Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book Review: Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti

Title: Joshua and the Lightning Road
Publication date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Donna Galanti

Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.

Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.

To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.

In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

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I loved the idea of a 'lightning road', that description elicits a whole slew of ideas of what could happen in the story. To me it promised adventure and action in this story, and I think it delivered. I liked how the author intertwined the Greek mythology parallels with the story. I had hoped to see more of the gods but we only get one or two and the rest are their descendants.

I like Joshua, he's a good main character, a typical twelve-year-old boy. He handles things in a believable manner and I like that he doesn't hide his feelings. He has good morals and sticks to them. I liked seeing Joshua make all his friends and how loyal they are to each other. Loved seeing that in books.

While this is great, I have a complaint that there were only two women in this story! Yes, there are other women mentioned, but they never appeared and they were only talked about. There are only two females who Joshua encounters and the main one is a bad person. I know this book is primarily aimed at young male readers but come on, boys can read about boys being friends with girls too! 

The pacing is quick. If you're a speed reader, you can definitely read it in one sitting. The writing is didn't quite affect me as I wanted, it was blunt and didn't click with me emotionally. I feel like it could have been written in a clearer manner because sometimes I had to re-read a scene to completely understand what happened. While the writing was short and fast this reads more as a steady adventure. I didn't feel like there were huge stakes in this book to make me squirm with excitement but I did feel like this book read for a middle schooler so it's entertaining. However, as an adult reading this, you may see some flaws in the story that may irk you in terms of common sense. 

I wanted to like this book much more than I did. Something just fell a little short of it for me. It could have been some of the loose ends when I finished the book. It didn't feel like a satisfying ending for me. This may be because I'm an adult reading a MG book but I tried not to let that affect my judgement as I read. I just didn't feel as emotionally invested in the story as I wish I could have been. I think Joshua and his friends are good characters but I feel the execution just didn't quite make the story for me. Still, this is a book that a young reader can enjoy if they are open to the adventures in another world and are fond of books parallel to Greek mythology.

2.5 out of 5 rating for me!

(A copy was provided for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)


Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs..., a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at and Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Information: Winner will be drawn: June 19, 2015
·        Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti (INT)

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