Red Death

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
422 Pages
Reviewed on 09/08/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Francine Zane for Readers' Favorite

Red Death by Jeff Altabef is a science fiction adventure set in a world where the Soulless are considered less than human by the citizens of Eden, mostly because they fear the Red Death that plagues those poor souls who inhabit this war-torn world. Aaliss is a Guardian of Eden, trained to protect her people from the Soulless. When her genius brother's life is threatened by the Priests who rule Eden, she escapes with him and a Soulless girl on an adventure that will either kill them or rid their world of the Red Death.

Jeff Altabef does an amazing job in creating a diversified world where good and evil populate every tribe. His mixture of scientific with magical elements provides a good balance of variety that will appeal to young adult book lovers everywhere. The characters who star in Altabef's Red Death are thoroughly memorable and decidedly relatable. The author provides a variety of villains to hate, and Viper in particular is downright creepy. The book is liberally dosed with breathtaking action and real-to-life relationships. Altabef kept his writing focused on plot development, with very little superfluous world building that wasn't directly related to the story.

As a reader, I was intrigued by the title and the cover, but it was the story development and the professional quality of the content that earned my respect. I highly recommend this book to anyone who believes the blending of genres can add a new and exciting element to an already great plot. I look forward to reading more from the creative mind of Jeff Altabef.

Arya Fomonyuy

Red Death by Jeff Altabef is an adventure that will be loved by readers of all ages – and perhaps of all times. And before offering the cast of characters, the author warns that “In a sweeping adventure like this one, set in a faraway time, you will find many new characters and places to love.” And what places! What characters! There is more for readers to love than the story line. The story starts with an unusual invitation to Aaliss to visit her brother’s lab. What awaits her there? In a place like Eden, threatened by a most deadly and sinister plague, even a well-trained and skilled Guardian like Aaliss has reason to shudder. But then there is good news; her younger brother, thirteen-year-old Wilky, has discovered the cure for the Red Death. Yet they are just about to learn that every blessing is a curse because the evil High Priest sends them into exile as traitors. The drama is just about to begin.

The reader will be drawn in by the story, but more so by the outstanding cast of characters. Characters like Aaliss are hard to go unnoticed, and she is my favorite character, the perfect symbol of a dilemma and the inner conflict great heroes go through when they have to make choices; she is torn between protecting a young brother she loves and returning to the land that is intrinsically linked to her destiny. The characters are well-developed, and the plot is fast-paced and riveting, with surprises stacked at every corner. Readers will love the fact that the story starts with intense action and the intensity only gets stronger as the plot moves on. Jeff Altabef creates a fantasy adventure that weaves together powerful themes like death and faith, love and devotion, and, of course, betrayal. This book will take you into lands you’d want to visit. A work of great imagination.

Christine Nguyen

In The Red Death by Jeff Altabef, Aaliss, a guardian of their world and province, is protective about her very unique and special brother, Wilky, who has a different way of thinking about the world. He cannot communicate too well with the outside world, but he can feel subtle shifts in the environment and he is gifted to an extreme degree that will aid them in their quest to help shed some light on their existence. Their world is full of rules about the outside world and The Word of the leaders seems to be ringing false. Everything they were taught to believe at a young age about The Zone and their world is shaping up to be something else. Aaliss and Wilky escape their world to discover for themselves what is reality and what is truth. Along the way, they encounter many interesting and engaging characters from worlds they were always warned about.

The Red Death by Jeff Altabef has myriad characters in the story line with unique viewpoints and perceptions. At first, when I read the prologue, I did get confused because of all the names and characters in the plot, but as I started to read, the author spun a tale that captivated me. I was not confused at all about the different story lines of the main characters - Aaliss, Piers, Eamon, Fintan, Viper, Wilky, P'mina, and Maeve. Jeff Altabef writes with compelling authority over his many characters. He creates full characters in the story with many viewpoints and perceptions that keep the viewer entertained and challenged. I enjoyed this splendid journey. I highly recommend this book to young adult readers and even mature audiences.