Author: Carlos King
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Book Source: Independent Purchase
Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Style: Fast-paced, easy reading, coming of age
Synopsis from Amazon:
If you thought your [life] was complicated, try finding out you’re the last descendant of a powerful alien bloodline. Created long ago as a device of warning, the Mayan Calendar has captivated millions around the world with its sophistication and uncanny accuracy to foresee galactic occurrences. What’s even more controversial than the calendar’s complexity is that after five thousand years of activity, it will abruptly expire on December 21, 2012. Sixteen-year-old Ryan learns that the end of the calendar will initiate the beginning stages of Armageddon. Humanity’s only chance for survival relies solely on him discovering the truth about who he really is, who his parents were, and why he’s destined to protect mankind.
My Take:Ryan Chandler's Legacy is a story produced by a young writer from Indiana who does a good job of writing what he knows. This tale includes touches of Harry Potter (orphaned in his infancy by parents' archenemy, raised without any knowledge of his past), Superman (rocketed off to an alien planet to be raised in safety), and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (meets weird mentor guy whose mission it is to turn him into a super-human at an accelerated pace).
In my opinion, these things provide his target audience with exactly what they're looking for. Teenagers feel lonely, isolated, and disconnected—often times spiritually orphaned, sadly enough. They yearn for empowerment: some secret ability, some magic bullet that makes them invincible when applied. And, deep down where they may or may not admit it to themselves, they want someone older and wiser to guide them and help them make the really difficult decisions—especially at that stage in their life when they have dropped the apron strings but still need to grab onto something to steady the wobblies.
Perhaps most profoundly, teenagers feel the weight of the world on their shoulders as they make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives: who to date, who to befriend, how to stand up to their friends, in what do they place their faith, what to study in school, whether or not to stay in school or pursue a college education. Reading a book wherein the teenagers' decisions are even more monumental than their own can provide a bit of perspective. And, it helps them realize both the universality and uniqueness of their personal experience.
Mr. King gives the readers all of these things. He creates interesting characters with lots of depth. The central triumvirate includes the scrawny orphan kid short on cash and long on angst who always gets bullied, the chunky best friend and perpetual screw-up, the awkward gal-pal hidden behind braces, glasses and hair tie-backs. Add to the mix the prerequisite jocks, totalitarian gym teachers and pretty girl way out of reach and you have just about every high school in America. Carlos knows how to reach people. He knows the story he wants to tell.
Unfortunately, while he tells a good story, his technique gets in the way. Ryan Chandler's Legacy (the first in a yet-to-be-published trilogy) is a perfect example of why writers need to consult objective editors before submitting their work to publishers, publicists or the self-published market.
Bottom Line: Mr. King's premise, a perfect fit for the young adult sci-fi/fantasy genre, and his creative efforts both deserve a better finished protect than this. His lack of grammar and syntax skills obscure the story and won't bring him return readers. I believe he published this book prematurely.
FTC Disclaimer: This book was independently purchased. I received no compensation from the author or their agent for this content.
Author photograph linked from CarlosJKing.blogspot.com