One of my fellow fans of Mad Genius Club is Henry Vogel. Like my talented younger sister, Wendy Hamm, he is a story teller, AND IT SHOWS! Yup, that old boy KNOWS how to tell a story.
He's published the first two books of a trilogy: Scout's Honor & Scout's Oath, and written but not yet published the third, Scout's Duty. He provided me with a pre-publish PDF copy of Scout's Duty, which I will review today or tomorrow most likely, but here are my reviews for the first two. These reviews may also be found on Amazon.
Scout's Honor: A Planetary Romance
5.0 out of 5 stars
Unqualified success in a classic juvenile hero story
February 24, 2015
This review is from: Scout's Honor: A Planetary Romance (Kindle Edition)
My 10 year old, Kenneth, is going to have a wonderful world of literature out there waiting for him. When I was his age, I imagined that reading Tom Swift books forever would be just about the perfect world. I don't know how many of those have survived the years, but it really doesn't matter, as long as Henry keeps writing.
I don't know how I missed the Barsoom books when I was a kid; I got all the Tarzan I could, but maybe the library didn't have any John Carter adventures. Since I've been an adult, of course, I've remedied that deficit, and I've also enjoyed the many variants, like the red headed biker chick on Mars. Some of the comments on this post don't seem to appreciate the fact that one story can be told in many different ways, and that is exactly what Henry has done here. He's good at it; he ought to be, because he is, after all, a story teller. This is a wonderful example of books that can be read around the fireplace instead of having the kids watch the Disney Channel. There is also an immediate tie-in with the Cub Scouts; I can see the faces around the campfire, listening intently to David's adventures, and screeching for more, when each chapter ends with a cliff hanger
This is an unqualified success. Note: I read this out of order, having gotten the second book from KU first, but the nature of the story is in no way harmed by that. This is a good old story of the type where you just know the hero and princess are meant for each other, and that's way col. Remember how disappointed you were when Wesley died in The Princess Bride? None of that foolishness here.
But he does say, 'As you wish...'
Scout's Oath: A Planetary Romance (Scout's Honor Book 2)
5.0 out of 5 stars
A GREAT juvenile and Young Adult novel, and good for remembering the old days.
February 23, 2015
This review is from: Scout's Oath: A Planetary Romance (Scout's Honor Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
This brings back memories of nights spent reading Tom Swift under the covers with a flashlight after I was supposed to be asleep. It's got that same feeling, with chapters ending in cliffhangers described in sentences with exclamation points at the end!
And if it doesn't bring back memories of Barsoom, then you haven't read those books, and there is no excuse for that. They are all online for free at Gutenberg.
Here's what is wonderful about this book: the deep flashbacks, in which David and Callan are revealed as they were at earlier ages. David has an older story-telling neighbor, Callan has her bodyguard Rob, who sings to her frightened four-year old self as he fights off her kidnappers, then at age 10 scolds her for putting a stableboy at risk by humiliating nobles in front of them.
It's an epic heroic tale, full of derring-do, rotten bad guys, some really funny dialogue, and people in love.
Highly recommend this as a juvenile and Young Adult, or even for grandfathers who would like to remember the experience of reading Tom Swift under the covers.