Book Review: Dragon Planet: Kraamlok

A book review of Dragon Planet: Kraamlok, by Sharon Plumb.

Title: Dragon Planet: Kraamlok

Author: Sharon Plumb

Pages: 249

Review by: Dyane Forde, Lost Pen Magazine

Version read: Kindle

Target audience: YA and up

Available at: Amazon and Our Little Bookshop

Author bonus: sign up for Plumb’s newsletter and receive The Legend of Morwaka for free. Also, visit Plumb’s website to learn how to read sample chapters for free.

Blurb:

“The Eye shall be Blood, the sun shall be Bone, and dragons shall pass from the world. For it comes, it comes, the kraamlok comes. . . .”

Dragon seer Tondoor was hatched for only one purpose: to ask the starry dragon god, Morwaka, for a way of escape from his tribe’s prophecy of doom from the sky. But Morwaka isn’t speaking to him.

As rebellion brews around him, and his arch-rival tries to steal his dragon love’s heart, Tondoor learns that the answer he seeks might lie with a lunatic dragon lost somewhere in the other five corners of the world. Can Tondoor succeed in his quest to save the dragons he loves — and survive the ones he doesn’t — before the kraamlok destroys their world?

Review:

Dragon Planet: Kraamlok presents a world of dragons dealing with an oncoming cataclysmic event that will doom them all. Through a full cast of colourful characters and an environment rich in culture, history, and mythology, the story examines how the dragons deal with the inevitable in their own ways: some want to hide, some don’t believe it, and some try to change their fate.

What I enjoyed the most about the book is the worldbuilding. I appreciated that the author created a world inhabited by dragons that felt as though it could exist. The dragons had culture, history, mythology, and customs, and each dragon group was vastly different from the next, including the way they spoke and acted. Some details such as how their eyes change colour depending on feelings, mood, and veracity, were ingenious touches, as well.

The mythology was particularly strong and beautifully expressed. Tondoor’s clan is steeped in the old ways, and Part 1 shows how ingrained their customs and beliefs are ingrained in him:

“This was why seers came to the desert to find dreams—although truly, what he was seeing was stories. . . . There were so many stars, so many stories, that before one finished forming, another caught his eye. Then he realized why. Morwaka’s Eye was asleep, and the stars had the sky to themselves.”

(pg. 42)

Not only is this a lovely piece of writing, but it provides a great example of how mythology informs Tondoor’s thoughts and understanding of the world; to Tondoor, nature itself only makes sense through the filter of the dragon stories and legends.    

I did find, however, that the introduction to the dragon world and the various types of dragons and their origins were difficult to grasp at first. The story starts with a bang and then presents the reader with loads of information very quickly. I suggest that readers approach the book prepared to pause to process vast amounts of information right from the start.

Another point is that, for my taste, I would have liked more action and a faster pace, especially in a book labelled “epic.” I found that most of the conflict in the story was relational (love triangles, Tondoor being berated or abused by elders or bullies, Tondoor prevented in one way or another from attending the mating rituals), rather than on the emotional, psychological, and terrifying environmental impacts of the coming kraamlok. There is also a lot of talking, planning, and explaining that caused, for me, some dry spells. That said, it is possible that the slower pacing was done out of consideration for a younger audience who may need more explanations and processing time to ensure comprehension.  

One satisfying development was watching Tondoor evolve from a weak, dependent character to one with a voice and the ability to make tough choices and quick decisions. Tondoor grows from his struggles. It was difficult to read how badly he was treated by his own people, including his no-good predecessor, while he doggedly insisted on saving the very same people who regarded him as the lowest of the low. But when I thought of how the Biblical prophets were treated by the people they were sent to, and how they faithfully continued to warn them of oncoming destruction out of obedience to God, Tondoor’s role and purpose made sense to me. 

Dragon Planet: Kraamlok is a thoughtful, detailed, imaginative fantasy book that really shines when it comes to its worldbuilding. Readers will feel transported to a time and a place that feels as though dragons could have truly existed. Readers will also be treated to some beautiful, tonal writing and descriptive sections that carry emotional weight.

Young adult and adult fantasy lovers who enjoy easy-to-read, simple stories with a solid main character will enjoy this book.

Final thought: Recommended.


About Sharon Plumb:

Plumb grew up in the mountains of northern British Columbia, writing stories in a small town that no longer exists. Then she moved to the flat prairies, where she writes stories about places that exist only in her imagination. She has written picture books, novels, poems, songs, and plays. She lives in Regina, Saskatchewan. When she isn’t writing, you can find her on her bike or in her garden (in the summer) and trying to finish up the other things she has to do so she can get back to writing.

Unplanned: Movie Review

 Submitted by Robert Adams

 

Seldom has a movie stirred up such controversy and backlash as the Canadian release of Unplanned. The film tells the true story of Abby Johnson, an abortion clinic director and Planned Parenthood “Employee of the Year,” who one day sees a suction curettage abortion and decides to quit. Johnson then goes on to become a counsellor for 40 Days for Life, a prayer and care group whose goal is to end abortion.

Amid shrieks of opposition from those who supposedly support “freedom of choice,” the film had been banned in Canada. These false accusations of “propaganda” and “horror” were heard, as well, after the film’s blockbuster US release. It turned out to be a box office hit, outperforming many action and drama films, including Captain Marvel.

Guardian film critic Jordan Hoffman claimed the movie to be “a gory mess” before its US release in March, while Variety called it an “alarmist horror movie.”

The accusations turned out to be false. The movie is an accurate account of an abortion facility activity and the personal history of Abby Johnson. The typical CSI TV show has ten times more gore than what you will see in Unplanned. Since when is the movie industry concerned about excess gore?

What the critics are opposed to is excess truth. One of the doctors portrayed in the film is Anthony Levatino. Dr. Levatino is not JUST an actor. He performed over 1,200 real abortions before changing his views, as Johnson did. If anyone knows what abortion looks like and what really goes on in abortion clinics, it is Levatino and Johnson. The fact that Planned Parenthood is the target of criticism in Unplanned accounts for much of the funding for the film’s opposition. The abortion industry stands to lose millions due to the truth being revealed on screens across the continent.

 

“What the critics are opposed to is excess truth.”

 

What you will see in this movie is Ashley Bratcher’s powerful and convincing portrayal of Abby Johnson. Her acting is superb. Writing and Directing duo Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon have crafted a clever flash-back approach which begins and ends with Johnson’s life-changing moment. We are then brought to the beginning and trace Johnson’s steps to becoming clinic director as her loving Christian, pro-life husband remains faithfully by her.

This is a Christian film and Christians of all stripes should see it. But it does not have the vibe and texture of typical Christian movie, some of which come off as facile, and “Pollyanna” or amateurish in story and production values. Unplanned has a credible, serious tone while not shrinking back from upholding family and faith virtues. It is a tough line to walk between style and ethics, for any art form. Konzelman and Solomon pull it off. Unplanned will be the production model for Christian films until another surpasses its excellent standards.

Besides Ashley Bratcher, another actress deserving mention is Robia Scott who, as the Planned Parenthood director, portrays a supreme villainess you will love to hate. At one point in the film, Johnson asks, “Is it wrong for me to want to punch her in the face?”  The audience knows beyond a shadow of a doubt the answer to that question. Kudos to Robia.

Yes, Planned Parenthood also gets a well-deserved punch in the face by this movie. But that does not make Unplanned propaganda. To list it as propaganda one would need to include Brokeback Mountain, The Color Purple, or 12 Years a Slave, to be fair. 

It is powerful, well-produced, and will convince many of those courageous enough to watch a true story come to life on the big screen. Do you dare?

Unplanned. It is a true story.

Propaganda depends on lies. 

Hollywood knows this.

 

About Robert Adams

10480554_10154438903115008_3961850973326981675_oAdams is a Christian actor, director, playwright, drama instructor, and father of seven who lives in Montreal, Canada. He is the creator of “1642: The Montreal Story” and the musical parody “West Island Story.”

Also, enjoy Adams’ poem, “Irene,” in the Lost Pen Magazine.

 

Resources provided by Adams for further reading:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/unplanned-film-banned-in-canada-for-its-life-affirming-content

https://grandinmedia.ca/blockbuster-pro-life-movie-unplanned-banned-from-canadian-movie-theatres/

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/two-canadian-cinema-owners-receive-death-threats-ahead-of-unplanned-screening

https://www.unplannedfilm.com/canada

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/09/canadian-abortion-rights-group-condemns-cinema-chain-over-anti-choice-film

https://40daysforlife.com/

https://www.france24.com/en/20190406-us-anti-abortion-film-surprise-box-office-success

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9024106/

https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019/april/that-was-the-beginning-of-the-end-after-performing-1-200-abortions-this-doctor-had-a-huge-heart-change

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unplanned

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1Dcw2tJczI

Repost: NKJV Study Bible Review

If you’re looking for a new Bible, Lois Rodriguez’s review of the new NKJV Study Bible is probably what you are looking for. Click here to read it.  

Lois Rodriguez is a blogger and reviewer at blessedmamabear.com where you’ll find her sharing thoughts on intentional and practical parenting from the perspective of a foster and adoptive mom.

Book Review: Seasons in the Garden

Through books, writers can share wisdom and their life experiences with others. Judging from the following comments, Seasons in the Garden, by Sandra Fischer, is one of those books that does this successfully and in a manner that readers appreciate. 

 

About the Author:

Book photo promo2

Sandra Fischer taught high school English and owned a Christian bookstore in Indiana before she retired and moved to the Carolinas. Her stories and articles are gleaned from her life experiences growing up in Indiana. Her book, Seasons in the Garden, is inspired by living fifteen years in South Carolina.   

 

 

What people are saying: 

 

book cover

“This is a beautifully written book by a talented writer. How she used the seasons of the year connected to gardens is so inspiring. I read it through once and now I’m reading it each morning for inspiration. It is amazing how it connects with life with different journeys I travel. I love it so much I am giving it to friends for birthdays and Christmas…truly a treasure to share.” –Charlene Kinelski

“What a beautiful book. Every page is filled with inspiration. It allows you to look at everyday life from a new perspective. A great gift for friends and family.” – Susan Blackburn

“A beautiful book you will thoroughly enjoy even if you are not a gardener! Sandi has a wonderful way of inspiring her readers……get one for a friend!” – Jean Jones

“This book, filled with scripture and quotes from literature, would make a fine gift to a friend or to oneself! Noting that our lives parallel the seasons of the earth, the author writes about the splendor and riches to be found in nature and in our lives, if we only look for them. Original photographs and artwork beautifully illustrate the text.” – Gwen Myers

 

To learn more about Sandra Fischer and her writing visit:

Amazon Author Page 

Faithwriters

Blog 

 

Thanks for reading! Please visit Sandra on her social media and leave her an encouraging message. Or leave a message here! Let’s encourage one another with simple acts of support and kindness.

Blessings!

–Delia

Book Review: Calling All Writers!

Calling All Writers!: A Small Group Curriculum For Christian WritersCalling All Writers!: A Small Group Curriculum For Christian Writers by Chris McKinney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Complete Small-Group Guide to Writing

I bought this book because I wanted to gain some insights into the small-group process. The contents of the book were easy to follow since it was broken up into aptly named sections and chapters. Also, the book is not very long, so the reader gets lots of information without a massive time commitment.

The book offers suggestions for programs that simplify writing, as well as information on how to start a blog and get freelance work. It also shares tips and advice from well-known authors and writers. But best of all, McKinney always points the reader back to God as the source of all wisdom, skill, ability, and success.

I would suggest this book is part ‘how-to’ and part devotional. It’s a great tool for new and experienced writers alike.

View all my reviews

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