Always and forever

Fiction - Fantasy - General
367 Pages
Reviewed on 03/08/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Either as a way of compensating a complicated premature debut on this planet (weighing 4 lbs.), or because my guardian angel turned out to be influential, my childhood was happy and privileged. I was born in the northeastern Mexican city of Monterrey.
I majored from ITESM in 1984: English literature with a minor in Comparative Linguistics, Translation and Pedagogy. I studied my master degree in Education at Trinity College (Vermont) in 1999.
I met Plutarco Adame in 1977. He was exactly everything that I wasn't; we fell irremediably in love. We have been blessed with four kids and four grandkids.
Having been blessed with a child with ADHD, I wrote the book The Child with ADHD: A Guide for Parents (in Spanish, El Niño con Déficit de Atención e Hiperactividad, Guía para Padres), published by Trillas Editing House in 2001 (ISBN-10: 9682465842).
I have been a speaker at national and international conferences (CHADD) on ADHD in Washington, DC, Chicago (ILL), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Managua (Nicaragua) and in Mexico City.
We came to Giddings, Texas, in 2005, where I have been a bilingual teacher. I love cooking and scrapbooking; spending time with my family and pets and reading. My all-time favorite: read and write (in both English and Spanish). My favorite authors: in Spanish: Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Juan Rulfo; in English: Lewis Carroll, James Joyce and Vladmimir Nabokov.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

We first meet Tabatha in "Zyanya", a contemporary fantasy by Greta Benavides Adame. Tabatha is travelling with her mother and step-father to their new home in the jungle, and she is not at all happy about leaving her home and friends back in Texas. Zyanya is a coffee plantation where the beans are shade-grown, along with a dazzling profusion of orchids and fruit. This self-sustaining jungle paradise was the dream, and creation, of Severo Alba, whose son left years ago taking away his wife and Antonio, their son, after Antonio suffered a mysterious accident. One of the first persons Tabatha meets is Yaxkin, who is drawn to her against his will. Yaxkin has been working at Zyanya since he was seven and seems duty-bound to harm her -- something he is resisting with all his might.

Adame creates a splendid backdrop for her story in "Zyanya". The descriptions of the orchids, the waterfalls and the jungle are fabulous and lend an exotic air to this fantasy-thriller. "Zyanya" is a page-turner. There are several plots going on which kept this reader's attention throughout the work. Tabatha, Jairo and Yaxkin are compelling characters and "Zyanya" is rather unique in that it is a coming-of-age story of these three young adults, whose lives are somehow entwined. The mythological aspects of the plot are intriguing, and as Tabatha experiences her new surroundings, the reader is likewise enriched by the experience. There is a lot to like about this book -- fantasy, action & adventure, mythology and a hint of the paranormal. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading it.

Maria Beltran

"Zyanya: Always and Forever" is the story of a reluctant shaman who cannot escape from his destiny. The story unravels when a 16 year old girl from Texas, Tabatha, moves with her parents to Mexico where her stepfather will be working as a doctor. The family ends up in a tiny village where Zyanya is located. Zyanya is a prosperous coffee plantation located in the rain forest of Mexico and owned by Severo Alba. He is a former shaman and one of his descendants, according to a prophecy, is destined to be a great shaman. The 550-year old prophecy is rejected by Severo's family and they try to evade the world of rituals and legends. Inevitably, the time has come for the prophecy to be fulfilled, that a great shaman will rise to combat evil, and that he will be able to combine the power of the most influential shamans in the tribes. Alba's great-grandson, Jairo, who is raised in Texas, is believed to be the fulfillment of this prophecy. He is completely unaware of his legacy. The two teenagers find themselves uprooted from their lives in the city to face sorcery and magic together in Zanya.

Greta Benavides-Adame's "Zyanya: Always and Forever" is the beginning of a three-book saga set in the rain forest of Mexico. This is a very interesting coming-of-age plot that is rich in Mexican tradition. Two teenagers who are raised in the city find themselves in a Mexican rain forest where shamanism becomes their reality. Both make a dangerous and mysterious journey into the supernatural. The elements of danger, shamanism and romance are effectively used in this amazing narrative that will not fail to excite readers. Unaware of his legacy, Jairo is an endearing character. Together with Tabatha, a girl unhappy about her move away from the city with a healthy dose of intuition and instinct, he goes through a journey into his grandfather's world. This is the main theme of this narrative and it surely makes for a very exciting adventure. The author's style is refreshing and she is truly a gifted story teller who is able to reach out not only to young readers but to everyone who loves an excellent read. I really love the idea of a great shaman unaware of his legacy as the background theme of this story. Very interesting narrative and I will not be surprised if some readers are already looking forward to the other books in this saga.