Finding Angel- Toch Island Chronicles, Book 1

Finding Angel- Toch Island Chronicles, Book 1

by Kat Heckenbach

Paperback

$9.24 $9.99 Save 8% Current price is $9.24, Original price is $9.99. You Save 8%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

Angel doesn't remember her magical heritage...but it remembers her.

Magic and science collide when she embarks on a journey to her true home, and to herself.

Angel lives with a loving foster family, but dreams of a land that exists only in the pages of a fantasy novel. Until she meets Gregor, whose magic Talent saves her life and revives lost memories.

She follows Gregor to her homeland...a world unlike any she has imagined, where she travels a path of self-discovery that leads directly to her role in an ancient Prophecy...and to the madman who set her fate in motion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781927154137
Publisher: Splashdown Books
Publication date: 09/01/2011
Pages: 294
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.66(d)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Finding Angel- Toch Island Chronicles, Book 1 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
SherryT2011 More than 1 year ago
Welcome to the puzzle. Ms Heckenbach has created a unique fantasy world and graciously invites us to join her there. But beware! Charming on its surface, populated by "the empowered" who each possess a delightful "talent", blessed with unforgettable animals and very lively plants, this mysterious world is also roiling with hidden peril. Angel a young girl living in Florida has a mysterious past she can barely remember. Her only link to it is her charm bracelet its various parts spelling out "Angel". Aware that she comes from elsewhere, Angel often wonders about her past and her birth parents. Then several events happen all at once. Her young stepbrother finds a strange 4 inch beetle that sings to him. Something or someone seems to be creeping around her neighborhood. And finally, the most mysterious and terrifying event of all--something or someone drags her forcibly right through a tree and into another world. A world out of which she barely escaped as a toddler.  Does the one who chased her out of her birth world years before know that she is back? What are his plans? Do those plans fit together with a stolen artifact or a book of prophecy? Two mysterious people have found a way to slip into the story between chapters. Who are they? Where are they? And how do they fit into the puzzle that is Angel's life?  Will Angel's new friends help her? Or are they perhaps not even her friends? Must Angel discover her own particular strength, learn the secret of her bracelet and discern by herself who is friend and who is foe?  Heckenbach's book is a delightful blend of unforgettable characters, otherworldly magic and music, heart-breaking tragedy, charming beasts and enticing mysteries that will hold readers captive until they are solved. Opening "Finding Angel" is like opening a living jigsaw puzzle. Reading it becomes the delight of joining the enchanted pieces even as they change shape into dragons and mushrooms, or whisper clues with the rustle of leaves, or merge of their own into pictures within pictures sparkling with magic.    "Find" this book and start assembling the puzzle!             
FantasyLoverJM More than 1 year ago
Having written stories for several anthologies, Heckenbach launched her debut novel "Finding Angel" on Sep 1, 2011. As a homeschooling mother, fantasy lover, and science geek, Heckenbach put her skills into creating the Toch Island Chronicles. There are currently two books released in the series, with Seeking Unseen (Book 2) published a year after the first. Finding Angle is available as a Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook. --------- Story overview --------- Angel knows that her family isn't related to her by blood, but she loves them just the same. Particularly her younger foster brother. Having been adopted at a young age, and lost her childhood memories, she often wonders what her birth parents are like. Fascinated by the world of fantasy, whether books or pictures, Angel feels a close connection to otherworldly elements. Not only is she smart for her age, but her recent curiosity over a beetle that her brother found sets her to task. Her mission: to find out what type of beetle it is. Before exhausting the library's resources on the subject, Angel meets an oddly dressed boy by the name of Gregor. Little did she know that the beetle was magical, and the boy had been searching for her for years. But most of all, Angel was soon to discover that her love for magical worlds wasn't based on fantasy at all. --------- My thoughts --------- Cleanly written in the third-person limited narration, I quite enjoyed this story. Some elements of it made me think of Inkheart (by Cornelia Funke), with Gregor's personality a bit like Farid's. Only, instead of obsessing over Dustfinger, his eyes were fixated on someone else. Some reviewers likened this book to Harry Potter while others to The Lord Of The Rings. But, magical and elven elements aside, I thought it followed its own path fairly well-standing on its own two feet. If you like a good young adult fantasy, don't hesitate to give this one a look. --------- Things to consider --------- There is no foul language or sexual situations (considering two teens of the opposite sex live alone together for some time). No excessive violence to speak of, but there are a few scenes regarding death and a few that contain some gory elements. Overall, nothing objectionable that I could detect. I'd recommend this for preteens and older, with a slight emphasis toward girls as the protagonist is female, but boys should also come away feeling significantly satisfied. James D. Maxon Author of Traphis: A Wizard's Tale
KWeiland More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful YA romp, free of many of the genre's recent cliches and objectionable material (a la the Twilight romances). The characters are likable and the stakes high. The plot grows a bit leisurely in places, but the worldbuilding is exquisite: an imaginative fairy land hidden in plain view. The author has done a lovely job of taking standard fantasy tropes and turning on them on their heads to find new originality.
Chas_Funderburg More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading "Finding Angel" by Kat Heckenbach. It took me back to the days when I was a young teen and loved to curl up in the chair in my quiet bedroom and get lost in the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. 'Course, magic was a part of this book and it seemed like nothing out of the ordinary to be 'Empowered' or have unicorns and dragons be a natural part of the landscape. I liked the suspense, and the shadowy looks at the evil Darwic. I agree with Barbi Herrel: J.K. Rowling is in *Kat's* league. :-). And don’t worry, all you older readers: the book draws you in and makes your imagination take over.
MRAnglin More than 1 year ago
When I started reading Finding Angel, it entranced me. It sucked me in, and I’m not sure why. I kept thinking to myself that I’d just read one more chapter, got to the end of the chapter, and said I’d just read one more. I suppose it was the initial story that got me . . . the author gave me enough mystery to intrigue me without giving too much away. But the middle got too slow for me. The beginning started off so well and with so much anticipation that I expected that aspect to continue. I didn’t think the characters did anything of significance to solve what appeared to me to be the main problem, which is finding her parents. I must say, though, that I loved the author’s description of magic. It was explained so well that it was almost scientific. Without giving away anything, the ending was emotional. I kept wondering why the author included certain aspects into the story, but upon reaching the conclusion I understand it. But understanding it doesn’t make it any less heart-wrenching. But though the ending was emotional, I felt it was lacking. I wanted Angel to take a more active approach in taking down the villain. In short, this is a book for someone who doesn’t mind a slower pace. Plus, there are pet dragons . . . and pet dragons are awesome.
syoung More than 1 year ago
Finding Angel is a terrific flight of imagination into the world of a group of young people who find themselves with powers and traits they didn't know they had. Although the characters are young, adults will find it just as fascinating. The author has a terrific way of fleshing out scenes and people so you become invested in what will happen.
dianemgraham More than 1 year ago
Angel has amnesia, was separated from her family at a young age by a bad man, and she has to rediscover who she is. None of these concepts are original, but the delivery of details is where the beauty is found in Finding Angel. Finding Angel is perfect for young readers and old readers alike. One of my favorite aspects is the magical world created. I'm not made to believe magic is illogical, but just the opposite. Magic is logically explained based on scientific theory. It allows me to believe magic is just another level of God's beautiful creation.
Janet-R More than 1 year ago
I love a book that draws me into the story. FINDING ANGEL pulled me into the midst of Angel's world with the same velocity my vaccum cleaner sucks up a dead beetle. Teenager Angel has no memory of her life before becoming a foster child at age six. When Angel's little foster brother finds another unusual bug, she discovers a link to her mysterious past. The pattern on the beetle's back is an exact replica of a charm on her bracelet. The bracelet is the only link to her lost identity. Angel meets a new friend, Gregor, who takes her back to her homeland - and not by train or boat - but through his own Talent. Dragons and beetles and elves abound, along with an ancient prophecy. Kat Heckenbach's writing style is so convincing, I had a hard time returning to reality. I look forward to more stories from this multi-talented author.
H-A-Titus More than 1 year ago
Storyline: Angel doesn't remember her magical heritage...but it remembers her. Magic and science collide when she embarks on a journey to her true home, and to herself. Angel lives with a loving foster family, but dreams of a land that exists only in the pages of a fantasy novel. Until she meets Gregor, whose magic Talent saves her life and revives lost memories. She follows Gregor to her homeland...a world unlike any she has imagined, where she travels a path of self-discovery that leads directly to her role in an ancient Prophecy...and to the madman who set her fate in motion. MY THOUGHTS Cons: the only problem I have with this book that is was too SHORT! :) OK, and I thought that some of it was a little too much horror for a middle-grade novel. Most of the book was fine, but there was just one scene in a laboratory with specimen jars and dissections that I really thought showcased the author's horror side. Maybe I underestimate today's middle graders, but that scene felt a little too much to me. Pros: The characters are awesome. Angel and Gregor as the main characters are pretty cool, but my absolute favorite character was Kalek, a rocker elf with quite an amazing Talent. I can't tell you anymore because I want readers to discover that for themselves and be as totally in awe of that scene as I was (favorite scene in the book, right there). And speaking of Talents...I liked the magic system of the world. Each person has a primary magical ability, their Talent, as well as other magical abilities. For example, Angel's mom's Talent was painting pictures, then pulling the object out of the picture (as long as it wasn't alive). Gregor's Talent is making gates in trees to get from one place to another. The storyline likewise was fun, quirky, and nicely paced. The climax had me biting my nails (after a successful month of not chewing them) and muttering, "I know where this is going--please don't go where I think it is--you can't just DO that! No, no, no!" and the conclusion was extremely satisfying, though tinged with sadness. Though there was no mention of a "God" figure, there were hints, and I'm looking forward to how the author will pull those hints out in further development of the world. Conclusion: Obviously, I can't talk enough about this book. It's another Splashdown Books release, and probably my favorite to date that they've put out (as well as gaining a spot on my all-time favorite fantasy books list). The writing is great, and the story is one that, while I would hesitate to give it to anyone below 13-14, could easily charm anyone above that. Rating: five out of five stars.
ShawnaW More than 1 year ago
Angel has no memory of her childhood before the age of six, when she was found abandoned -- the only clue to her past, a charm bracelet that spelled Angel. She loves her foster family, but has never really felt like she belonged with them, or anywhere for that matter, until one day a mysterious but familiar stranger shows up. Gregor helps Angel to recover lost memories of danger and the tragedy that took her from her home. Angel soon finds herself transported to back to Toch Island, a hidden world full of wonder and magic. As Angel learns to use her powers, she also discovers her special Talent -- a power unique to her. In the midst of this discovery strange occurrences take place on the peaceful land. Once again, Angel is threatened by the danger that separated her from her family, but this time more is at stake. What a fun book to read! Kat Heckenbach developed not just refreshing new characters and settings for the world of fantasy, but a whole different take on elements common to this genre. This story is wonderfully plotted, with fleshed-out characters and plenty of action. It's marketed as a middle-grade fantasy, but I'm a middle-aged woman and I loved it. I honestly think this is a book that can be enjoyed by any age. I look forward to more from this author!
JaneenIppolito More than 1 year ago
((I was given a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair, honest, and balanced review)). This is an exceptionally smart book. Author Kat Heckenbach has a degree in biology, and her delight in weaving the scientific world with the magic is evident on every page. In terms of world-building, this is a reader’s dream. In terms of clean reads? This book is fine for teen readers. While I didn’t always find the writing style engaging, this is a competent addition to the fantasy genre. Angel Mason is an intriguing change for a teen female protagonist. She’s intellectual without being aggressive, and scientific without being snobbish. She follows her head more than her heart, but her heart is very much present. In short, she’s a nicely-balanced character. However, a choice she makes early in the book confounded me, and threw me off rooting for her. That being said, Heckenbach does try to show Angel’s conflict. The other characters are well-balanced and interesting. They make sense, and their motivations are easy to understand. The world-building is very much a character in itself, and a fascinating one. From pet dragons to elves to magic that operates based off science, there is much to enjoy here. The plot does drag at some parts. In order to enjoy all of that world-building, the pacing slows considerably during the middle of the book. Combine the leisurely pace with the lack of teen drama (which I found refreshing) or less use of deep POV (I did feel removed from the main character at times), and you have a book that occasionally reads more like a pleasant travelogue. However, the last third of the story ties everything together well, and I will say this of Heckenbach: she doesn’t coddle her characters. Final Verdict: an age-appropriate YA read with creative world-building, sensible characters, and an ending that packs a punch.
Soul_Wr More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this well-written and original YA fantasy novel about a young teenaged girl, Angel, whose sense of being destined for another life turns out to be literally true, sending her on a magical journey of self-discovery filled with adventure and danger. In a very general way, the story reminded me of the Harry Potter books - in the sense that it also features a young adolescent character who, though living with a "normal" family, discovers that her real heritage is one of magical talent and that she plays a key role in stopping those who wish to use magic for sinister purposes. In addition, the heroine's journey introduces her to a host of fantastic talents and creatures and a new world of magical friends where she must learn to employ the power she never knew she had. But these thematic similarities aside - similarities I imagine are pretty key to many YA magical fantasy novels - the author offers a really unique world and a magic that is often more akin to the kind of inherent psychic abilities or gifts found in supernatural novels or TV shows like "Merlin," instead of the incantational/spell-casting type of magic found in many other fantasy books. For me, this made the story that much more enjoyable, as I find these types of psychic abilities, whether genetic or bestowed as a gift or power, more believable and more able to be rationally-explained - something the author does quite creatively and with an appreciative and respectful view of nature's beauty and power that doesn't extend into nature-worship. Some other aspects that set this story apart for me were the wonderful character development, the rich description and a more complex plot that offers a number of unexpected surprises. I also really liked that, though there was some romance, this didn't follow the common tendency in YA to have the female MC involved in a love triangle or other trauma-filled romantic relationship. Angel's relationship with Gregor is one of great friendship, realistically portrayed, and all of the other relationships in the book were developed with equal realism and depth. I can't say there were any true cons to the pros in this story for me. Sometimes I was little frustrated that Gregor, an otherwise mature, responsible and extremely likeable character, blew off Angel's concerns and insights too rapidly on more than one occasion, but then each time I remembered that he was an older teen male to Angel's young adolescent female and realized that expecting him to do anything else probably was unrealistic on my part. Also, though there were a few fairly descriptive scenes of animal-cruelty that had this animal-lover cringing and which I thought could be disturbing to younger YA readers, it may be that others wouldn't be as sensitive to it as I was. Overall, I found Finding Angel an extremely enjoyable, original and well-written novel - one that I highly recommend to fantasy fans, both YA and adult. A novel I had on my to-read list too long, I'm now eagerly looking forward to reading its sequel as well as other books by this talented author.
ahervey85 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That being said, I honestly had no clue what to expect upon starting this book. Let's just say, I was pleasantly surprised. I finished it within 24 hours of beginning it. This book follows a young teen, Angel, who is found when she is about 6 years old, just wandering along a dirt road. She is placed with a foster family, and unlike her foster brothers, is never successfully adopted by them. The call her Angel, because of the charm bracelet she is wearing when found. Deep down, she knows she belongs elsewhere, and is meant for something more. Poor Angel is constantly ridiculed for her fascination with anything magical and mythical. But what she soon finds out, is that it is real! This comes about shortly after meeting a stranger by the name of Gregor who she is drawn to quickly. Gregor saves her life, and by doing so, brings back some memories to Angel, it's in fact, not the first time he's saved her life. Gregor whisks her away to her homeland, that exists but doesn't. There he gives her the answers she's been looking for the past seven years. There she learns to develop her Talents with his help, and ordinary chores. Yes, chores. Ms. Heckenbach uses not just magic, but science for the Talents. Angel learns to not just make things float, or disappear, but to move the particles around. For instance, moving the air above a plate to below it; hence making it move, or levitate rather, in air up to the cupboard. This story isn't just about Talents, no. This story is about corruption in a sense. Bad vs Evil. There is an evil, called Dawric that is after the Empowered and wants to take the Talents for himself. Angel and Gregor must find him, (once Gregor believes he is back) and defeat him once and for all. I enjoyed this book for many reasons. It was an easy read, so perfect for a younger reader, or someone looking for a light read. it was fast paced, which was nice, instead of everything being SUPER drawn out, as so many books can be these days. Don't get me wrong, Ms. Heckenbach did a great job of describing everything. From the elven, to the dragons, to even the magical hidden land. it just wasn't over descriptive or dragging in scenes. I loved the idea of a magical land with no technological interference. I loved the fact that Ms. Heckenbach intertwined magic with science. There wasn't too much romance, save for the tragic love between Kalek and Siophra. There wasn't too much violence, although there a few deaths, both human and animal alike. Once I finished this book, I immediately went looking to see if there was a book 2! I was very pleasantly surprised to see that there was! I look forward to reading it in the near future, as I'd love to see what adventures Angel goes on next.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite In Finding Angel by Kat Heckenbach, 14-year-old Angel has no memory of her life before she was rescued by the loving Mason family. She spends her days with her sweet little brother Zach, foiling the pranks of her older brothers Josh and Jacob, and sitting under her favorite reading tree with all the fantasy books she can carry. One day, a new boy comes to town, a boy who knows more about her than anyone should, a boy who seems to have first-hand knowledge of the fantastical creatures she's only read about in books. After a dangerous accident nearly takes both their lives, Gregor reveals that the creatures and lands she always dreamed about are real and that he's saved her life before from a man determined to consume her unique powers.  As someone who was home-schooled all her life, I really appreciated that Angel's little brother Zach was home-schooled; Angel was considering joining him; and that neither were portrayed as socially awkward, excessively weird freaks of nature. I also liked how the magic was done in a very scientific manner, plates were levitated by manipulating air molecules, things became invisible due to light refraction, etc. It made me think of the Magic or Madness trilogy by Justine Larbalestier. Of course everything couldn't be completely explained with science or it wouldn't be magic!  Also readers who dislike the romantic elements that permeate the YA genre, as well as parents who may be concerned that such topics are too advanced for their children will breath a sigh of relief to learn that Angel and Gregor remain just friends throughout the whole book. Finding Angel starts off slow but is a fairly quick read, which is going to be a major disappointment to legions of 12-13-year-old readers waiting for the next book. A great book for young nature lovers and fans of the Spiderwick Chronicles, Finding Angel is filled with friendship, mystery, and adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*I received a free e copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* I found this book to be be a little slow in the beginning. At first, the storyline seemed a little forced. This does not, however, take away from the story. I found this book to be a great combination of science, magic, and real life. The storyline is fantastic and the characters are so likeable. As you read you find yourself becoming closer and closer to them until you feel like old friends. This book is full of lessons on love and loyalty and friendship. The perfect mix of light and dark. If the beginning of this book was lacking in any way, the ending certainly made up for it. I would definitely recommend this book to any young person who is in need of a magical escape
Yellow30Sci-Fi More than 1 year ago
There comes a point in time where foster kids ask the question, “Who are my real parents?” Angel is not exception. Life with the Masons is fine. There are other adopted siblings, two brothers who have a tendency to make Angel’s life a little daunting by their antics. Then there is her little man, Zack, who doesn’t trash her views or interest. The Masons are home, the only family she has known. Yet, there is this lingering in the back of her mind as to where she came from and who her real parents may be. Because Angel has a fondness for fantasy stories her life suddenly takes a strange turn when Zack discovers a mysterious beetle. The oddity of this insect is that it seems to sing instead of chirp. What is this strange beetle and where did it come from? Zack and Angel just look at each other. There are always answers to every problem, so together they start looking into nature books to discover the identify of this mysterious bug. Her search for answers takes her to the town library where a boy by the name of Gregor appears. Angel is fascinated with Gregor, not only because of his strange dress for the warm Florida weather, but his interest in art and things that relate to fantasy worlds. After saving her life one night, Angel is suddenly confronted with a boy who can do magic and his real reason for suddenly coming into her life. She learns that this was not the first time Gregor has saved her life. Angel also learns that her real parents are alive and have been looking for her all this time. Gregor, the reader discovers, has been searching for her for just as long and he was the one who shoved her through a Gate into her present world in Florida. The discoveries keep coming as Angel learns she is a Finder and from a place where magic does happen for real. Kat Hechenbach’s first novel, Finding Angel, is a delightful tale for young adults, though older readers will also find this a nice read. A combination between mystery and fantasy, Finding Angel, brings the reader into a world where magic has a reason for existing and people have a purpose for living. Get the book and prepare to be entertained. — Stefanie Longwood