Journey to Everland Bay

The Everland Bay

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
230 Pages
Reviewed on 05/27/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

When part fairy-part dragon Jemma receives a summons for help at Everland Bay Institute due to an attack, she hops on her dragon Jing and joins the efforts to restore order in Journey to Everland Bay by Lynne Shaner. Jemma's grandmother, Annalyn, responds to rogue mages who are using advanced magical technology and toxic weapons, while Jemma, Keltie, and Jake gather allies and equipment to aid the Institute, hoping to neutralize toxins using fungal spores. Meanwhile, Jemma's father has secrets that will strain their already precarious relationship, and the legacy of his dragon ancestry is in serious question as well. Against the rogue mages, Jemma, injured and despairing, must rally her team and the help of botanical mages, but even then their last reserves of energy are unlikely to be enough to protect the Institute. The cost of the loss means Everland Bay Institute becomes a base for the criminal and radicalized in this first book of The Everland Bay series.

There is a huge amount of trust that a reader must put in an author when they pick up a new series. We must learn new names, new worlds, new magic systems, new races of fae, social structures, and, sometimes, even new languages. Thankfully, Lynne Shaner makes most of this relatively easy in Journey to Everland Bay, and Jemma is a character that you really want to root for. The story jumps off pretty quickly and while we do get quite a bit of backstory, the forward-moving pace makes the understanding of what has happened in the past, even just a few years, not contingent on understanding what is happening in the immediate moment. The best example of this is Jemma's father, who bears more responsibility than, as a father myself, I hoped was the case. I loved that there is a strong matriarchy, and they're not the ones who mess everything up. For younger readers, this is both encouraging and inspiring. A great plot and tight writing make this a series I am looking forward to more journeys with.