Thursday, July 5, 2012

Yvonne Anderson - Words in the Wind

Words in the Wind
Gateway to Gannah

By Yvonne Anderson 

Kindle Version Available

Product Description (from Amazon)

Dassa is back on Gannah, but things aren’t going the way she’d planned.

A shuttle crash leaves her marooned 10,000 kilometers from the settlement just as a blizzard sets in. Injured, she takes refuge in Ruwach Gorge. Seeking food and shelter, she stumbles across the ruins of a place she’d always thought was a myth. What she finds there casts doubt on some of her fundamental beliefs.

Her husband, Pik, reluctantly takes charge of the settlement in her absence and organizes a search for her. Rebellious settlers and a wayward daughter make things difficult enough. But when the planet’s animals threaten to break the ancient treaty and resume the old Wildlife Wars, Pik’s hard-pressed to hold things together. If he can manage to find Dassa, will she have a home to come back to?

Alone in the mysterious canyon where reality and fairytale are flipped, Dassa wonders the same thing.

About the Author (from Amazon)

Anderson writes fiction that takes you out of this world. Words in the Wind is the second in her Gateway to Gannah series.

Visit her Website

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Rachel

Warning .. don’t pick up this book unless you have time to be transported to another time and place for several hours.  At nearly 300 pages, it took me around 8 – 10 hours to read.
Pik and Dassa are again the main two characters, but where The Story in the Stars (first book) jumped from location to location, and shifted sub characters several times, this book has two primary locations and only one set of characters. Many of them were in the first book, and it was delightful to get to know them better.

Whereas the first book’s theme was love and forgiveness and the Gospel, this story is about maintaining our Walk with God and obedience and discipline.  There are many spots that will make you squirm in your seat, particularly if you find that character’s words and thoughts too much like your own.  Another splendid novel by Yvonne Anderson, and I feel sure she would say to give the glory to God.

Words in the Wind is not a soft read; it will grab you and work you over a bit.  It will stretch your comfort zone, and pull your comfy chair right out from under you.  I laughed.  I cried.  My heart ached and rejoiced.  I don’t often enjoy emotional books – but this one had a subtle lesson as it took you through the journey and was far beyond the typical “tear-jerker”.

While ‘Stars’ had an underlying “Star Trek” feel to the universe, because the entire story takes place on Gannah, there is very little of that feeling in this book.  Gannah was a familiar location from the first book, and so it felt homey and unique all at the same time.  The plot here is vastly different from ‘Stars.’  The book flips back and forth between Pik’s story and Dassa’s story.

Basic Plot

A decade or more has passed.

Dassa has just finished translating an ancient log book for the Karkar.  She has spent several weeks on a space ship, piloted by the captain of the rescue ship in the first book, Dr. Broward.  In spite of less than clear skies and her better judgment, she opts to return to the surface of the planet, she is so anxious to see her two children and husband Pik again.  But as the shuttle descends, Yasha talks with Dassa about her attitude of aloofness and hiding from him.  Suddenly, things go very wrong ... and the shuttle crashes.

Dassa survives the crash, only to find herself in the most edge of a gorge at the northern edge of the land.  A blizzard is beginning, and temperatures are dropping fast.  She needs to find shelter fast – and in spite of her injuries, including damaging her meah, she escapes the burning shuttle, kills a lion, takes his skin, and manages to escape down the edge of the gorge against all odds of her surviving.  She knows help will arrive ... eventually.  But she also knows that winter has begun, and the storm above could rage unchecked for weeks.  In the meantime, she needs to find food and shelter, warm clothes, and better shoes.  This is one part of her world that she knows very little about.

After many days of travel, which take several chapters due to the extreme danger, she arrives at a statue – and realizes that the mythical cities of the stories of her people are not myths at all.  What she finds inside shakes her to her very core and upends everything she thought she knew about her beloved Gannah’s history.

But she is determined to return home.  She estimates it will take her a year, maybe two, but she will cross all of Gannah with nothing more than her survival skills, her faith in Yasha, and the ghosts that haunt her memories.

Meanwhile ...

Pik has suddenly found himself the Gannah ruler of over 1000 Earthers.  None of them truly understand Gannah yet, and they feel the loss of Dassa as a young child would feel to be suddenly ripped from loving parents.  Dassa’s two children especially feel this loss, as they are separated from their mother’s meah as well – something they have never been without, no matter how far away she has been.  Eventually, the young daughter’s fears and anguish cause her to make an unwise choice and she is badly injured.

Meanwhile, one of the council members uses Dassa’s disappearance to advance his own agenda.  He wants to lead a group to start a second settlement, and he will stop at nothing to get his way.  Pik does his best to treat him fairly and keep the matter private.

The animals come to talk to them – only Adam had a meah to talk to them – and they try to trick the humans into breaking their agreement – and then report that one of them has seen Dassa, but was unable to communicate with her.

The first rescue attempt was called short, but they see signs that Dassa is alive.  But with so many things going wrong at the settlement, and the bad weather of winter, will she be able to continue to survive?  Can the settlement survive without her?


Whether you are “into sci-fi” or not, this book is compelling on so many human levels as well.  It will challenge you to re-evaluate where you stand in your faith, and compel you to a more faithful level of obedience.  At least, I found that true for myself.

Now that I’ve finished reading, I find myself mulling over things.  And definitely, I am looking forward to the next book.   The book comes to an end at a good place, but it leaves several problems unsolved and unaddressed, minor issues to be sure, but a vital part of the sub plot.

Thank you so much to Yvonne for inviting us into her world of Gannah.

I handed the books to my sci-fi loving 14 year old daughter, and she is devouring them as well, and has declared them “too good to let me sleep until I know how it ends!”

O.Scarlett! review by V. Kathie

This book did not captivate me as much as the first, but I still enjoyed it. Mom says it is probably because I am not a mother and I never had to deal with the problem of “what would happen to my family if I was separated from them for a large amount of time.” Although that broken arm of hers gave my imagination a work out as I tried to picture the book as it happened. I kept having her reach for things with her right hand but realized that was the one that was broken so I had to switch my mental picture to having her reach with her left hand.
I was able to put this one down a whole lot easier than the last one. But I still had trouble. I enjoyed the lesson and it got me thinking. (I love a book that makes me think, probably why I enjoy listening to Unshackled so much.) If you are the type of person who has a ‘camera’ running in your head while you are reading something you probably will have a bit more trouble reading it than if you are not. I had to walk away from it every thirty minutes to let my ‘camera’ cool off although I do enjoy a good mind stretcher that works with my brain to see things in different lights. I give this book a five star rating and will definitely be reading it over and over and over again.

Note:  Depending on a child’s ability to handle violence, this book could be enjoyed by most Jr. High students, and some in upper elementary.  Violence is not the theme of the book, but is “extreme” (not graphic) on the occasions that it occurs.   Theme is learning obedience and reliance on God through the things that you suffer.

Genre/Theme:  Science Fiction, Survival/Adventure, Christian,
Reading Level:  TEEN - high school to college  (ages 10 and up)
Profanity:  Mild
Sexuality: Very SUBTLE - hinted, but not explicit  -  people marry, have babies, and the Captain flirts
Other: Dassa crashes on the northern most extreme edge of her world (only one land mass) just as winter begins.  Describes crash and the extremes she goes to in order to survive.  At the settlement,  one child is badly injured.  A few descriptions of the violence of the animals of the planet.

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