Book Review: Heaven and Hound: Rise of the Alpha by L.J. Clarkson

Heaven-and-Houng-by-LJ-ClarksonTitle: Heaven and Hound: Rise of the Alpha (Heaven and Hound series)

Author: LJ Clarkson

Publication Date: November 23, 2014

Publisher: Indicated Publications and Promotions

Pages: 151

Recommended Age: 8 to 13



About the Book

Dog-fearer extraordinaire, Barny Pedrotter is the world’s most unlikely Alpha. To him, mutts are the worst. Protective. Snappy. Love the taste of Barny’s pants. Proven when the millionth Pomeranian attacks him on the way to school, sparking childhood fears. The whole thing-him crying and leaping onto his best mate’s back, and trying to defend his pants with a newspaper-is caught on video and goes viral. Thanks to the local newspaper twisting the facts and branding him a dog beater, he loses his vacation position at LC Comics. Now he’s left with three days to find another job, or else flunk ninth grade.

Trouble is, the only available position is training Mr. Lucius’ cursed and disobedient hellhounds to track his missing father. No matter how scared Barny is, he’d rather face the fleabags than fail school. Except working with Mr. Lucius drags Barny into a millennia-old family feud, where Louis’ jealous, scheming sister, Gaybreeal, tries every little dirty trick to sabotage them and spark a war between Heaven and Earth. Barny must summon the Alpha within to command the hounds, or end up on their menu.

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My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

Heaven and Hound is a creative middle grade fantasy that is a fun read while, at the same time, addresses bullying, the loss of a parent, and facing your fears.

Barny, the main character, is a ninth grader whose father left his mom and him with not so much as a goodbye. Since then, he’s been picked on and bullied by many of the other kids in the private school he has a scholarship to because his mom can’t afford to buy him new school uniforms.

One requirement to graduate from ninth grade is to get a job for 2 weeks. Barny has his job all lined up but it is cancelled at the last minute. Suddenly, he has to face his fear of dogs in order to get a last minute job to graduate from ninth grade. The job changes Barney’s life  forever!

The characters in Heaven and Hound are described well and some of them are quite unique. For example, Pop is a supreme being like no other supreme being I’d ever imagine. And his kids are pretty strange (at least the ones in this book) and each has their own powers. One of them, Mr. Lucius, is Barny’s new boss. Mr. Lucius’ sister, Gay, is evil and keeps trying to sabotage him from finding Pop. She’s even willing to kill his hounds!

Heaven and Hound kept my interest throughout. It’s a quick, and sometimes funny, read with a couple surprises. It’s the first book in a series and I look forward to reading the next one. I definitely recommend Heaven and Hound for all readers ages  8 and up.


About the Author

LJ Clarkson author

LJ Clarkson tells everyone she gave up her Environmental Engineering career to study a Masters in Creative Writing and pursue her writing dreams. But that’s not entirely true. Ten percent of the time she sleeps in. Playing spider solitaire consumes 5% (bad, bad habit). Running Indicated, a promotional site for authors steals another 18.75%. In her remaining waking hours, she writes, laughs at her own jokes or characters, sings out of tune, recites useless, but very fascinating facts and reads children’s books. If she were a Mastermind, she’d uninvent early mornings, grammar, broccoli, cleaning, and her dog’s fussy eating habits. She is the author of the Mastermind Academy and Heaven and Hound series.



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