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Drifters Realm

Drifters Realm

By: Annemarie Mazotti Gouveia
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: May 3, 2023
ISBN: 978-1639888290
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: March 27, 2023

Author Annemarie Mazotti Gouveia imagines a future fantastic world in which young people will be called upon to overcome planetary oppression and manipulation in her debut novel, Drifters Realm.

Roe, the heroine of this, the first Book in a planned series, is a twelve-year-old girl who has been designated by the elite First City rulers as a Life Giver, expected to immerse herself in the natural world and develop healing powers. So why is she suddenly confronted with an aggressive Guardian – a shadowy figure who generally brings peace to Drifters Realm, but now seems determined to destroy her? And how did the crossbow she is using for protection suddenly appear in her backpack?

Fortunately for Roe, her older brother Theo comes to her rescue. The incident spurs their group at Paradise Farm to contact others who might be undergoing similar trials, perhaps instigated by the Menaces, said to be wild, rowdy teenaged boys. The Farm companions will be guided by Seth, designated as a Navigator. But why, then, does Seth veer off the expected path? And why has Roe disappeared along the way? Yet larger questions loom: are the Guardians really the protective force they claim to be, or are they plotting a massive, destructive upheaval? Reuniting her twin brother Ori, who wears a mysterious ring identical to her own, Roe will learn that she and her Farm companions have been deceived. What follows is the beginning of a bold quest to find the truth.

Gouveia, a retired high-tech executive in the realm of science and a world traveler, shows here her skills as a wordsmith. Roe and her cohort have strong family and friendly connections – and animosities – with whom young readers will readily identify, in a plot that expands at a throbbing pace from the first pages. The author has provided a helpful list of the many characters, citing their designated assignments and the colors of their all-important backpacks. With this first gripping installment, Gouveia uses her vivid creative powers in a panorama designed to enthrall young readers, who will appreciate the book’s mystical elements and its gutsy heroine, and recognize from the hanging threads of its final chapters that more is to come.

Quill says: With Drifters Realm, Gouveia has embarked on a fascinating series inviting readers to identify with its youthful, courageous characters and look forward to the next installment.

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