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Laurel Colless
Eye of the Stormlord
For the initiates of Spiral Hall, the race is on to make the top adventure team. Eleven-year-old Peter Blue is in the running for the finals. But when Peter learns that his dad, thought dead for five years, might still be alive, he and his friends are drawn into a larger test of courage going far beyond the contest lines and forcing Peter to become the hero he is destined to be.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 8.25 out of 10


Plot/Idea: Peter, an initiate at Spiral Hall—a premier school for students with the skills needed to be “agents of nature”—receives a cryptic message that his father, rumored to have died several years ago alongside his mother, is still alive. That news understandably distracts Peter from his studies, eventually leading him into a classic hero quest of self-discovery and purpose. The plot is somewhat slow to start, but once it takes off readers will be pleased at the surprising—and exciting—twists in store for Peter and his friends.

Prose: Colless builds an alluring world rich with believable conflict, challenging adventures, and an appealing camaraderie between Peter and his friends. The prose is vivid and distinct.

Originality: The story’s creatures and setting are intensely original, and the novel highlights climate change issues in a way that will engage and entertain readers. 

Character/Execution: Peter is noteworthy in several ways: within the storyline, his birth was viewed as a portent of his special powers, but Colless also crafts an intuitive, likable hero in him. Secondary characters are memorable, including the evil Anthrogs, who manifest as ecological threats.

Date Submitted: August 31, 2023