I've just finished WhipEye, by Geoffrey Saign. A classic good vs. evil story, WhipEye bursts out of the gate with wall-to-wall action and adventure, introducing characters and setting the stage along the way. Author Geoffrey Saign puts an original spin on the tried-and-true epic battle for the future of the planet genre; a storyline packed with a constellation of wild animals, mythical beings, and a smart-aleck parrot. Twelve-year-old protagonists Samantha and Jake, along with team-mate, mentor, and loquacious parrot Charlie put themselves, and those they love at risk as they struggle to save the Earth from arch-villain Magnar.
A superbly crafted and smoothly-flowing book, WhipEye opens with the introduction of lead character Samantha Green. Struggling with the awkward tween years, Sam has the added burden of coming to terms with her mother’s recent death, and the effect its had on her grief-stricken father. New neighbor Jake offers his friendship and Sam accepts. Together, they tumble at breakneck speed into a crusade against the evil Magnar, who in return pursues the two children with a vengence. Hanging in the balance is the future of millions of people, who Magnar hopes to eradicate in order to return the planet to its original, natural state for the sake of the world’s animal population.
The chase moves to the parallel world of KiraKu, where the children are introduced to marvelous, mythical beings, and healing water. Sam has been given the gift of a staff of elaborately carved wood, which holds otherworldly and magnificent power. Known as WhipEye, the staff protects the children and Charlie as they launch offense after offense at Magnar, trying in vain to extinguish the astounding power of the malevolent forces at his command.
WhipEye is a non-stop magical thrill-ride from beginning to end. An exciting journey, this book is great for middle-grade readers. Although the writing style is superior, there is little character development, which for me was just a shade disappointing. For most readers, however, it should not be a problem. A little distracting for me as well, was the lack of dialog and the almost overwhelming amount of chase and battle details. I also felt that the “save the animals” ideology became somewhat preachy at times, but only, I think, to a dusty and jaded old reader like me. Kids will love WhipEye, and further enjoy that this wonderful book is the first in a series. My kids love chronicle-style stories, and I know others will too!
I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.