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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Lander's Choice (Stone Sovereigns Book 2) by Chris Wachter is a riveting young adult fantasy novel. If you like stories about people journeying into the center of the Earth but with a twist, this may be the book for you. You are about to enter The Core, which lies deeper than the liquified center and is a collection of huge, alluring, deadly caverns. This book has Stone Sovereign Lander forcibly escorting Aurelius Hunt and company into The Core by way of The Vortex, a vicious whirlwind of tornado proportions. But what he finds is surprisingly light and beautiful. But could its attractive veneer be a front for something more sinister? The Stone Sovereigns are the chosen ones of the politicians, not the Ungifted, who are basically slaves. This imbalance of power is not conducive to the peace that Lander's mother talked to him about. Can peace ever be a reality now?
I really like the internal, heroic struggle Lander has to endure, and Wachter pulls it off well, showing a conflicted protagonist wanting to be true to his mother's wishes, but return home to his friends in one piece. I also like how Wachter carries over some characters and family memories from the first book. The author has crafted an amazing plot--a science fiction fantasy/coming of age drama that begs to be filmed. It's really a simple story but told with layered conflicts and complex emotions--the best kind. You really feel for Lander, you're pulled into the world the author has built, and the stakes are high as he tries to maneuver himself and his friends out of the situations they're in. The descriptions are stimulating to the senses, the characters and dialogue full of life, and the idea of a Christian fantasy novel is fresh and compelling. Lander's Choice (Stone Sovereigns Book 2) by Chris Wachter leaps from the starting gate and doesn't let up.