While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: The Sara Chronicles: Book 4: Chaos, Confusion, and Changing of the Guard by L. Hughes

Thanks to Reader Spoils and the author L. Hughes for letting me review this one.

About the Book

Life Will Never Be the Same in the Land of the Keepers...

As the nefarious Braccus consolidates his armies of evil, the forces of good are in disarray. Unity among the safeguarding Keepers and the ones they are sworn to protect is elusive, and each of the critical groups of three is struggling to find each other-and stay alive. That's just the way Braccus likes it. With unparalleled strategic skill, he's managed to make evil the dominant power in the worlds. Bizarre races of the horrifying creatures he controls are wreaking havoc on the innocent villagers, killing them for sport or turning them into Braccus's slaves. Good has been relegated to the shadows. What's more, change is afoot among the Keepers and their students that could directly impact the livelihood of everyone in the worlds-change the Keepers are powerless to prevent. Meanwhile, Sara, James and Thomas are facing their greatest challenges yet. For one of them, it will mean actually merging with the evil scourge; for another, a hideous prophecy foretells certain doom. But all of them must race against time if there's any hope for saving the innocents of the worlds from Braccus's eternal rule. Can they accomplish their tasks before it is too late? Offering plenty of the excitement and intrigue for which the series is known, this fourth entry in The Sara Chronicles won't disappoint.

Check out my reviews for Book 2 and Book 3 of this series.

For more information about the Sara Chronicles please visit L. Hughes' website.

As always you can purchase a copy of The Sara Chronicles Book 4: Chaos, Confusion, and Changing of the Guard from my Amazon Store.

My Review

When I first started this series I didn't realize how drawn to these characters I would become. I started at Book 2 when Sara, Thomas, and James are searching for the other groups of three children who will help put and end to Braccus' evil. I was kind of so-so with Book 2. Book 3 I was so attached to the characters already that it was like picking up with some old friends. By the time I started Book 4 I couldn't wait to figure out what was going to happen next. I don't normally read series. I might pick one up along the way, but I very rarely read more than one in a series. So it was kind of weird for me to follow these characters for so long. But because I've been following them I'm so drawn to them. I hope there's going to be a Book 5 because I can't imagine that my Journey with Sara and the Keepers is over!

I really liked this one. I was ready for the battles to begin right from the word go. I love the ways that the keepers and the children all use their powers. It's so different. When they are faced with an enemy the way they use their powers to overcome is interesting. Hughes thinks of new things for each battle - so it's not just the same thing over and over again. And the fact that all the children are getting more powerful means that they are discovering new abilities that they didn't know they had.

While Sara is still the main focus of Book 4 the other children play such a vital role in this book. The second group of three is sent to look for the third group of three and they have to make it through the worlds by themselves. This really allowed the other characters to develop more. I like that there are new characters added with each book, and that each of these new characters is a piece of the overall puzzle. I'm sure that without the addition of the new characters the books would still be good. But adding these new characters and watching them blossom into their new powers really added to the story.

There's so much going on in Book 4 that there wasn't really any "down" time. The book would switch from one group to the next and each time the group that we're following is at a major point of their journey. It makes for a great page turner!

In this book the use of portals to move between Iam's worlds is a more prevalent factor in how the battles and challenges turn out. While the portals were introduced in the earlier books they really come into play in this book. Every time they find a portal and move through it I was so eager to find out what kind of world Hughes was going to throw me into. Her ability to create so many different worlds and to describe them so that they all seem so real is amazing. I envy her imagination. To be able to create all these different worlds, all these different creatures, and be able to come up with new ways for the characters to use their powers is fantastic.

I have to say that as I've progressed through these three books I've noticed a progression in how Hughes writes. The specifics of her writing are the same and she's telling the same story, but something has changed slightly in the writing with each new book. I can't put a finger on it, but there has been a slight change.

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