Michelle Isenhoff

Lightning Road Series, by Donna Galanti (book trailer reveal and giveaway!)

joshua and the lightning roadEarlier this summer, I read the first book in Donna Galanti’s Lightning Road fantasy adventure series, JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD. It just so happens that today Ms. Galanti is unveiling the trailer for book two,  JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM, which will be releasing on August 30th, so I waited to post my review until today. You’ll find my review all the way at the end of this special guest post.
The Midwest Book Review calls book one, JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD, “a heart-pounding thrill ride full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish.” Grab book one for just 99 cents now through September 20th. 
Be sure to enter the fun giveaway package at the bottom of this post that includes a paperback of book one, poster of the Lost Realm, bookmarks, and a $25 B&N gift card (U.S. only). Sign up for Donna’s Thunderclap book release campaign and help her zap the world through social media with her lightning message!
Joshua and the Arrow Realm ebookOn August 30th take the lightning road back to a world of beasts, bandits, and heroes in book two of the Lightning Road series. Join Joshua in a new fight for power in the Arrow Realm. Can Joshua and his friends conquer an unstoppable evil?
Joshua never thought he’d return to the world of Nostos but is soon called to the Arrow Realm to free his imprisoned friend, King Apollo, kidnapped as a power pawn in Queen Artemis’s quest to conquer every realm. With his loyalties divided between our world and theirs, Joshua wonders whether he alone can restore magic to the twelve powerless Olympian heirs and save all those enslaved. But when he finds himself abandoned in his quest, he fears he cannot only save those imprisoned—but himself as well.
“Fast-paced and endlessly inventive, Joshua and the Arrow Realm is a high-stakes romp through a wild world where descendants of the Greek gods walk beside you, beasts abound, and not everything—or everyone—is as it seems.” ~ Michael Northrop, New York Times bestselling author of the TombQuest series
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY1F8gHsb90]
(Quick aside from Michelle….Sometimes WordPress is tempermental, so if the embedded trailer doesn’t work, you can still click here.)
A faint rumble groaned through the whistling wind.
Thunder ripped the sky overhead.
Charlie reached the frozen pond, spinning across it. “Woohoo! I win! You Americans can’t beat us at speed!”
Lightning flashed. It zinged across the pine trees like brilliant sunlight. A seed of terror flickered inside me.
Boom! Boom!
Another flash scorched the sky.
Charlie’s smile fell to a frown as he raced across the ice, peering up into the swirling clouds.
We both knew what lightning could do.
Suddenly, sneaking outside for a moonlit sled ride before Bo Chez got home from his monthly poker game didn’t seem so smart.
The sleet turned to snow. Icicles flew off trees like glass splinters, shattering on the hard snow. As I shot toward the pond, a tree on the edge moved. Its branches swayed in the swirling snow.
It wasn’t a tree, but a girl! She stumbled through the mad flurry, arms outstretched.
“Charlie, look!”
Gusts snatched the words away as my sled hit the ice and careened out of control on the bumpy surface. The girl staggered and fell onto the pond. I twisted my sled away to avoid hitting her and smashed right into Charlie. With a yelp, he pulled me up, and we clumped toward the girl. We lifted her up, half dragging her back up the hill to the house in the pelting snow and sleet.
“Who is she?” Charlie yelled.
“No idea,” I yelled back.
He said more, but his words were lost in the wind.
My lungs burned with the cold and effort. There was only one reason someone would appear with lightning—to steal us. This girl might appear like a waif unprepared for a storm but I couldn’t trust that’s all she was.

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Donna Galanti is the author of The Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship. She’s lived in other exotic locations, including Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse, and dreams of returning one day to a castle. Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. You can find her at www.donnagalanti.com.
E-book ARCs are available for this next thrilling book in The Lightning Road series! Email donna(at)donnagalanti.com for copies and specify the format you’d like.
(Another aside from Michelle… WordPress is VERY particular about rafflecopter embeds, so unfortunately, I’ll have to do this one with an ugly link.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Queue Michelle Again…
I’m back. And as I promised way at the top of this post, here’s my review of book one, JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD.
Joshua and the Lightning Road is a middle grade fantasy adventure with similarities to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The premise is summarized nicely in an excerpt from Leandro’s History of Our People, a book within the book: “The Olympians heirs [of ancient gods] believed their time had come to an end, when one discovered that mortal children of Earth had powers to fuel their world. And so began the stealing of these children for vile purposes.” Twelve-year-old Joshua is one of these stolen children, and so is his friend Finn. Joshua just wants to find Finn and escape back to Earth. But could he be the Oracle, the prophesized one who would set the Lost Realm to rights?
Ms. Galanti’s prose is often as lovely as anything I’ve ever read. (“The blue sun hung over us in an early morning lavender sky as tentacles of fog reached up to grab it.” Beautiful!) She also creates some great, kid-pleasing details, like malumpus-tongues—people who can speak to animals—and a society built around the descendants of ancient gods. The story is well crafted, with small clues written into the beginning that I didn’t even know were so vastly relevant until I went back and reread the first chapter. And the bedtime tale that Joshua’s grandfather tells him ends up having tremendous meaning. The progression works. The plot comes together. There’s action, decent characters, and a fantasy world that will please kids.
Yet, I have a few criticisms. Several times there were abrupt mention of things that could have been worked into the story earlier, like “the very horse on which he’d carted me from wherever we landed.” What horse? Did I miss something? I went back. I could find no mention of them riding in on a horse. Or “no waking from the nightmare this time.” Joshua was having nightmares? I went back. No nightmare. I also thought there were too many twists based on one or two characters. How many times can one person be a good guy/bad guy? How many times can a fallen character get up again? But mostly, this story simply didn’t grip me.
I don’t want to end on a minor note, though. Donna Galanti has some great things going, but I really, really struggle with stories written in unfamiliar worlds. We probably weren’t the best match. Still, the story is solid and the writing lovely. I’m certain kids will find this adventure fun and engaging. For 99 cents, it’s worth seeing if yours is one of them.

Lightning Road Series, by Donna Galanti (book trailer reveal and giveaway!)

11 thoughts on “Lightning Road Series, by Donna Galanti (book trailer reveal and giveaway!)

  1. I really like how you share what you like and what doesn’t work for you. It does sound like a great MG read, though. Third review I’ve read today! Each different.

    1. And I certainly appreciate honest reviews and well thought-out ones like Michelle’s here! I especially love how a book is a different experience for each person as we each bring our own personal experience to it. Thanks again for having me on Michelle!

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