Adaptively Radiant

Joseph E.
Young Adult

INSPIRATIONAL/PARANORMAL:  Cousins Justin Blackwood and Kaito Saito inherit one of two mysterious family heirlooms on their 21st birthdays. While enjoying Kaito’s birthday celebration in Japan, the two cousins realize the heirlooms together uncover a secret compartment holding a tiny treasure map leading to a jar holding The Nine Stones. The stones are covered on one side with the engraving of an animal and the other side etched in the language of Kanji. Ensuing supernatural happenings shared by the cousins send them on a scavenger quest destined for them by unknown forces.  Justin’s younger sister Melia joins the two and his new friend Yori on a journey of self-discovery and talking animals as they collaborate to collect all nine objects found in magical realms assigned to each of The Nine Stones.

Joseph Henning delivers a scavenger-hunt adventure tale filled with cultural wonder and mystical folklore.  The attention to detail is helpful in imagining the magic of the quest. That same attention to detail found in the day-to-day happenings makes the story drag almost to a stop.  Characters are well written and relatable, unique individuals readers will identify with. The brilliantly described supernatural scenes will propel readers into realms of radiance and fantasy. The quest challenges are filled with intelligent riddles, talking spirit animals, and spine-chilling tests of will power and perseverance. Romantic scenes are short and sweet. The ending of the book was a little abrupt and an obvious cliff-hanger. Trivia nerds, nature enthusiasts, amateur chefs, and adrenalin junkies will all find something to light up their minds in Mr. Henning’s youthful journey of self-discovery, mysterious beings, and blossoming romance!

Tonya Mathenia