The Secret Realm

Gaia School of Awakening

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
310 Pages
Reviewed on 08/27/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

Environmental issues are becoming more and more popular nowadays, but many people out there still do not care. What better way to awaken public opinion, and young people in particular, than entertaining them with a charming story? This is what The Secret Realm does. The book is the first entry in a series by E. O. Worth. It introduces us to Cora, Andréa, and TJ, three young people who find themselves in another world after a hurricane. This world is the Alpha Realm, a twin of Earth. The trio needs to know more about it because of an arcane prophecy, so they attend school and learn new things about harmony and nature. But will they be able to go back home?

The Secret Realm is an entertaining and educational read that informs about important issues without being heavy and verbose. The story of Cora, Andréa, and TJ thrills the reader because it is made up of exploration and discovery. In this regard, the idea of setting the book in a school is the most suitable one. There, the three young people learn that pollution is not only a problem of nature, but it affects the mind as well. I like the mix of mythology, ancient religions, and oriental meditation. These elements make Worth focus on harmony and explain why it is an important topic for environmental balance. I think Worth has done an excellent job with her first installment and I am looking forward to the next one. I recommend The Secret Realm to young adults, even though older adults can reflect on its themes too.

Liz Konkel

The Secret Realm by E.O. Worth is the first book in the Gaia School of Awakening series. Three friends seek shelter from a storm, only to be whisked away to another world called Alpha. This place is suffering from Earth's pollution and has put their hope in a prophecy that says only these three can prevent the world's destruction. Cora, Andrea, and TJ must band together and put their differences aside if they are to discover their destiny and find their way back home. The most prominent theme focuses on the environment. Pollution is the biggest commentary explored as its harmful effects have put this world (and earth) at risk while also being what caused these magical beings to go extinct on earth many years ago. Worth opens up a discussion about climate change with various characters who have different beliefs about how to act towards it. The prophecy weaves throughout the story as the three friends have to live up to this destiny they're presented with while Worth explores various people who do and don't believe the prophecy is real and can make a difference.

The friends face various dangers that make up an epic quest before the story segues into a school setting. The creeds and lessons taught encourage the students and readers to leave behind a better world, to create harmony with each other, and to take responsibility. Each lesson is derived from a message of peace and change. An assortment of characters appears along the way with minotaurs, dragons, selkies, gnomes, talking animals, and more that play into how the story progresses. The three friends have distinctive and vivid personalities with each having their own role and with their own destiny to achieve. Each is fighting their own demons and issues which affect their dynamics with each other. This includes some relationship drama as unrequited feelings and anger cause some tension between them. They're ordinary youngsters who have flaws and who can make a change if they choose to do so. The Secret Realm is a magical adventure that focuses on the fight for the environment with a commentary on pollution, extinction, and climate change while exploring a story of friendship, destiny, and the struggle to save the world.

Ray Simmons

The Secret Realm is Book One of a series called Gaia School of Awakening by E.O. Worth. It is a pleasant, easy to read, young adult fantasy that I enjoyed a lot. It is a quest that involves three friends from Earth traveling to a magical realm in order to save the world. The problem is that they begin the journey unaware of their mission or even the fact that they have one. Part of the joy in reading the story is discovering this new world and its magical inhabitants and discovering the purpose of the journey along with our three protagonists. It is a magical fun ride, filled with danger, wonder, and adventure. One thing that stood out to me about this adventure for young people was the well-balanced diversity of this team. They begin their adventure in the state of Georgia, in the U.S.A., but one of them is from New York City, one is from Argentina, and the other is from Ireland. I thought it was a good mix.

The main focus of a young adult novel like The Secret Realm is on the characters of course, but there are several other interesting points, including the environment. Young people are more aware of the environment these days and I think they will enjoy the message that E.O. Worth sends in this wonderful story. There are a lot of references to mythology in this story and I personally believe it is very important to read mythology when you are young. The plot makes sense. The three main characters are interesting and engaging, and the setting is awesome. All in all, E.O. Worth has given us a great story.

K.C. Finn

The Secret Realm is a work of fantasy fiction aimed at young adults and was penned by author E. O. Worth. Forming the first book of the Gaia School of Awakening series, this novel focuses on the destruction of planet Earth through pollution and neglect. Three young people from different walks of life all have connections to the Earth that they are unaware of: an indigo gene, which leads to an ancient prophecy of restoration. When a freak hurricane sweeps them up and transports them to the twin realm of Earth, known as Alpha, the teens see the real damage that humankind is doing and navigate this new world to find a way back to save their home.

Author E. O. Worth creates both a magical and meaningful work of fantasy and paranormal fiction with this excellent series opener novel. The characters are developed from different cultural backgrounds and well-grounded in their dialogue to show us, and each other, both their talents and vulnerabilities in a very naturalistic way. I particularly liked Andrea Ramirez, her whole attitude and her development of skills as the plot went on. Conceptually speaking, the title’s Secret Realm is lavishly described with excellent use of lexis and character interaction with the environment, which also sends an important ecological message to modern-day teenagers about the destruction of our planet which they can help to prevent. Overall, The Secret Realm is a fun and exciting fantasy story which also has an important moral crusade woven into its plot.

Asher Syed

The Secret Realm: Gaia School of Awakening by E. O. Worth is book one of the author's new fantasy eco-fiction series, introducing three teenage protagonists: TJ, Cora, and Andrea. The earth is being polluted and destroyed at a pace and rate that most of its inhabitants either cannot comprehend or willfully deny. What's worse is that earth has a twin planet in another realm named Alpha, and while the ruination of the human planet still has a chance at being curbed, Alpha is at a point that appears to be beyond that. During the apex of a hurricane, TJ, Cora, and Andrea find themselves on Alpha, each a carrier of the indigo gene. The three couldn't be more different from each other, hailing from different cultures, countries, and socio-economic backgrounds. Still, on Alpha it's them against two worlds—one they desperately want to return to, and another that must be saved.

“A power of three, heals the land, air, and sea.” The Secret Realm: Gaia School of Awakening by E. O. Worth is an ambitious start to a creative and timely series. The characters are diverse and interesting, and the world-building Worth has done is exceptional. It might seem like a small thing, but I was happy to find that it was the two girls of the story, Andrea and Cora, who were the brain and the brawn. TJ is an extremely funny and likable character. As a parent of a teenage daughter, I feel it's important that socially responsible stories are also responsible in their representations. Worth accomplishes this, and also provides a poignant fantasy adventure that both adults and teenagers will love, with an environmentally important theme to boot.