Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Book Review of From the Mouth of Elijah by Bryan Davis

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In Song of the Ovulum, a fiery battle between dragons and the military helped Matt and Lauren set their father, Billy Bannister, free from a demonic captor. The demon, however, escaped and kidnapped their mother, Bonnie. During the battle, a portal vortex flung Matt into oblivion, and no one knew where he went. 
Now, in From the Mouth of Elijah, Lauren and Billy set out on a journey to find Bonnie, hoping Lauren’s gifted hearing can track down Bonnie’s never-ending song. At the same time, Walter and Ashley search for clues to cure a mysterious disease that threatens to kill the original anthrozils, including Jared, who was once the great Clefspeare. 
Both journeys are fraught with peril as Lauren and Matt are thrust into Second Eden, where a volcano, Mount Elijah, has erupted and devastated the land, killing many of the residents. Matt uses his gifts of healing to save some of the victims, and when he finds Bonnie, he engages in another life-or-death battle with Tamiel’s forces in an attempt to free her. 
In the meantime, Lauren learns that she is the only person who believes the cure to be possible, so she begins a search for it. Along the way, she gains an unusual companion who prepares her for a heart-wrenching decision. Her choice is simple: Sacrifice her own life or let the anthrozils die.

Series: Children of the Bard (Book 2)

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Living Ink Books, an imprint of AMG Publishers (July 25, 2012)
Page Count: 512 pages

I've read the first book of this series and it threw me for an emotional loop so I've held the second book to high standards. Though I enjoyed this book, I still like the first one a bit better, but that's just me. 

What I liked: Probably the funnest part of this book is now we're most off of Earth and now we're on Second Eden which has changed much since we saw it last in Bones of Makaidos--since it's been totaled by a volcano. It's been Mount Doom-ed.

Kinda like this except without the Eye of Sauron,
but there are dragons involved.
So the volcanic wasteland plays a very key part to the story and adds this underlying tension with the threat of eruption, lava-covered areas, and toxic gasses. If that wasn't enough we have a dragon-killing parasite to deal with so we also have a proverbial ticking time bomb as well. On top of that, Tamiel wants to corrupt Bonnie's mercy song to corrupt the world. This creates constant conflict (Thinking of Abaddon) throughout the story. We also have a lot of portals and explosions. 

One part of the book gave me a massive scare that had me screaming "No! No! No!" and another broke my heart at the tenderness. And other parts made me laugh. Other scenes made me upset because there's so much death in this book. Gosh. It's almost Hunger Games bad.

Many characters from the previous series return including Grackle, Albatross, Listener, Valiant, Enoch, and Abbadon with some new faces such as Cheer and Eagle. Even the Joan of Arc comes into play! And many other characters return, but I'll let you read and find out those. 

Matt and Lauren begin to flourish as they are tested to the max and further utilize their awesome powers like healing and super hearing. And there is at least some happiness since fragments of the Bannister family are together. Billy really showed a good example of being a father and it was admirable that he didn't become embittered by his over a decade imprisonment. Walter and Ashley are adorable as ever.

Leave it to Mr. Davis to create more really cool objects like a candlestone healing gun and healing leaves on the Tree of Life. We also see Second Eden companions again. They are not Firefly companions, but cool floating eggs like visible consciences. It'd be cool to have some of those. And his writing technique is good as always. Beautiful prose.

The primary theme I picked up is overcoming fear with courage:

Heart of courage ... Courage isn't always something you plan. ... Once in a while you know in advance about difficult times you have to face, and you have had a chance to build courage beforehand ... We need tests of courage like those. ~ Billy Bannister, From the Mouth of Elijah
Much is shown in this book about overcoming fear and sacrificing for others and what you believe in. This is shown in many powerful visual examples.

Lastly, the ending is really good. I like that it's getting really personal for Matt. It made me hungry for the next book.

What I didn't like: This book is probably my least favorite of the series for several reasons. 

I've noticed a lot of Mr. Davis' language carries through out his books almost like he's saying the same thing over and over again. This was very pronounced in this book. It felt like passion and genetics were said a lot. Not that it's a horrible thing. It was kinda meh. Also the characters' speech patterns are very similar and it's hard to see differences many times.

The characters seemed almost too sacrificial sometimes. This got irritating because the bad guys just exploited that. Bonnie wanted to be sacrificial for others and in the process it's making her song destroy the world. It's like, well ... can you stop for a bit for the world's sake and let someone else do the saving? Can you just think of yourself for once?

One character managed to get over the death of a family member pretty fast. A little too fast than I would be able to if someone died right in front of me. Lauren seemed a little off when she was berating Abaddon for using alliterations. She sounded kind of childish.

And Earth got a lot of dissing in this book. I mean, I know this planet has its flaws, but come on. "Earth's culture is sewage?" That's a little much. Then all of the characters agree with that label. Finally something good is said about our poor, corrupted world, which gave me a relief. 

At one point it's mentioned that Elam doesn't allow any videos into Second Eden and the POV character thinks most people would think that's narrow and oppressive. Well, it did kind of seem that to me. Sorry to be the wet blanket. 

Content Cautions: There is smoking and some violence. Blood and peeled off skin is shown and vague description of a disemboweled dragon.

Despite my criticism I enjoyed the book, but less than Song of the Ovulum. 3.7 stars!

About the Author:
Bryan Davis is the author of the following young adult fantasy series: Dragons in our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Echoes from the Edge, and Dragons of Starlight. He also wrote I Know Why the Angels dance, a contemporary novel for adults.

After laboring as a computer geek for 20 years, Bryan followed a dream to become an author. He began by writing a story to motivate his seven children to gain some excitement about writing, and that story grew into a novel. After spending the next eight years learning the craft and enduring more than 200 rejections from publishers and agents, he broke through with his best-selling series Dragons in our Midst. He is now a full-time author and lives with his wife, Susie, and their children in western Tennessee.

You can find him on FacebookTwitterGoodreads and his website! I also have an interview with him I had on the blog! Also don't forget to check out the review for book one of the Children of the Bard series!

I've reviewed several other books by this author:
Dragons of Starlight Book 3: Diviner

Dragons of Starlight Book 4: Liberator
Tales of Starlight Book 1: Masters & Slayers
Tales of Starlight Book 2: The Third Starlighter 
Tales of Starlight Book 3: Exodus Rising

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)


  1. Hm, sounds interesting, though not my style. I'm glad you liked it, even if it wasn't always easy to like!