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Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite
Below the Moon (The 8th Island Trilogy, Book 2, a Novel) by Alexis Marie Chute is a young adult epic fantasy story that would appeal most to an audience of young adults who enjoy fantasy and those who have had their lives impacted by cancer. Below the Moon comes after the first book in the series, Above the Star, and continues to follow teenager Ella Wellsley and her family on the island of Jar-Wya in a parallel dimension. Ella’s cancer may have rendered her mute, but she still has her wits, willpower, and resourcefulness to guide her and her family on her journey to not only find a cure for her illness but to unlock the mystery of the evil Star to save the fate of all worlds.
Below the Moon by Alexis Marie Chute is a completely unique story that is unlike anything I have ever read previously. I loved the way that the plot did not focus solely on Ella, but also on her mother and grandfather who are along for the journey as well. The book was filled not only with unearthly abilities and creatures, but also with life lessons on not giving up, the power of love, and the need to overcome one's fears. I would highly recommend this book to children and young adults battling with cancer as while the book is a fictional fantasy, it is also a story of inspiration, love, and the drive to overcome cancer with the help of loved ones. Overall, I could not help but enjoy this beautifully written story, though I really wish I had read Above the Star first. Now I plan to read the first book in the series next!