Return to Aqualor

Adventures of Drew and Alexia Book 2

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
205 Pages
Reviewed on 07/02/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

Ever since Drew defeated Chasqua, the leader of the Lamera whose lust for power threatened to destroy Aqualor, the kingdom has known only peace, and Drew duly returned home to face his adolescent challenges. All of that looks to end as word has gotten out that the powerful tyrant has mysteriously escaped from his prison and plans to finish what he started. With war looming, the Mermaids who watch over Aqualor summon Drew once again to restore peace to the land and defeat Chasqua once and for all, but this may not be as simple as they believe because Chasqua has allies who share similar goals. Only time will tell if Drew can successfully live up to his reputation as the chosen one in Debra A. White's Return To Aqualor.

Debra A. White's second installment in the Adventures Of Drew And Alexia series maintains a tone consistent with her previous work. Return To Aqualor exhibits outstanding world-building in every facet, as evidenced by the meticulous descriptions of the various creatures and the remarkably vivid depictions of the legendary landscape. The author alludes to Drew's earlier adventures in Aqualor without giving away too much of the plot, making it easy for a new reader to follow the magical adventure. One noteworthy aspect of her storytelling style is the amount of effort that goes into defining the factions in the story and emphasizing their divisions, particularly within the Lamera camp. I adore how the character development evolves so that, despite having nearly identical backgrounds, the principal characters only differ in their decisions as they develop. This trait becomes most apparent when one closely examines the beginnings and trajectories of Drew's and Chasqua's evolution. White builds on a theme highlighting the power behind misinformation to create a riveting adventure that will appeal to fantasy and adventure enthusiasts.

Ruffina Oserio

Return to Aqualor, the sequel to Debra A. White’s novel Return to Isle of the Shallows, presents an adventure in the enchanting and dangerous world of Aqualor. This installment continues the saga of Drew Barret, a young boy with a fiery temper and a fierce determination to protect those he loves. The plot begins with Drew facing everyday struggles—starting a new school and trying to keep his temper in check—before he's thrust back into Aqualor by a mythical monster. Immediately, the stakes are raised as a crazy beast captures Drew, who is perceived as the long-awaited Paderion, the harbinger of peace destined to unite the fractured realms. The evil tyrant Chasqua has escaped from prison and is plotting his dark resurgence; Drew and Alexia, his younger sister, join forces with the noble Arvaks, the soaring Winged-Groshin, and the enigmatic Merfolk to defy his sinister ambitions.

Debra A. White has created an immersive fantasy world in Aqualor, filled with fascinating creatures and beings that will intrigue readers who enjoy mythical creations. The descriptions are terrific, and the author infuses the writing with tantalizing imagery. The bond between Drew and Alexia is wonderfully explored, and enriched by the camaraderie that they share. The writing is suspenseful, and readers will be keen to discover if Drew can bring harmony to Aqualor. The stellar characterization makes the story an engaging read. Drew’s journey is not just one of physical trials but also emotional and psychological battles. His struggle to control his temper and harness his inner strength for the greater good is compelling and relatable. Alexia emerges as a lovable character, adding depth and warmth to the sibling dynamic. Return to Aqualor is intriguing, deft, and balanced.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Return to Aqualor by Debra A. White is a young adult fantasy that follows the story of Drew Barret, a teenage boy who is adjusting to a new school after being suspended from his previous one. His life takes a dramatic turn when he is transported to a magical world called Aqualor and reunited with his friends and Nadya, his crush. With the help of his sister Alexia, Drew embarks on a journey to defeat the escaped tyrant Chasqua and restore peace to the realm. Along the way, he faces numerous challenges, gains new animal character-related skills, and discovers that he is the Paderion, the chosen one destined to bring hope, freedom, and unity to Aqualor. Will Drew and his friends be able to restore peace and prosperity to Aqualor, or will the forces of darkness prevail?

Return to Aqualor is the second installment of the Adventures of Drew and Alexia series and the thrilling sequel to Return to Isle of the Shallows. Drew and Alexia embark on a new adventure that is both action-packed and lesson-filled, testing their skills and values as they navigate the challenges that lie ahead. With multifaceted themes and complex characters, this novel delves deeper into the world of magic and mystery that readers will enjoy. The way the author explores the complexities of morality, character, and redemption through the heroes' and villains' arcs is truly masterful. The addition of Chasqua's backstory and the emotional depth it brings to his character is a great example of this. The ending is beautiful and satisfying, providing a sense of closure and resolution for the characters and the reader. I enjoyed reading this story and recommend it to anyone who loves adventure fantasy about friendship and transformation.

Liz Konkel

Return to Aqualor by Debra A. White is the second book in the Adventures of Drew and Alexia series. Drew is starting over after being suspended from his previous school for getting in trouble for fighting and now he gets a second chance somewhere new. All he wants is to keep his temper under control and find a way back to the world of Aqualor to see his friends again. His sister is the only one who knows about the beings called the Arvaks who longed for freedom and that he’s the one who saved them. He’d do anything to find a portal that could take him back. But he knows if he finds one, his sister won’t let him go alone. Meanwhile, in Aqualor, Chasqua has escaped and the only hope the Arvaks have to keep the tyrant from regaining control is if Drew can find his way back. As a new adventure unfolds, Drew and his sister will be faced with their toughest challenge yet and it’ll take all their strength to save the world again.

The story eases back into Drew’s life with him adjusting to being back in his ‘real’ life away from Aqualor. There’s a longing in the narrative tone of Drew’s desire and pull to return to Aqualor, seen through how he misses his friends and often reflects on the time he spent there. The relationship with his sister is one of the dynamics in the story as there’s genuine love and respect where they support each other and provide a nice calmness. Debra A. White captures something special with their relationship that gives the story a lot of heart. The two worlds are opposites of each other with Drew’s world grounded in reality while Aqualor's is filled with fantasy and adventure right from the start. The tone of Aqualor is more fearful and has a reminder of what Chasqua is capable of, creating suspense. The way White crafts the beings of Aqualor is lovely, such as describing a mermaid with age and wisdom as having ethereal beauty. Time spent in Aqualor focuses primarily on the Arvaks and the threat of Chasqua though we do see other elements like the mermaids that help further the world. Return to Aqualor is a lovely sequel with well-written characters, high stakes, and adventure.

K.C. Finn

Return to Aqualor is a work of fiction in the fantasy, adventure, and action genres, and is the second novel in the Adventures of Drew and Alexia series. It is aimed at young adult readers. Penned by author Debra A. White, this novel continues the thrilling saga of Drew Barret, whose fiery temper lands him in a fantastical world, held captive by a maniacal beast. As his family and friends journey into Aqualor to rescue him, Drew grapples with controlling his rage while aiding the inhabitants in their struggle for peace and freedom. White offers a truly captivating narrative that immerses the reader in a world of magic and danger, filled with heart-pounding adventure and profound themes of courage and sacrifice.

Author Debra A. White has a keen sense of imagination and atmosphere that is well-utilized to craft an exhilarating fantasy. I was impressed with the emotive details in the speech and thought so that we get to know our hero on the deepest possible level. Drew's journey of self-discovery is both poignant and inspiring as he confronts his inner demons while fighting for the greater good, and readers will find it easy to root for him as he grows and learns in every exciting challenge the plot brings him. The bond between Drew and his sister, Alexia, is the well-penned heart at the core of the story, showcasing the power of familial love and unity in the face of adversity with huge empathy and emotion. As the siblings navigate treacherous obstacles and confront formidable foes, the stakes are raised to dizzying heights with brilliant pacing and twists, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the thrilling conclusion. Overall, I would highly recommend Return to Aqualor as a mesmerizing tale of resilience, friendship, and the power of hope in the darkest of times.