Journey Into Darkness

A Story in Four Parts

Young Adult - Action
524 Pages
Reviewed on 07/17/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

J. Arthur Moore is an educator with over 41 years experience in public, private, and independent settings. He is also an amateur photographer and has illustrated his works with his own photographs. In addition to Blake’s Story, Revenge and Forgiveness, Mr. Moore has written a four-part Civil War historic fiction Journey into Darkness; “Heir to Balmawr”, a drama for his fifth grade students; a number of short pieces and short stories. His latest release, just prior to Blake’s Story, is an earlier novel titled Summer of Two Worlds, set in Montana Territory in the summer of 1882.
A graduate of Jenkintown High School, just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he attended West Chester State College, currently West Chester University. Upon graduation, he joined the Navy and was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, where he met his wife to be, a widow with four children. Once discharged from the service, he moved to Coatesville, Pennsylvania, began his teaching career, married and brought his new family to live in a 300-year-old farm house in which the children grew up and married, went their own ways, raised their families to become grandparents themselves.

Retiring after a 42-year career, Mr. Moore has moved to the farming country in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he plans to enjoy the generations of family, time with his model railroad, and time to guide his writings into a new life through publication. It also allows for the opportunity to participate in a local model railroad club as well as time for traveling to Civil War events and presenting at various organizations and events about the boys who were part of that war. He also shares the process of writing and readings from his work, and does book signings at a variety of locations.

Mr. Moore can be reached through the website for his books, with links to their Facebook page and Twitter, and which includes a blog page focusing on the stories of the boys who were part of the Civil War.

Of particular note, neither of the Civil War stories would have been written if it weren't for the requests of the boys representing the central character of each. Upon hearing Journey Into Darkness told one night on a camping trip, Charley French offered to represent the main character, Duane Kinkade, in the photography, if Moore would finish writing the story. Blake's Story was written specifically at the request of Bryson Brodzinski who asked the author, his great grandfather, if he would write a book he could be in and could help with -- he created the plot line and some of the opening material.

Another note, Duane's dog, Pounder, was not in the original manuscript of book 1, On the Eve of Conflict. The dog walked into the photo shoot and became part of several character photographs. As a result, the entire manuscript was rewritten to include Duane's dog, Pounder, as a central character in the story.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Journey Into Darkness by J. Arthur Moore is a well-crafted tale of a young man’s adventure in the Civil War. While his father is away fighting with the Confederate army, Duane Kinkade is left with no choice but to search for him after his mother is killed by raiders, a search that will immerse him in an adventure he never considered initially. He joins one camp, gets wounded, and rescued, finding himself on the other side of the war front. It’s a painful story of love and loss, of courage in the face of death, and the numerous vicissitudes of war.

The story features a cast of rock-solid and fully-fledged characters and readers will want to follow the protagonist through every step of his struggle, turning the pages to know what happens to him. From the moment his mother dies, readers ache to know if the young boy will find his father, but things do not always turn out as readers would want them to, and J. Arthur Moore prepares yet more twists and surprises. This novel features a perfect blend of the playfulness and alacrity of youth, the grim reality of war, and the art of surviving in difficult and dangerous situations.

Journey Into Darkness offers a refreshing look at the Civil War, combining fiction with historical facts to entertain readers while making a powerful statement that condemns war. The language is charming, mimicking the different accents and backgrounds, and one immediately gets a picture of the cultural and educational backgrounds of the characters. Listen, for instance, to this dialogue:

“Hey, Pounder!” the boy called.
“He sure has growd since I last saw him,” Jamie observed.
“We'll git off here, Ma,” Duane stated.

But then at times, it is lyrical, and poetic, like the rush of hastened feet of soldiers on the charge, rhythmic and nerve-wracking. Although Journey Into Darkness is a powerful chronicle of war from a boy’s point of view, it is an altogether enjoyable story, exquisitely entertaining, and utterly satisfying in its denouement.