Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gone Away Into the Land by Jeffrey B. Allen

2 Stars
R- 1-2 absolutely nothing happens in the book, but a prior rape is implied.

This book has an identity crisis.

On the one hand it's a fun, whimsical tale of ZingZongLand, where the inspiration is found for all things sweet.

On the other hand, it's a dark dark story of rape, abuse, hatred, kidnapping and murder. I mean, when the main character is a traumatized boy who refers to his father as "the Beast" and plans to kill him? Not exactly cotton candy and bubblegum.

Which would concern me less if it didn't say it's a Juvenile Fiction. But that's what it says. I'm cool with books being dark, but I'd put the age range a bit higher on this one.

My copy needs serious editing. I've mentioned before that that drives me nuts, right? Absolutely insane. Blame it on copy-editing in high school.

Aside from that, which is an editing/publishing issue, not a content issue, I think this is too complex for a younger audience. Heck, I'm an adult and I had a hard time keeping it all straight. It honestly left me a little confused. It's also too long for a young audience.

And while I absolutely LOVE cool quotes at the beginning of chapters, they're really out of place in a JF.

Anyway, on to what I liked, 'cause there were parts I really enjoyed.

I really really liked some of the characters. Especially the Pursiers. (Interesting, two-legged animals that are highly philosophical and deal with transportation and sending messages.) I want an Albertson. Here's a great exchange between him and Hampton, the minister Albertson works for:

"Only the best for the best? Is that right, Albert?"
"In a manner of speaking, yes."
"Let's go, before we both trip and fall over our inflated egos," Hampton said, looking straight up at the towering Pursier. "We'll try it your way but it better not involve the slightest possibility of falling."
"Who bravely dares must sometimes risk a fall."
Don't get smart. And please spare me the philosophizing for a while."

Isn't he adorable? I rather wish the other Pursiers that featured (the Ancient and Orison) had had a bigger role.

A word of warning? This book will seriously ruin a diet! All of the candy descriptions? Yeah, I ate about half a bag of licorice.... part of a bag of Doritos.... (not sweet, I know, but still) and I think I'm craving Peeps. Really not healthy. ;)

This is a Virtual Book Tour review! Visit the website to find more stops!


  1. I think this book sounds fascinating. I'd love to read it!

  2. Interesting review!


  3. Thank you for the review. The Copy you received was a Gally copy.
    It should have said that on the front cover. The book has been thoroughly edited and on sale at Amazon. About the Adolescent classification. We decided to put this out at 17 years and up. My two editors made that suggestion because they thought it would market to high sschools. It has been accepted into several already.

    Thank you again, I am glad you enjoyed Alebertson.

    Jeffrey B. Allen

  4. Dear LuAnn,

    The book is doing well. I am sure you would enjoy it. Yes, GoneAway tests the boundaries of fantasy and reality, which was my intention. The identity crisis the reviewer says it has is tough to comprehend because it is the first I have heard that. If more people mention it, I would consider changing the adolescent classification, but for now I am convinced many teens would enjoy this book as well.

  5. Okay, that makes total sense then. It said "Juvenile Fiction" inside the front cover and in my mind that equals about 8-12 years.

    17+ totally makes sense. That could definitely remove the identity crisis.

    I figured it must be an ARC or Gally, I'm sure what's for sale is all edited!

  6. Dear Britt,
    If you would post your review on Amazon, I would be glad to send you a signed copy of the lastest printing. However, could you raise the star rating, since we have cleared up the classification?
    Also, in the final version the Ancient Pursiers do have a larger role.
    Let me know. And, by the way, I take all comments and reviews extremely serious - and appreciate the time it took you to do it and the thought that went into the review.
    Thank you.

    Jeffrey B. Allen

  7. Email me. schriftstellarin(at)hotmail(dot)com