Journey Into Darkness

A Story in Four Parts

Young Adult - Action
556 Pages
Reviewed on 07/17/2016
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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, and began his teaching career.

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, participation in a local model railroad club, and time to guide his writings into a new life through publication. It also allows for traveling to Civil War events and presenting at various organizations and events about the boys who were part of that war.

    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.

Michelle Robertson

Journey Into Darkness is written by J. Arthur Moore. The book is a novel divided into four books, a device insisted upon by a young friend of the author because young readers do not like thick books, this particular book being 556 pages. This novel was created as an American Civil War: historical fiction story. The layout, design, and photographs are perfectly designed and placed in appropriate places to capture the words the story tells and visions the readers might have.

A mind blowing adventurous story of war, friendship, youth, soldiers, and death in the time of the American Civil war. One boy's experiences during the time of war from age 10 through 13 are told with the turn of each page. Experiencing sadness, grief, heartbreak, friendship, loneliness, value, worth, and pride, a boy journeys through one of the toughest times America has had to endure, in search of his father who had gone to war. He finds himself on both sides at times, Confederate and Union, not taking either side, just trying not to perish with so many others.

Journey Into Darkness is an incredible story of true events written in a way to allow for further understanding of the events that happened during this time period. Adding a few fictional characters but blending them with actual names and places recognized today as great historical people and landmarks, the book is truly worth the read. It is a long read, but worth every word. I enjoyed this story immensely. Civil war stories are not often told through the eyes of a young soldier, and there were many during that time. Having made the center focus of the book a youth during the war makes the story hit the minds and hearts of children in a more personal way, and in my opinion allows young readers to relate to the characters and understand the plot a little more easily.

Journey into Darkness by J. Arthur Moore is truly a magical, educational, and adventurous story all readers interested in the Civil war should read and enjoy.