Dream Review for Jack James: SC-Fi/Fantasy Finalist for Best Indie Book of 2013 Awards
September 6, 2013
[It’s that time of the year again when The New Kindle Book Review is running its Best Indie Books of the Year awards. Top five finalists for the 2013 awards in various genres were announced September 1, 2013. In keeping with our tradition established last year in the first year of the awards, we have asked each of the finalists who care to participate to provide us two pieces: a dream interview and a dream review. Although the dream interviews will appear under my byline, the posts are the work of the finalist authors. We hope you enjoy them and use them as an introduction to the works of these fine writers.]
Jack James and the Tribe of the Teddy Bear
A Dream Review
I’m not abashed to say it: this is just a wonderful little book. Who doesn’t like teddy bears and the idea of them coming alive and heading into adventure with some picked-on kids? Jack James and the Tribe of the Teddy Bear by J. Joseph Wright is a really delightful read – the action packed story of a young boy, Jack James, who goes on an adventure alongside a mysterious being with supernatural powers. Jack lives in Northwest Oregon, a fifth grader with a vivid imagination and strong need to be liked and accepted by his peers. A boy whose inventor/scientist father fills his thoughts with theories of multiple dimensions and the infinite energy that can be derived from them.
I loved the natural writing style of the author. We feel like we are right there with Jack when he finds the dirty teddy bear at his mom’s work…but something tells Jack this is more than just a dirty old teddy bear. In fact Takota is much, much more. He and others like him are on the run from a very evil man who wants to turn them into an army of tiny warriors.
The story moves very quickly, and always has some new turn to keep your attention. Those turns get increasingly wild as it progresses. In addition to the little critters who look like teddy bears, we find ourselves regarding multi-dimensional devices badly wielded by an eccentric inventor, new age auras and vibes, witches, native American legends, hints of Asian sagas, a story-teller whose books become reality, an evil spawn who could scare Voldemort, giants, and historic convergences that brought all these folks together in the first place.
Add cops, bosses, school principals, and evil mercenaries and you have a merry chase with kids, adults, and teddy bears saving each other and pushing the plot. The last chapters build to wild combat and dreadfully escalated stakes, creating a climax that comes off like battling in super hero comics. But there is always a quick return to the basic loyalties and bonds of the human children and their true-blue allies of the Teddy Bear Tribe. The rough stuff is never too far away from a warm humor.
As I read this enchanting book I found it operates on multi-levels itself. At first glance or read-through, yes, it is a fantasy children’s book. But it also carries a very adult message. It is a mirror of our times with a metaphor and a warning for those whose eyes can see the underlying messages.
This book would make an amazing movie. It has all the pieces in place to be a blockbuster: great characters, fantastical story line, and wonderful message. And of course as with all blockbusters, the ending of the book leaves way for future adventures! I’d love to tell you more about the story, but as with all great reads, it is best to discover its secrets on your own.
Tons of furry fun here for kids little enough to be read to, older kids looking for something to replace Harry Potter, or grown-ups who don’t mind a little healthy regression.
Jack James and the Tribe of the Teddy Bear. It will unlock your imagination.