The Gaia Wars

( 8 )

Overview

DEADLY SECRETS have been buried in the Cascade mountain wilderness for centuries. Hidden. Out of sight and out of mind.

Until today...

Warren Wilkes, age 13, doesn't like what a greedy housing developer has done to his peaceful mountain community, so he vandalizes the developer's property, flees into the wild, and stumbles upon an ancient human skeleton revealed by torrential...

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Overview

DEADLY SECRETS have been buried in the Cascade mountain wilderness for centuries. Hidden. Out of sight and out of mind.

Until today...

Warren Wilkes, age 13, doesn't like what a greedy housing developer has done to his peaceful mountain community, so he vandalizes the developer's property, flees into the wild, and stumbles upon an ancient human skeleton revealed by torrential rain.
More than old bones have been exposed,
however, and the curious artifact Warren finds makes him question his own identity, and his connection to an ancient terror. A terror destined to rise again and annihilate all that Warren loves. He must fight or see his whole world destroyed.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
When 13-year-old Warren plays a prank on an unfriendly peer, he unknowingly sets in motion a series of actions that may have devastating consequences for his community and the world. Warren Wilkes is an orphan being raised by his uncle in a quiet mountainside community. When an ambitious housing developer moves in to build up the land for his profit and destroy valuable forest in the process, Warren sets out to ambush the developer's son and causes him to fall off his jet ski on a lake. Following the prank, and before he is caught by the authorities, Warren takes off for the woods, where he stumbles upon an ancient site containing human remains. There he discovers and pockets a mysterious artifact before leaving the site. To pay for his crime, Warren is required to do community service and chooses to help out at a residential home for seniors. On his first day, he briefly meets an unusual woman with whom he feels an instant connection. Bennett goes on to introduce several other characters at the home that seem to have either a mysterious knowledge or deep suspicion of Warren. Leaving the center, he returns to the site in the woods where he found the ancient human bones, a mysterious cave where an alien life form is revealed to him—an alien whose very existence endangers the human world. Subsequently, magical, dangerous events take place that require more than the usual suspension of disbelief, such as the fact that the Earth itself has a living, breathing soul and can be destroyed. As the tale winds down, Warren is no closer to understanding the mystery of the ancient artifact, or his relationship to the unusual woman in the senior home. But Bennett has piqued the reader's interest with what is yet to be explained and the creativity of the storyline, so a return to the series would be most welcome. Bennett also deftly depicts the special bond between young best friends in the relationship between Warren and his friend, Sean, a young man who supports Warren in his attempt to understand what is happening at the ancient burial site, how to use the artifact he found there and what Warren's relationship is to the people at the center. A solid first entry of a promising, imaginative new young-adult fantasy series featuring a well-crafted character.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466211971
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/25/2011
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I won this book and it's companion Battle for Cascadia through G

    I won this book and it's companion Battle for Cascadia through Goodreads First Reads giveaway in order to give an honest review.

    The main character, Warren and his friends maybe 13 but that doesn't mean this series is just for kids. Perfect for those kids who finds reading boring or boys who want a male protagonist.

    I was hooked in by The Gaia Wars quickly. I'm extremely grateful I won both books to continue them straight through. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment and can't wait to read it.

    This is a mash up of genres with fantasy/sci-fi/adventure/action elements with suspense, true friendship, bullies, coming of age and a first crush. The mix isn't sluggish or choppy, it flows naturally encompassing everyone and everything in its path. Sure, there's things that can be easily guessed at and expected but really while reading I was completely caught up in the story. The combination of Gaia hypothesis, Native American myths, and the alien contact is certainly different than anything I've read, even if it doesn't turn genres on its head completely. It is just done so very well and I was thoroughly entertained.

    Sure, some things seem just so convenient but it didn't push my willingness to suspend belief to a breaking point. In Warren's world it's easy for me to just put it down as fate. The two times Warren acted Un-Warren-like seemed to be due to outside forces, which is why I put it down as fate since it's not explained yet. Honestly, with everything else going on in the story I barely noticed.

    I loved the writing and the style. I could easily imagine everything and really become fully immersed in the book. The descriptions of nature alone are awe inspiring. The covers and title fronts are beautiful and it really gets across the feel of the book. It's tightly wound around the characters, the setting, the few days, these events take place going into detail and doesn't wander off course. It's an easy, quick read that just doesn't let you put it down til the last page.

    If you have problems with the characters at first, I wouldn't despair or become too harsh because they do change. The first book is all about the set up for the action and in the second book during all the action characters do progress. I hate characters becoming static and that's not an issue here at all. I really like the specific changes several characters under went.
    Sure, it's black and white good vs. evil story. There's no grey area to feel sympathetic for the bad guy here but I think that works. I don't think it's a drawback. It's nice to just dive into an adventure where you know who to fight against with no questions or hesitation.

    The big question in reviews is what's the flaw in these books? Two Words : Cliff hangers.
    Both the first and the second book stop on massive end of the world cliff hangers. So I recommend getting both books together because it will drive you batty to be left hanging. The first book's cliff hanger is really in the middle of everything, in the middle of a fight;there's still so much hanging with so many possibilities. The good news is that the second book picks right up where it leaves off. It's a smooth transition. The second book's cliff hanging is annoying as well but at least it's not the "running in mid stride when suddenly the ground disappears" cliff hanger. It felt more like a natural break for the second book's ending.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    Great for Middle Grade and YA Readers

    Overall, I found the novel engaging, entertaining and a fun, fast read. For fans of young adult science fiction, this will be a perfect addition to any library.

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  • Posted January 1, 2012

    Awesome Invented Mythology!

    This book is great. I had a tough time putting it down.

    The story follows Warren Wilkes, a young teen living in a Pacific Northwest town overlooking a lake and a nature preserve. An ill-advised prank on his part propels him into a series of events which lead to discoveries about the town, the park, and Warren's ancestry. Ancient cultures, otherworldy visitors, and terrifying monsters abound.

    The pacing keeps the story exciting, and the boy's voice is very real. It could be tricky to write younger characters for younger readers, but Ken pulls it off. My only complaint about this is the cliff hanger ending! I will be purchasing the sequel post haste.

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  • Posted December 11, 2011

    Brilliant

    Warren Wilkes is a thirteen year old boy about to go on an adventure he never asked for. As a lover of all things nature, his life takes a turn when he pulls a prank on Todd Finley Jr., the school bully and son of a man bent on destroying hundreds of acres of wilderness for his housing development.

    The following days are met with danger, excitement, and amazing discoveries into his past as well as the past of a local tribe of Native Americans. With the help of his friend, Sean, Warren searches for the secret that is revealed to him by a medallion lost for centuries.
    This book has it all, action, excitement, adventure. The characters are believable and Kenneth G. Bennett has done an amazing job of creating a boy readers can connect with. Warren is flawed and yet responsible, a perfect mix of a boy on the verge of becoming a young man.
    When I first joined this blog tour, it was because I found the cover and the blurb interesting. How much can one little thing change the life of a young boy? Well, almost the second I opened it up on my Kindle, I was hooked. The descriptions were vivid, painting an amazing picture in my mind¿s eye.
    The only complaint I have is with my husband who kept reading over my shoulder or stealing my Kindle to read The Gaia Wars himself. And for a man who is VERY picky about what he reads, that¿s saying something=)
    All in all, I give it 4 stars!

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  • Posted December 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful!

    Ever since he can remember, Warren Wilkes has felt an affinity to the wilderness around him. The air, the soil, even the animals living within the Cascade mountains ¿ they call to him, inciting the urge to explore the secrets the mountains hold. The sheer beauty that surrounds him is breathtaking and the mere thought of that beauty being marred by housing developments sits ill with him. So much so that he decides to take matters into his own hands. Yet never once has he given thought to the consequences of his actions.

    Vandalizing a neighbor¿s property in retaliation, Warren¿s only option is to run into the wild for safety. He knows he¿s done something wrong, yet he justifies it with the fact that he was paying the developers back for the ruin of his beloved wilderness. Trying to stay one step ahead of those he¿s angered, he stumbles upon a 500-year-old skeleton dislodged from within the soil¿s grasp because of the rainy weather as well as an ancient, and quite magical, artifact.

    Unwilling to part with his treasure, he¿s determined to keep it at all costs. Sent to do community service as a result of what he¿s done, Warren knows that it¿s a matter of time before his nemesis takes his revenge for his little prank. It¿s not long before Todd J.R. discovers his secret, lusting after the treasure himself.

    Inadvertently unleashing an ancient evil intent on recovering what it feels rightfully belongs to it, Warren sets into motion a series of events that leave him questioning his entire existence. He soon understands that it¿s up to him to set all wrongs to right, while trying to come to terms with the secrets he¿s now privy to. Secrets that were kept from him in order to keep him safe. Secrets that threaten life as he knows it.

    This was such a delightful read. Kenneth has a way of pulling the reader in from the very first sentence that it¿s hard to put the book down. I also found myself so intrigued with the history that he painstakingly put together. I confess I tried researching to see if the Denelai really existed. The history was that well-developed!

    It¿s such a fascinating story. I truly recommend reading it and look forward to reading Battle For Cascadia, the next book in the series, soon.

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  • Posted December 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Hello Harry Potter, Twilight, and Lord of the Rings, meet The Gaia Wars...

    Description:

    13 year-old Warren Wilkes has messed up - big time, and now he's running through the Cascade mountains dodging the roar of oncoming dogs and ATVs. Until, that is, he sees the long-lost skeleton of a Native American poking out of the eroded soil, and his child-like curiosity gets the best of him. Here he finds an ancient spear point as well as a mysterious gold medallion which holds a circle of obsidian. Unfortunately, his pursuers are unrelenting, so he grabs the medallion and continues his escapist trek. Little does he know, that the strange artifact he's discovered is about to awaken, not only a hidden side of himself, but an ancient and unearthly evil that threatens to destroy everything he holds dear.

    Review:

    Wow! I definitely didn't expect this book to be so amazing! I have always been a fan of young adult and teen fiction, especially those books that transport the reader into another plain of imagination, and boy, is this one of them; Hello Harry Potter, Twilight, and Lord Of The Rings, meet The Gaia Wars, the next epic teen adventure.Where do I begin? Well, the title, The Gaia Wars, which I thought was catchy, and made me want to jump into some serious science fiction. But it wasn't just science fiction, and it wasn't on some otherworldly planet, but here - on planet Earth; and what a spectacular Earth Kenneth G. Bennett describes. Besides the story, the imagery and detail were one of my favorite aspects of the book. I could see the vastness of the Cascades, the people who once called them home, and the incredible power and fury of our planet - the one that does exist. The fact that there were extraterrestrial beings didn't take anything away from the beautiful reality I absorbed from each page. Those are some landscapes I'd love to see, even though they are now well-toured in my mind. The characters were well-developed and very realistic. Even though Warren was a teenage boy, I found myself relating to him, and I didn't feel like I was reading a book designed just for young adults, but for every age group. From page one I was hooked, like Todd was to the pier. The chapters were the perfect length, the dialogue and the story-line flowed easily, and the pace was quick and full of action and surprise. Without a doubt, this book is going on my top ten list for 2011, and may just be one of my new favorite teen reads. Can't wait for the sequel, Battle for Cascadia, and I am kind of hoping that a possible film version may be in the not-to-distant Earth future!

    Rating: Clean Getaway (5/5)

    *** I received this eBook from Novel Publicity and the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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  • Posted November 17, 2011

    Praise for Gaia Wars!

    ¿Gaia Wars¿ is written with deep knowledge and respect of the surrounding wilderness. Not only do we delve into the Northwest landscape in intimate ways, we are invited to participate in Warren Wilke¿s fight to save it. And we do so willingly, and with a ravenous desire to stay with him until the glorious end. Author Kenneth Bennett opens the door wide, ushering us in, urging us to shoulder our packs and follow along before it¿s too late. For those who enjoy the works of Tolkein, Pullman, Lewis, and Rowling, this book does not disappoint. --Ronda Broatch, author of Some Other Eden and Shedding Our Skins

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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