Thursday, January 22, 2015

Vicki V. Lucas - Toxic

The Trap Series

By Vicki V. Lucas 

Available on Amazon

Product Description (from Amazon)

In a fantasy world, a reckless teen must join forces with a determined student and an insecure musician to fight terrifying armies and powerful sorcerers to purify the poisoned water that is sweeping across the land.

While facing global annihilation from toxic water in Eltiria, Kai is trying to save his sister from death. But when he seizes his only chance to make enough money to pay for healers, his plans are torn to shreds, and he finds himself battling monsters as he is chased farther away from his family.

Lizzy travels to a nearby city for safety, only to watch her older brother dragged away from her by monsters from myths. Running for her life, she must find a way to reunite her family as she is thrown into choices that lead her further from what she wants. Taryn knows it is his destiny to save the world through magic and is on his way to begin his journey to greatness. But then his beliefs are challenged as he is thrown off the path he has chosen for himself and into a life he never desired.

Guided by a mysterious winged horse named Eladar, they discover that the world is not what they thought and everything they believed was wrong. Can they locate the source of the poison and find their faith as they battle to find the truth in a world of chaos and destruction?

About the Author (from Amazon)

Vicki V. Lucas has always struggled with the question "What are you going to be when you grow up?" She received her Bachelor's in Psychology...only to find herself with no desire to counsel people. She obtained a Master's in Teaching English as a Second Language. Teaching at universities and colleges gave her incredible experiences and unforgettable friends from many different countries. However, the distant mountains called, and she responded. After traveling through quiet places, she settled in Missoula, MT with her family. She has begun to write the Christian YA fantasy stories she heard on the wind.

Toxic is the first of these stories. Set in the fantasy world of Eltiria, it is the tale of a young untrained warrior who has been sent on a quest to purify the poisoned water of the world. Together with the help of Lizzy and Taryn, they seek to find a solution for both their world and their own problems.

Vicki loves to hear what you have to say. Please leave a review or visit her webpage at But if she doesn't respond very soon, just remember that she may be off in the lonely mountains.

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Kendra

I picked this story up for free at least a year and a half ago. I sent it directly to my android app, since I loved the cover and thought the theme sounded intriguing. I gobbled down the introduction and first chapter or so, and then the POV changed to a completely different character who I didn't identify with ... so I put it down and read something else.

Ever so often I would pull it back up and read another chapter, but for some reason, I couldn't connect to the story. It was following three very different characters on three very different paths, and I couldn't stay interested.

The other day, however, I stumbled across it on my new kindle, and since I really wanted to finish the book, pulled it up, prepared to plow through another chapter - except that suddenly the three stories converged and I was now interested! I finished the book that very day.

The three main characters are Kai, Lizzy, and Taryn. Kai is the son of a crippled race jockey, and his younger sister is sick with the plague. He wants to find a cure for her, and also achieve the fame that his father lost. Lizzy is the daughter of traveling musicians, who doesn't measure up to her older brother. She desperately wants to prove herself to her parents and earn their love. Taryn wants power. He thinks he has natural magic - and some of the people from the temple he talked with seemed to confirm it. There's also a wind spirit named Foehn, who was an interesting character.

The uniting issue they face is the fact that the water is poisoned. 

Kai seemed to be the main character, but unfortunately, I didn't connect to him, much preferring Lizzy's and Foehn's stories. So I kept wandering away from this book.

And then the three protagonists met, and from that moment on, I couldn't put the book down, and by the time I'd finished, it was on my list of the best Christian Fantasies I've ever read. The worldbuilding was amazing, though weird at moments (Zombie - I mean, Untwanted army anyone?). The plot moved quickly, and twisted enough I couldn't tell how it was going to end. And the Christian message was well done.

This was not an allegory. Yes, there was a Jesus figure, but he belonged to the world's history. I was really impressed with this, since prior to this book, I don't think I'd ever read a fantasy that had dealt with our Lord's Sacrifice and had chosen to treat it as history. It didn't loose any of its power for that, and it still played a huge role in the plot.

I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone.

Genre/Theme: Christian, Fantasy, Adventure

Reading Level:  TEEN - upper elementary to middle school 
Profanity: NONE - no offensive language 
Sexuality: NONE - not even hinted at, although one young man, after being stabbed in the stomach jokes that, had it been any lower, he wouldn't have been able to father any children. 
Lots of fighting. Some dabbling in magic, but it is portrayed as bad.

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