Monday, March 14, 2011

From Brat to Hero

ARRIVAL Iskander: Book Three
Fantasy, Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing (2008)
ISBN-13: 978-1554046201

Not often does an author allow you a glimpse into the life of a series' protagonist prior to the novels. While you might wonder what s/he was like as a teenager, you can only guess what events shaped them into the adult they are in the books. That's why when I heard author Christopher Hoare's heroine Gisel Matah, of Deadly Enterprise and Wildcat's Victory was the sixteen year old "starship brat" in his third novel ARRIVAL, I couldn't resist -- I had to read the book.

ARRIVAL is the story of the dramatic events of the starship Iskander ending up on the wrong planet in the wrong world. Though there are plenty of mishaps and woes, it's fun to see just how much trouble Iskander's unofficial translator can get herself into. Not all the misadventures are of Gisel's doing. But take one feisty teenager, add attitude, rebellion, and a mouth that never stops, and you've got one exceptionally entertaining fantasy. 

Gisel's parents are recently divorced (seems Matah Senior can't keep his hands off young proteges), and Gisel suspects she's aboard because her father hopes to repair their estranged relationship. Only Gisel may never see her mother again because finding their way back to Earth  seems unlikely. If that isn't enough, she's subjected to an overbearing father, a recluse brother, and more chauvinists than most women meet in a lifetime. And that's only the beginning.

ARRIVAL has a huge cast of characters: engineers, scientists, knights, lords, ladies, earls, and a king and an emperor. What makes this books and the series so exceptionally well done isn't just the epic adventures of these fascinating characters, but the story of how Gisel rises from a lowly fitness instructor to a courageous, intelligent, and formidable agent. In ARRIVAL Gisel may start off as a brat, but by the end, she is anything but.

I highly recommend this novel and definitely books one and two in the Iskander Series. 

Christopher Hoare's Fantasy novel Rast is out in ebook through MuseItUp Publishing February 28th, 2011.


  1. I like your review - from the standpoint of a writer. :) Sounds like it might be an interesting read. Thanks, Joylene!

  2. Thanks for the good words, Joylene.

    Actually I started Arrival because readers tended to miss some of the underlying situation in the other novels -- how these smart people were in such trouble. Arrival is a good example of 'show, don't tell' applied to the scenario.

  3. I can imagine a movie based on the characters and story...

    Well done with the review Joylene - It creates interest to read further.

  4. A great review of what sounds like a very *big* story in every way. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

  5. Hi Karen. Thanks for stopping by. I read Arrival in less than a week. Gisel is a wonderful character, and i hope you get a chance to read this.

  6. Christopher, I really enjoyed this book. I think Gisel is marvelous. She reminds me of someone near and dear to my heart. Thanks for the enjoyment of reading your book.

  7. Grandpa, you're right! All of Gisel's stories would make for terrific movies. Hope you're doing well.

  8. Hi Carol. Judging on what you write, I think you would enjoy Gisel's stories very much. She's got spunk!

  9. This sounds very good! I've never read the series, but it looks like something I'll have to check out!

  10. I like male characters like the best of them. But when someone writes a great female character, I just have to let people know. Thanks for stopping by, Carol. Hope your marketing is going well?

  11. I read the first book, Deadly Enterprise and loved it! Gisel is grown up, and fully in control. She's a wonderful character. I'm ordering the next two today. Thanks, Joylene.

  12. You're welcome, Shana. You're going to love the books. Have a wonderful week.


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