friend and next-door neighbor, Raylene Hawkins. Every morning before school, Jayden tries to sneak through the front door without being noticed by his cats, Hex and Halo, without much success. One day, while waiting for the school bus with Raylene, Jayden notices the world isn't the same anymore. To make matters worse, no one seems to talk about it. After discovering a mysterious wall in his bedroom, Jayden and Raylene find themselves in a magical world where Jayden acquires a shadow sword. But upon their return home, will they remember it?

Jayden Blue and The Sword in His Shadow is a promising start to the series. Author Edward Allen Karr spins a fascinating fantasy adventure yarn for middle-grade kids that will have them transported to a world full of magical swords, mysterious crows, and playful and clever cats. Karr takes his time to set up the plot and the characters. It's by the halfway point onward that the narrative finds its groove, and the plot shifts a gear or two. Jayden and Raylene are likable characters. Their friendship and camaraderie feel genuine, and it was probably one of my favorite aspects of the book. Overall, I recommend Jayden Blue and The Sword in His Shadow to preteens who love fantasy adventure tales.