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The World Above by Cameron Dokey Review

Title: The World Above

Author: Cameron Dokey

First published June 4, 2010

184 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9781442403376 (ISBN10: 1442403373)

Rating: 3.9


Lena and her twin brother, Max, grew up listening to their mother’s stories about the World Above. While Max believes in the magic of his mother’s tales, Lena remains doubtful.

However, when Max trades their only horse for magical seeds, Lena can’t help but feel a glimmer of hope. With the help of the seeds, they discover a way back to their long-lost kingdom.

But when Max is taken captive by the ruthless ruler who now governs the land, Lena must embark on a dangerous journey to save her brother. As she faces perilous obstacles and unexpected allies in the World Above, Lena begins to realize that her heart might be at risk as well.

About the Author

Meet Cameron Dokey, an author based in Seattle, Washington. She has a vast collection of more than 50 sci-fi and horror films.

Originally from the Central Valley of California, Cameron grew up reading classical literature and mythology. No surprise there, as her father was a teacher of Philosophy, Creative Writing, and Western Literature.

Cameron is happily married with three cats and has written more than a dozen young adult novels. Her all-time favorite book is J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, while her go-to TV show is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” When she’s not writing, Cameron enjoys gardening and is also learning to quilt.

Editoral Review

The World Above by Cameron Dokey is a young adult fantasy novel that will transport readers to a magical realm filled with adventure and wonder. Dokey is an accomplished author in this genre, having written many successful titles including The Storyteller’s Daughter and Belle.

First published in 2010, The World Above is a captivating story that will appeal to fans of fairy tales, myths and legends. At its core, The World Above is a retelling of the beloved fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk.” However, Dokey’s version is more complex and layered, with a deeper exploration of the characters and their motivations.

The plot follows a young girl named Violet, who is living in poverty with her mother and brother. One day, she discovers a magical bean that offers her a chance to change her circumstances.

She plants the bean, and soon finds herself transported to a world above the clouds, where she encounters a variety of fantastical creatures and learns valuable lessons about courage, love, and sacrifice. One of the strengths of The World Above is Dokey’s evocative writing style.

She creates a vivid and detailed world, with imaginative descriptions of plants, animals, and natural phenomena. This attention to detail adds depth and richness to the story, making it feel real and tangible.

Dokey’s characters are also well-drawn, with distinct personalities and motivations. Violet is a sympathetic protagonist, struggling with poverty and social isolation, but also possessing a fierce determination to succeed.

Other key players include the gentle giant Zephyr, the wise elder Oinone, and the villainous Prince Pyrus. Each of these characters has a unique voice and trajectory, adding to the richness of the narrative.

The themes of The World Above are universal and timeless, focusing on the importance of compassion, self-discovery, and resilience. Dokey seamlessly weaves these threads throughout the story, creating a tapestry of ideas that will resonate with readers of all ages.

Additionally, the novel incorporates elements of Greek mythology, offering a deeper historical context and cultural significance. Dokey’s use of mythology adds a layer of sophistication and depth to the story, elevating it above other young adult fantasy titles.

Overall, The World Above is a masterful work of young adult fantasy that deserves attention and praise. Its strengths lie in Dokey’s engaging writing style, well-drawn characters, and timeless themes.

If the book has any limitations, it would be that the plot is somewhat predictable, and there are moments when the dialogue feels a bit heavy-handed. However, these are minor quibbles in the face of the book’s overall excellence.

For fans of fantasy and fairy tales, The World Above is a must-read. It will transport readers to a magical world full of wonder and delight, while also offering deeper insights into the human experience.

Dokey’s masterful storytelling and evocative prose make this a book that readers will treasure and return to time and again. On a scale of 1-10, The World Above earns a solid 9, with high marks for writing quality, character development, and thematic richness.