February 10, 2015

Quest for Gray Ironbark Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the official blog tour for Quest for Gray Ironbark! Read on for more info on the book, my review - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! To follow the tour, click on the banner above.

Quest for Gray Ironbark (Way of the Wombat #1)
Author: AdriAnne Strickland
Release Date: February 2, 2015
Publisher: WhomBatz, LLC. 

Which Way would you follow?

When Laz, a young wombat, goes from playing a game with his friend Kita in their idyllic tribal village to witnessing the nightmare of a Tasmanian devil attack, he reacts in the only way he can: he fights back. He accidentally kills a devil while trying to save his sister, but his sister is still taken captive. To make matters worse, the tribal elders banish Laz, Kita and Zeeg—the three youths who fought back—for failing to follow the way of the wombat.

Frustrated and adrift, the three friends embark on a quest through red rocky deserts and deep eucalyptus jungles to discover their own way. With a cheerful koala warrior as a guide and a wise platypus as their trainer, they hope to survive long enough to find a legendary weapon that could save their tribe and Laz’s sister from the devils. But danger lurks around every tree…

Quest for Gray Ironbark is the fun and action filled first book in a new middle grade series. The story follows a young wombat named Laz, who happens to witness a tasmanian devil attack one sunny day. Not knowing what else to do, Laz fights back - but his sister is taken captive. To make matters worse, the tribal elders exile Laz along with his friends Kita and Zeeg for not following the way of the wombat. Now the three friends are out in the wild, trying to find a way for themselves and tracking down Laz's sister. They learn of a legendary weapon that could save not only Laz's sister, but the entire tribe as well.  Will they be able to find the weapon in time to save Laz's sister and the tribe? Or are their efforts going to be for nothing?

This was a great middle grade book full of action and adventure. The fact that the characters are wombats is a cute concept, and the reader is able to identify with them as though they were regular human characters. The plot is full of danger - trying to save Laz's sister and not being attacked by the devils themselves. However, underneath the lively story, the author deals with some serious concepts that middle graders would be dealing with in their own lives. The underlying topics are crucial ones that need to be learned - how to stand up/defend yourself against someone who is attacking you, learning how to make your own way in life, making difficult decisions and sticking to them, having to make choices that will effect everything in your life, along with other concepts like standing up for what's right, friendship, love, hard work, and family - among several others. I love that the book is filled with these great messages underneath the overlying story, so that the reader is learning about them without really knowing it. They're going to see it as a fun adventure full of lively and colorful characters - which it is - but while they're enjoying the action, they will also be learning valuable lessons for their own lives. This was a huge selling point for me with the story. The added depth to the story makes it so much more than just a light hearted fantasy with lots of humor and exploits. I highly recommend this book for MG readers, along with parents and teachers of that age group, and younger teen readers.

AdriAnne Strickland was a bibliophile who wanted to be an author before she knew what either of those words meant. She shares a home base in Alaska with her husband, but has spent two cumulative years living abroad in Africa, Asia, and Europe. While writing occupies most of her time, she commercial fishes every summer in Bristol Bay, because she can't seem to stop. Her debut YA sci-fi/fantasy, WORDLESS, launched in 2014 from Flux Books. THE WAY OF THE WOMBAT is her first foray into the world of middle grade fantasy adventure. 

Connect with her onTwitter, Facebook, or over ather website.

 Buy Link: Amazon
Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US Only


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