The Clay Lion

The Clay Lion Series Volume 1

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
256 Pages
Reviewed on 04/14/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

"I spent my childhood writing journals about the boys I loved, especially the ones who never loved me back. I never imagined I'd be channeling those emotions into full-length novels later on in my life." - Amalie Jahn

Undeterred by fickle teenage boys, Amalie won her first literary award in seventh grade for a fictional short story about a girl struggling with accident-induced hearing loss. She's been writing ever since.

After briefly setting aside the creative writing of her youth to pursue a career in education, she found that creating lesson plans for her elementary school students cultivated a desire to write for young adults. However, it would be many years before her first full-length YA novel, The Clay Lion, written as a tribute to a pair of siblings who were close to her heart, would eventually be published.

The Clay Lion's Best-Selling March 2013 release was followed by the publication of Among the Shrouded in November of the same year, the first in a series of novels exploring real-world issues under the umbrella of paranormal suspense. Tin Men, the second time travel book in the Clay Lion series was released in July of 2014, and Amalie is currently working on the final installment of the series entitled A Straw Man, with publication anticipated for mid-2015.

Masterful character development and story lines woven with the common threads of human experience make Amalie's novels relatable to both young and old alike. Her ideas are born from the passions of her own heart which she uses to share her vision of the world with her readers.

When she's not at the computer coaxing characters into submission, you can find Amalie swimming laps, cycling, or running on the treadmill, probably training for her next triathlon. She hates pairing socks and loves avocados. Amalie lives in the United States with her husband, two children, and three extremely overfed cats.

She is also very happy time travel does not yet exist. You can find her right here in the present day at these social media sites:

Websites - www.amaliejahn.com and www.theclaylion.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AmalieJahn
Twitter - https://twitter.com/AmalieJahn

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is no easy task, but what if you could go back in time and alter the past in order to keep them around? Amalie Jahn poses that question in The Clay Lion. Brooke Wallace was devastated by the loss of her brother Brandon at such an early age to a pulmonary disease. She shut herself off from the rest of the world and decided that her life was not worth living without her brother by her side. Since time travel had been made possible, though highly regulated by the government, Brooke found hope in the possibility that she might travel back in time and alter the events that led to Brandon contracting the disease. After a great deal of study and some assistance from Brandon's pulmonary doctor, she was certain that she would be able to stop two events that were the most likely causes of his illness. Armed with the necessary knowledge to change the course of history and save her brother's life, Brooke returns to a time several weeks before the first possible cause, hoping that she can stop the disease from taking her brother's life. What she discovers is that altering the past can bring about a number of very negative consequences and set other people's lives out of order as well. She also discovers that the time that she had with her brother was even more precious than she had previously realized. Will she bring healing to her brother or healing to herself?

The Clay Lion by Amalie Jahn is a young adult masterpiece. The story and characters will grip you from the very beginning and hold you tightly until the very end. The profound truths present in this book are subtly woven into a tale of adventure mixed with love. Without giving away the story line, I can assure you that once you have been touched by this tale, your life will never be the same, and you will find new courage and a sense of peace. The Clay Lion is a must-read for anyone and everyone, but especially for those, young and old, who are coping with loss.

Jack Magnus

The Clay Lion is Volume 1 of Amalie Jahn's young adult science fiction series, The Clay Lion Series. It's set in the near future and involves the ability to time travel that had been developed and later curtailed sharply when it was found to have potentially devastating impacts on current timelines. Each citizen is allotted one trip when they are born; however, the vetting process to actually take that trip is complicated. Many don't ever bother to take the 6-month trip back into their past, but Brooke Wallace wants to. She's not gotten over the tragic and early death of her beloved younger brother, Branson, from pulmonary fibrosis. Brooke had watched the rapid decline and demise of her healthy, athletic brother with horror, and she's conducted her own research into what might have caused his illness. Together with Branson's doctor, she's pinpointed possible causes of his illness, and she's confident that she can rewrite his future if she travels back far enough.

Amalie Jahn's debut novel, The Clay Lion, presents an original and edgy view of time travel, and its potential to make things better. Brooke's deep depression after losing her brother lends an intense and almost frantic quality to her time travelling, so much so that her brother wonders what's wrong with the sister he knows almost as well as he does himself. I enjoyed the clever expansion of the time-honored conundrum about travelling back in time and stepping on a butterfly, and eagerly read on to see just what Brooke would be able to achieve. The Clay Lion is a unique and satisfying coming of age tale with a science fiction premise that works quite well. I'm looking forward to reading the next volume in this thought-provoking series.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Amalie Jahn composes a creative and compassionate story in The Clay Lion. Brooke Wallace falls into a deep depression after her younger brother, Branson, dies of pulmonary fibrosis. Motivated by her grief and loss, Brooke decides to use her time travel trip voucher to save her brother’s life. By returning to her past, Brooke believes she can prevent the cause of her brother’s fatal disease. She clings to the “miracle of second chances.” However, she must avoid changing too much of the past, every alteration threatens the future. Reliving the past becomes an obsession. How many trips to the past will it take to get over the loss of her brother? How many lives will be altered because of her desperation? Putting her own destiny on hold, Brooke displaces fear with bravery, and attempts to do the unthinkable - change her brother’s life. Brooke Wallace is “one special girl.”

The Clay Lion by Amalie Jahn is painfully heartwarming. This work of fiction portrays the love and commitment of family. The plot is thought provoking, the setting is enduring, the conflict is penetrating, and the characterization is extraordinary. Jahn walks the reader through the pain and grief of losing someone. She resourcefully uses the idea of time travel to change the past. As a reader, I was caught up with the challenge of the protagonist. All of us, at one time or the other, desire to go back and change an outcome, to partake in a “do over” in life. Or to retrace time, by reliving cherished precious moments. The development of the main character was vividly depicted through repeating the same portion of her life. Regardless of all her attempts, Brooke realizes the undeniable truth, “your life is bigger than you are” - you live the life that was made for you. Amalie Jahn pens a dramatic narrative about love and loss, of death and life, and hope and destiny.

Patricia Reding

Have you ever considered all you experience when you listen to a symphony? Your senses are engaged: the sight of the furious violinists; the feel of the pounding percussion instruments under at your feet; the sound— Well, the sound moves you. It puts your emotions in play. One moment, you may hang, waiting, anticipating, perhaps even feeling melancholy as the French horns sound out, or you may experience a bit of pain when the violinists “cry.” The next moment, you may feel intense longing. In listening, you might experience mercy granted—or joy restored. If you heard the parts individually, you might wonder where each intended to go. But when you experience them merged, in accord, you experience the “whole.” For me, a good story provides a similar experience.

When I read a work classified as YA, I look for those things that for me, make the work “sing.” I want a story that is engaging and memorable. I want heroes who are unique people (after all, aren’t we all?), but who don’t think themselves so very “special” that they expect the world revolves around them. I want them, even in their limited age and experience, able to exercise good judgment and to make good decisions or, when they do not, capable of identifying where they went wrong so as to avoid the same traps in the future. I want some semblance of wisdom to shine through. (These are, after all, works intended for the young.) With all that said, I am delighted to add that, in The Clay Lion, Amalie Jahn hit every single note—with perfect pitch and with inimitable timing.

Brooke and her brother, Branson, share a sincere love and friendship. They spend time together willingly and enjoy one another’s company. So when Branson, who is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, dies shortly thereafter, Brooke is devastated. She investigates the potential causes of his illness and then, as one might expect in a day when time travel is available, decides to go back in time. Her goal: to stop the events that brought his illness about in the first place. But as Brooke soon discovers, playing with time and events can have some devastating consequences. Some things are just meant to be. Indeed, the pain we experience in life teaches us about far more than merely suffering. In Brooke’s case, it teaches her (as the author herself might say) to “live in the present.”

Parents: get a copy of The Clay Lion for your young ones. Teachers: get one for your classrooms. Let the youth in your life experience the fullness of the symphony that Amalie Jahn has created. You’ll soon see why Amalie Jahn earned a Gold Medal for The Clay Lion from Literary Classics!