Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams

Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams

by Rachel Barnard


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493641185
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/25/2014
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Barnard had always been a voracious reader, seeming to swallow books whole, reading lengthy novels like The Three Musketeers and the Hobbit while her peers were reading Junie B Jones and the Diary of Wimpy Kid. While in school she discovered that such a thing as grades existed and her sense of competition was ignited. She went on to become AR Queen (following in the footsteps of her sister) and surpassing the closest competitor by near twice as many points.

From that moment on Rachel looked for the competition in everything. She entered the Wings of Hope Speech competition and came in third in the state, meeting one of her idols Jane Goodall. After speech writing she turned to poetry, which kept her quite occupied throughout middle school. It was not until high school that she diversified her writing portfolio once more and began to write the great american novel which was a complete failure. Her vocabulary was immensely advanced whilst her realistic sense of plot and dialogue was lacking because she was still young and inexperienced in the world. Short stories soon followed while she continued with the poetry.

It was during her last two years in high school that Rachel submitted her works to various competitions and got several of her better poems published, winning a couple of bucks along the way. Unfortunately, when she arrived at college, Rachel was too busy to continue inhaling fiction, instead focussing on her textbooks, her work in a restaurant, and an active social life. Rachel was amassing life experience and soon put all this knowledge to work when she began the great american novel attempt number two after graduating. Nine months later Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams was born. Rachel had published her young adult novel of a heroine's adventures at the Academy through Amazon, doing her own editing and using her own picture as cover art.

When she turned 23, Rachel joined a writing group in the Valley and wrote a children's picture book and started on another young adult novel. She decided to form a local writing group in her hometown (the Maple Valley Writers) and is always looking for new and different challenges as she grows and learns as an author and a dreamer.

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Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DavidRose More than 1 year ago
Ataxia is a fascinating SF young adult adventure set in a rather dark future America, or the 'New American Nations', which comprises more of our present world than the USA does today. Rachel Barnard has created an original vision which has depth and drama. The heroine of the story is a girl who has been inserted into the Academy by Ataxia revolutionaries under the assumed identity of 'MC'. Her aim is to become a top competitor at the Academy so that she can get a position that will allow her to work at bringing down the establishment from within. MC must struggle in her relationships with other students (and competitors), even while she tries to work out which side her friends and enemies are really on. At the same time there is the dominating presence of the Arena and the weekly contests which are held within its mysterious bounds, within which MC must perform to the limit of her not inconsiderable ability. The Arena is the crown jewel of this book. Brilliantly imagined, with a unique combat system and technology, it offers limitless variety, wonder, and the drama of face to face confrontation with enemies and friends. The Arena is one of the prime tools of the Academy in assessing the students - but it also holds a secret. Barnard does not explain everything to her readers, and does not tie up all the loose ends. Her style is distinctively personal but easy to read and quite accessible. However, she does expect her readers to use their own imagination and intelligence to fill in the gaps she has, I believe intentionally, left in her world. This book is brilliantly original and has a very well executed concept. Arena combat, the changing world within it, and the different approaches to its tests, were constantly fascinating. The story is gripping, the pace is lively, and I really enjoyed it. I rate it 9/10 and strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys original SF.