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Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite
Jaccazaxr Trilogy by S.W. Benson is a wonderful action-adventure book for kids. While staying in the country with their wise, kindly grandparents (who have a little more adventure to them than meets the eye), some cousins find a cave and stumble into a fascinating underground world. Everything in Jaccazaxr is a rainbow of colors, the fruit is the best they’ve ever tasted, the blue possum they’ve just met is so adorable, and it’s all like finding their very own Narnia—until several lizards attack them and the kids find themselves in the middle of a looming war between different factions of animals. Will the grandparents, the kids, and a few noble animals be able to find the source of the war and bring about peace before it’s too late?
This book was just all-round awesome. Its spot on dialogue and interchanges brought the characters to life like a movie and the fast pace developed the story excellently. The family of cousins is so real—sensible Adison, pugnacious Jadzia, resourceful Xander, and the rest—and the story of their adventures in Jaccazaxr was everything a children’s book should be. From herbal remedies to negotiating with captors to finding friends in unexpected places, S.W. Benson created a world I couldn’t wait to read more about. I was simply having so much fun all the time. Side characters like morally torn Piggsvin and enigmatic Panthera fleshed out the journey of the kids and made the potential war between the animals far from simple or lacking in layers. Loyalty, courage, friendship, family, and helping others shone out as themes—not hammered, but spun into the tale as purely the reason for the story. Absolutely recommended.