Book Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

27 Jul

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The Kingdom of Oceana is the first book in a new Young Adult fantasy adventure series by Mitchell Charles.

 

Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.

As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt–just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Two brothers, but only one can rule.

“While the book is fiction, it is heavily influenced by the rich and beautiful Hawaiian myths, legends, locales, and culture.  Many locations in the story are inspired by real places in Hawaii,” says Mitchell.

The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure, with big wave surfing, fire walking, and shark taming, while also being educational and bringing to light many environmental and social issues, like ocean conservation.

 

The Kingdom of Oceana is currently available for sale on Amazon.

 

 

My Review

I received a free copy of the audiobook for an honest review.

The Kingdom of Oceana is based on the Hawaiian Islands five centuries ago. Prince Ailani is the second born to the king of the Big Island and Ailani has always assumed that his older brother, Nohoa, will become the next king. The brothers are typical brothers with the older one picking on the younger one.

It is easy to envision the beautiful Hawaiian setting as this story unfolds. The author does a great job of describing it. There are also Hawaiian myths and legends included which makes it more interesting.

The Kingdom of Oceana begins with Ailani and Nohoa unleashing a centuries old curse but there are also tensions building between the island kingdoms, as well as odd occurrences in the ocean. With so much happening, and the kingdom needing all the warriors they can get, the princes are sent on a vision quest to find their spirit animals. The brothers help each other but there is even more tension between them now that there is a princess whom they both like. There’s adventure, adversity, legend, love, and suspense and it all builds up to a surprising ending.

The narrator choice was a good one. The story is told from Ailani’s POV and the narrator has the perfect accent for it (whether it’s real or not, it’s perfect).

I definitely recommend this book for middle school readers and older. I think adults will like it as much as the younger readers.

Just a couple of days ago, I was sent study guides that go along with this book. They are great! One is titled Earth Science and the other Humanities. Both contain a lot of information about the Hawaiian Islands, discussion questions for classes, and even some multiple choice questions. These would make great resources for a class studying Hawaii and the book could be tied into the studies as well. Below is a satellite photo of Hawaii from one of the study guides.

 

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About the Author

Mitch Hookipa fixed croppedMitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked.  He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.

Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise.

These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic.

Mitchell is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls. For more information, visit http://kingdomofoceana.com/

Readers can connect with Mitchell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

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