Book Reviews

Book Review: “EXCERPTS FROM AN UNKNOWN GUIDEBOOK” is a captivating new young adults series about folktelling

The first novel in the series “EXCERPTS FROM AN UNKNOWN GUIDEBOOK” by Josef Bastian is referred to as “BOOK 1: PHASES OF THE MOON.” Bastian’s series premiere is set to have a total of seven novels for young adult readers. However, this is not Bastian’s first book series, with “THE NAIN ROUGE TRILOGY – A CRIMSON THREE” telling similar folklore from around the world.

The first novel in this set is a truly captivating fantasy tale for young adults. A young boy named Aaron discovers that his grandfather Pap has gone missing. Now, he is the one chosen to take his grandfather’s place as the Folkteller, telling all of the stories that need to be told. Aaron must follow a puzzle, almost a scavenger hunt, as part of his new training regimen. Along with his friend Jake, they plunge into the unknown. “Everything was spinning as Aaron and Jake were pulled through an invisible vortex of light and darkness.”

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Author Josef Bastian.

Once Aaron and Jake come to, they end up meeting Wendy, another Folkteller from an alternate universe. Since it is the Folkteller’s job to keep evil from taking over, they face many negative tasks. The Shadow People start to attack; cold and empty, just a fingertip could clutch someone’s soul. Jake was “captured” by one of them, but Aaron was able to break the connection between the two. Luckily, they had met Wendy who helps them to escape. Unfortunately for Wendy, she ends up on Earth with Jake and Aaron.

With only one opportunity to return to her own universe, Wendy has to time her return perfectly through a portal. The Shadow People found out that Pap was being replaced by an undertrained Folkteller and decide it’s time to start a full war against them. Since Aaron doesn’t know how to use his powers, the Shadow People think they will have an easy win.

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“NAIN ROUGE”, a series of graphic novels written by Josef Bastian.

The story continues through many more challenges to each character involved. Each of the conflicts and resolutions are well-built without overwhelmingly drawn out introductions. Everything moves along quickly and is light enough for the young adult demographic. Bastian also gives clever descriptions of each character and situation, using some youth comedy. This opening to Bastian’s series is setting the bar high for the rest of his stories.

This introductory novel is set to hit bookshelves on August 15th. Sign up to receive notification of publication on his website HERE. You can also schedule a pre-order HERE! Follow updates from Josef Bastian on Twitter @jbastian67.

Published by Smith Publicity.

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