Read-to-Review: Destiny’s Gambit (The Voyages of Jake Flynn #1) by R.J. Wood

Destinys Gambit

A resourceful boy takes a glowing sailboat across the stars to search for his long-missing parents and becomes the target of pirates and an evil cabal with a sinister agenda.

Twelve-year-old Jake Flynn’s parents disappeared when he was a baby. On his twelfth birthday, the mystery of why his parent’s disappeared begins to unravel for he discovers a glowing talisman with a message from his father.

Jake is directed to a derelict sailboat, and he watches in awe as the talisman magically knits ropes and sails for it out of golden energy. Awash in light, the boat sails up into space, and the voyages of Jake Flynn begin.

During his quest to find his parents, Jake will encounter space pirates in tall sailing ships, channelers that can wield energy like magic, and evil cabalists led by a sinister snake-woman. Assisted by a young healer and her aged protector, a spirited cabin girl and salty space captain, Jake learns that he can too channel, and that he is central to stopping the cabalists from resurrecting a long-dead evil.
Puzzles, a pirate asteroid, walking the plank, fantastic magic, trapped treasure caves, multiple planets, and great ship battles – Jake must experience them all on this epic adventure. By the end, he will discover the truth of his destiny, understand that family transcends blood lines, and find that his own needs are sometimes less important than those of others.

Like other popular fantasy series, The Voyages of Jake Flynn: Destiny’s Gambit can appeal to the young and old alike. (From: Goodreads)

***Actual Rating: 4/5 Adventurous Stars***

All right, to begin with, Destiny’s Gambit (The Voyages of Jake Flynn #1) is probably the second middle grade story I’ve read after binge reading the entire Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House) series when I was young. Seriously, I’m not exaggerating at all; I didn’t make reading a habit until a few years ago so anything other than young adult novels is pretty new to me. Nevertheless, I’m still going to try writing a short review for this book.

Apparently, Jake Flynn is the main character here. He’s a 12-year-old kid who discovers an abandoned ship near his house and he goes on an adventure with his friends afterwards. During their journey, they travel to many interesting places, meet new friends and encounter all sort of exciting yet nerve-wrecking challenges. Among all the mysterious characters, the one that stands out to me is probably the snake lady. Although she has nothing in common with Medusa from the Greek mythology as I initially pictured her, the snake lady’s presence in the book never fails to give me chills. I mean, it doesn’t happen all the time when someone flicks their black tongue at you while talking.

In order not to give away too much detail about Jake’s adventure, I’ll skip to the end instead. Let me warn you first: There is a cliffhanger in the end. Gladly, the cliffhanger in this book isn’t as unbearable as most cliffhangers are. Jake’s determined to find his missing parents in the following instalments, I believe, and he’s continuously learning something new in this magical world. With the help of his friends, he’s able to break through all the barriers in between. Therefore, I’m looking forward to his future experience as well as the difficulties he’s about to face.

What I like most about Jake’s story is the well-thought-out plot and how action-packed it is. The author’s writing style makes the entire book so easy to consume and my overall reading experience is pretty good. However, the only reason I find it hard to give this book a solid five star is that middle grade stories don’t seem to be my favorite genre at this moment. I’m sorry but this is purely my personal preference and it has NOTHING to do with the story itself! Hence, I’ll still recommend The Voyages of Jake Flynn series to anyone who normally enjoy reading middle grade stories or those who like to have a quick, adventurous read! Jake’s story is totally worth your time. 🙂

***Thanks to the author for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.***



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