Inventor of worlds, founder of religions, crusher of hopes and dreams, rescuer of small children. It's all in a day's work for a fantasy novelist. Despite a lifetime of dabbling in serious things like technology (a PhD in computer science and creativity theory) and Hollywood animation, my first passion has always been writing. If I was allowed to write my own reviews, the words "irreverent," "thought-provoking," and "funny" would get used a lot. But don't trust me on that. After all, I tell lies for a living.
Strange Placesby Jefferson Smith
"Holy crap! This book freaking powns!" That's what fans are saying about Jefferson Smith's debut fantasy novel. Spunky and irreverent, 13-year-old Tayna is every villain's worst nightmare: an uncooperative victim who refuses to play by his rules. After living her entire life in a cruel orphanage, Tayna discovers that she may never have actually been an orphan in the first place and flees from nunnish captivity to search for her real family. But time is running out and she has two entire worlds to search: one filled with shopping malls and televisions, and another filled with Brownies, Djin and magic!
- Creativity Hacker Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.59(d)
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“Strange Places” by, Jefferson Smith Tayna is a thirteen year old orphan who has grown up in the Good Sisters Orphanage since she was three. Sister Regalia runs the orphanage and she is a nasty piece of work. She keeps a group of girls she calls the “Unlovables” on the fifth floor away from the rest of the orphans and makes them do all the chores. One day a mysterious stranger comes to the orphanage. Eliza (Lies), Tayna’s best friend, overhears a threat to Tayna’s life and helps her escape. Afraid and on the run, Tayna runs into a man who calls himself “The Watcher”. With one dangerous man chasing after her and a second offering to answer some of her questions about her real family Tayna has no choice but to trust her heart and travel to a land that she never knew existed. This book was a winner for me on many levels. Strange Places has many varied and complex characters that I love, great world building, and an interesting plot. The story kept my interest until the very last page and I was sorry to see it end. *Lord Angiron is creepy and sinister. *Eliza is a very sweet and funny girl. I hope I get to read more about her in book #2. *Veest is mysterious and is the perfect character to introduce Tayna to her new world. *I really liked Methilien, the world that Tayna is taken to. Three races live in Methilien, the Wasketchin, the Djin, and the Gnomileshi. *Elicand is a Wasketchin boy that befriends Tayna and he is very cute. He decided to travel with her on her quest and he adds a lot of fun to the story. *Abeni is a Djin and he is one of my favorite characters. He becomes not only Tayna’s protector but also her friend. He is a man I would want by my side if I were on an adventure. *The Gnomes are strange and disgusting. The description of their homes made my skin crawl. I really enjoyed this story and the ending left me wanting to know what happens next. Book two “Strange People” is in the works and I am very excited to read more.
Strange Places is a fairy tale to the last inch. It starts with a protagonist, Tayna, who is an orphaned girl in a terrible orphanage run by terrible nuns. They call it the Old Shoe and that, really, is your first tipoff that this is a fairly tale. Things get worse before they get better and the next thing you know, Tanya is in a whole new world, advised that there is danger, but also that she may have parents somewhere that she hasn't known before. Tayna is an enchanting heroine. She's enough a part of our world that she doesn't entirely trust everything that's going on around her, and enough of a little girl that she really really wants all this magic stuff to be magic. And the magic...it's what I like best about this series so far. We're introduced to the magic in a forest where the ability to do magic is based on the awe one can see in the world around you. This is referred to as life magic, and we later see death magic which is kinda dark, creepy, and gross, but that's how you know it's a fairly tale. The plot is more of a "Let's put this person in a new world and let them explore it" than it is a "Let's get things done" kind of plot and perhaps that's to be expected from something called Strange Places. All in all, I would call this an enjoyable read for adults while being safe for children, although, if you're considering reading it to a child, I would warn you that the chapters tend to be rather long.
After reading a character interview and finding out a smidgeon about the young protagonist Tayna, I just knew I had to read this book. A likable, reliable and compassionate young heroine, Tayna also has gumption and an unconquerable spirit. An orphan who is unloved and unwanted, she discovers quite spectacularly that there is a chance she may find out what happened to her parents. After escaping from an orphanage, she gets lost and in so doing begins a journey of adventure and discovery that kept me glued to my reading device. Chased by an evil sorcerer, she meets up with a string of unlikely new friends. The alternate world is decidedly strange, beautiful, and fearsome. Described succinctly, the author’s carefully chosen words give great depth and clarity to the land in my mind’s eye, and to the various groups residing therein. Several story lines are woven together, coming together in satisfying dollops at pivotal points. There is one, however, that was difficult for me to relate to and I had some trouble staying with the story then – I just wanted to skim through those few places because I became frustrated with the odd syntax and structure. It is to be continued in the following book so perhaps it will make more sense later. I am looking forward to reading the next book, aptly titled Strange People. This book was purchased by me.
I'm an avid reader and fantasy is not my usual genre, but this book was highly recommended to me. This story is about a young orphan girl who is looking for her parents and the magical journey she goes on. I'm the mother of an adopted girl and I guess that's why the book 'spoke' to me. Young Tayna is a tough young girl and very brave, but she perseveres and finds herself in some very 'strange places' indeed. I also don't usually re-read a book, but I certainly will read this one again. The ending of the book just cries out for a sequel, which I understand is in the process of being written and due to be out next year....and I can't wait to read it.
My aunt sent this to me from Canada and I thought oh great, another fantasy book with some depresed chick who wants to find her logn lossed Aragorn but I didn't have anything to read this week so I gave it a shot. BOY WAS I WRONG!!! Its about this chick Tayna and her freinds who live in this completely suckville orphanage school but its run by these really hard core nuns and the kids completely pown them and Tayna bolts. Then she has this intence adventure in a paralel magic world but i better not spoiler spew on you. Maybe i liked it becasue I was adopted and some of the stuf she things about is so totally nail on the head kind of made me sad remembring stuf too but then she sais something funny or does some baddass thing and Im back in the fast lane again pedal to the metal. I can't beleive im reccommending a fantasy book about a girl but Tayna aint some weepy cheerleeder and she doesnt get all dreamy about some elf guy. Tayna is totally hard core and this book well just turst me. I aschually lolled out loud.