Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

One aspect of blogging that I especially appreciate is the opportunity to read and review books by my blogger buddies. Furthermore, sometimes the books are from a genre that I would never choose for myself, but I buy the book because the author is a friend – albeit one I've never met – et voila! I discover that I can enjoy a book that I thought I wouldn't like.

Such is the case with Elemental, the first novel from Brandon Ax, who blogs at Writer's Storm: Brandon Ax. Elemental is a Young Adult fantasy novel. I've never been into fantasy or science fiction-y things, but I enjoyed Elemental tremendously.

The heroine of Elemental is Sophia, a high school student who lives alone with her father. Every night, her sleep is disturbed by strange dreams. Then Sophia meets an unusual young man named Aiden, and she begins to learn more about who – and what – she really is.

Sophia tells her own story; therefore, Brandon Ax's voice in the novel is that of a teen-aged girl. Not once did I question that the main character is a young girl. Brandon never takes a wrong step and slips into guy speech, but I must say I like it that Sophia isn't over-the-top feminine. She has to deal with more than mere teen angst, and she remains pretty darn strong. She takes a lot in stride, after an initial shock or surprise.

Here, Sophia greets her best friend, Jen, at school:

She walked up to me smiling. "Sup sexy lady."

Not much Miss beautamuss." I smiled back.

Sounds like a couple of girls in high school, right?

Brandon, I have to criticize something about the book, though, and I take no pleasure in doing it. Dude, you have to improve your punctuation and work on your proofreading. If you can't do it alone, then get help from a professional. The book has a lot of comma splices and run-on sentences, and they don't seem to be a literary technique that enhances the plot. And it's not just a few errors. Mistakes with punctuation, and some other problems, are frequent and distracting. They detract from your style.

The good news is that the boo-boos didn't keep me from following the plot, which I like. A lot happens, but I could follow the story.

This book is cool and interesting:

The shadows came, they stood in a semi-circle in front of me. I knew what they wanted, they wanted to take me. I knew because they had been searching for me in my dreams so many nights since I was a child. I could never make out anyone, just faceless bodies shrouded in darkness.

Elemental earns The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval. I wish I had a prize I could give you for successfully completing your first novel. I understand that the second book in this series, "The Light Bringer Saga," is also available. You are a hard working writer. Good for you for throwing yourself into your craft and not making excuses to avoid writing the way some Junebugs do.

I purchased Elemental from Amazon at

I urge you to give this novel a chance, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


  1. Thank you for the kind words and critique. It really encourages me that so many people who have read this book have fallen in love with it even,sometimes, when it isn't a genre they read. The positive feedback keeps me going.

    1. Well done, Brandon. I think you have a lot of people who are proud of you.

  2. It's really cool that he could capture a young girl's voice so well. Glad you enjoyed this adventure in realms to which you normally wouldn't travel.

    I know exactly what you mean about so many books so little time...

    Best of luck with your book, Brandon, and congratulations!!

  3. It isn't the easiest thing in the world to write from the POV of the opposite sex, so well done, Brandon! Best wishes for your success.

    Thanks for the review, Janie. As always, you did a great job with it.

  4. Glad you came to wish me a happy birthday, otherwise I would not have known you were here.

  5. I'm sure Brandon appreciates your review. Yo do a good job.

  6. I'm glad you liked it. Not my genre, but one that is very popular these days. I wish him luck. :)

  7. Hi Janie .. I admire authors who can write for one, but write from the opposite sex' POV must be incredible .. also reading a different genre ... learning new things ... cheers to you both - Hilary

  8. This sounds like a compelling story, and I think it's great that you're shouldering part of the responsibility for bringing new talent to your readers. Thanks.

  9. Thank you, Stephen. It makes me happy to promote our blogger friends who write good books.


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