Neola


Young Adult - Action
267 Pages
Reviewed on 01/17/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Steven Weaver, an engineer by day, novelist by night. Shifting from design, protocols, and boring equipment procedures to exciting adventures and new experiences his imagination invents for his characters, all the while wishing it were he himself, lost on the journey between pages. He was born and raised in a small town in Idaho and parts of Oregon. Steven grew up living with his mother and sister through middle school and high school, separated from his three other siblings. They didn't have a lot of money growing up and books were his only escape. This is the reason he focuses his fiction writing on children and young adult (YA) genres. If even only one child or teen experiencing loneliness can find escape in his stories, if you ask Steven, he'll say he was successful. Steven has always had a passion for storytelling, but as with anything, school, work, and family took precedence over writing and his pen ran out of ink. That was until, 2011 when he decided to start writing again, completing his first novel. The Vault, A Journey of Discovery was the result, and in 2013 became available for the masses. He never planned to stop there. His second story, Neola, a young adult adventure novel is just one more in the many he plans to share. Steven incorporates his upbringing by a strong single mother, his engineering and scientific experience, and his passion for history into his character's experiences with never before seen technologies and adventures.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Neola: A Fight For Freedom, penned by author Steven Weaver, is a work of fiction in the action and adventure genre. It is aimed at young adults and contains only some mild scenes of violence. The book follows the life of Brad: a young man whose perfect life is shattered when his family has to flee their home. But as they are getting ready to evacuate, Brad meets the captivatingly unique Neola, a mysterious young woman in possession of something powerful that has painted a target on her back. Brad feels compelled to give up on escaping to safety with his family for working with Neola to fight back against the enemy which is driving them from the lives they had built.

Author Steven Weaver has crafted a fascinating and thrilling adventure that young adult readers and the young at heart will be sure to enjoy. I, for one, was especially pleased with the themes of social protest and young people taking power, which are very up and coming in the genre right now. In terms of technical craft, the realism presented in Brad makes him a highly relatable young man, vulnerable to his emotions, but also strong and amicable, so it’s easy to root for him and end up on the edge of your seat as he faces more and more dangerous situations in the plot. As for Neola herself, what a showstopping character, with enigmatic dialogue and beautiful descriptive work. To uncover her many mysteries, I would highly recommend reading Neola: A Fight For Freedom if you enjoy action-packed thrillers with emotional resonance too.

Grace Masso

Neola: A Fight for Freedom by Steven Weaver has a subtitle that aptly describes what readers will find in the book: a futuristic, nail-biting thriller filled with adventure and intrigue, and it is a great read for fans of young adult literature. I hate reading such promises in titles, but this author does deliver on his. Set in the year 2055 after the economic crash of the early twentieth century that witnessed the collapse of the European Union and the merging of countries like the United States, UK, Germany, France, and Spain, forming the United Federation States (UFS), it follows strong and interesting characters in their fight for freedom.

Seventeen-year-old Brad has lived with his parents and two young brothers, Zach and Parker until the time the story opens. While people worry about the control by the federation, Brad and his family dread someone even deadlier. They have always lived in fear, haunted by a corporation that acted with more power than the burden that the federated government with its already tightening restrictions puts on them. With the summer break about to end, Brad is just having a good time when his family is threatened, and they have to run for their lives. But Brad couldn’t go with the words “Don’t leave me,” and “You can’t leave me” ringing in his ears. He has known that Neola has a special gift from the moment he met her, a gift coveted by some of the powerful people out there. He has to choose between running away with his family and staying to join forces with Neola against a common enemy. The choice he makes sends them out on a riveting adventure that turns this story into an absolute page-turner.

This is a story that will appeal to fans of science fiction, adventure, and dystopian. The setting is cleverly written, a time when electric cars are common, with great advancements in science and a focus on the military and medicine. The setting is imaginative and readers can easily visualize the relationship between the characters and the world they inhabit. Steven Weaver writes in prose that is fluid, using short chapters to build the pulse of the story and calculated paragraph breaks to reinforce the dramatic nature of the narrative. Neola: A Fight for Freedom features strong themes — the quest for freedom, survival, family, power, and science. The characters are exceptionally written and I found them realistic, even if some have the power to read minds and influence the thoughts of others. It is a fun read, packed with surprises, and Brad and Neola are characters that anyone will want to follow. But hey, Brad’s father is a pilot and a genius that I loved, and I enjoyed how he interacts with those around him.

Tammy Ruggles

Neola: A Fight for Freedom by Steven Weaver is an action-oriented YA novel that will keep you on your toes and melt your heart. This character-driven story begins on a cryptic note, and from the first page you want explanations, but you instantly want to follow the lead character Brad as he tells his story in first-person POV. It's an intriguing tale with a beginning that is set in the year 2055 when crime is climbing, technology rules, and Engineering Genetics plays God for mankind on planet Earth. This is a story of a family in danger, and Brad is a teenage boy with a lot to bear concerning the safety of his family. He has two young twin brothers to think about, as well as his parents. I can't give spoilers away for this book, so let's just say that the family is in peril, and Brad has some tough decisions to make after he meets the secretive and mysterious Neola, to whom he is attracted right away. The thing is, she is on someone's hit list too, all because she has something unique. Willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family, Brad and Neola work together to combat the enemy.

Weaver has crafted the perfect action novel for young adult readers. Why? It starts with some gripping scenes, and you get to know the characters through their interactions and the dangers they face. The author's descriptions are detailed, the plot and pacing are energetic, and the dialogue is realistic and dynamic. I like the chemistry between Brad and Neola, and the mysterious feel of the story. Brad's courage and drive for freedom is to be admired, and the choices he makes are definitely coming-of-age material. The author conveys the inner struggles very well. I also appreciate the explanations of the technology. If you like stories where people are on the run and hiding from deadly threats, put Neola: A Fight for Freedom by Steven Weaver at the top of your reading list.