Passages Volume 1: The Marus Manuscripts by Paul McCusker

Book description:

Arin’s Judgment: One minute, Wade Mullins is at home, attempting to destroy top-secret drawings for the atomic bomb. The next minute, he’s in an alternate world staring at a strange prophet who says Wade is the final sign, an end-time omen of a culture on the verge of annihilation.

Darien’s Rise: Anna wanted superpowers, but now she’s not so sure after being transported to a new planet. She sees visions of the future. And her brother Kyle is a bodyguard who can’t fail. But both of their powers are only used to help Darien, the rightful heir to the throne of Marus. Darien is being held by a man so evil, not even Anna and Kyle can save him.

Annison’s Risk: Maddy finds herself in a strange new land called Marus where a conquering king is about to marry a princess. The king’s most trusted adviser is hatching an evil plot to stamp out followers of the “old faith,” and Maddy discovers that plan includes the new princess. Should Maddy reveal the truth and usher in political chaos? Or will the princess have to give up her life to bring peace?

My review:

I was already a fan of Paul McCusker’s writing for kids from the Imagination Station books he has co-written with Marianne Hering, so I was excited to read this one.  I was a little hesitant because I am not typically a fan of fantasy stories with made-up places, but I really enjoyed this book.  McCusker’s writing is easy to read, the plots move along quickly, and the characters are engaging, especially to the target audience.

The best part about this book is that it includes three stories in one.  It feels like a bonus to read from one to the next without having to stop and get another book!  I love the way that McCusker takes Bible stories and retells them in a way that makes them easily accessible for younger readers.  It reminds me of the way Francine Rivers does the same thing for adults.  For me, it makes the Bible stories more personal and gives me a greater appreciation and understanding of them when I go back and read them in the Bible.

This is a great book for younger readers (the target age is 8-12), especially if they are reluctant readers.  It is a very quick and interesting read!

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