Jewel of the West Publishing, May 2008
J. Adams is the author. Do all female authors prefer to keep themselves
anonymous? Jewel Adams is a beautiful name and I think that her name
fits the fantasy genre quite well. There are often jewels or treasure of
some sort involved in a fantasy. J. Adams is more unisex, and at first
impression you’d say the author must be male. You can’t judge a book by
its cover nor by its author’s name.
And on that note, the cover art is very ‘eye catching’, no pun intended.
There is a lake with a bridge and forest and then discreetly some large
eyes glaring mystically, as if they are eyes of some unseen force are
staring right at you. It’s almost like some of those 3D art pictures
that you look at with crossed eyes to actually see the hidden picture. I
am not sure of the relation to the story line except that the bridge
might be a path like a journey, hence the title of the book, and the
eyes are the representation of the hidden gate that the people pass
through to enter the land of Jubilis, for a period of time to be tested.
Or maybe the eyes are representing the idea that someone is always
watching you. The font used on the title is very fitting for the dress
and time era that is portrayed. Overall the cover would look like a book
that is meant to relax the reader, and then when you notice the eyes it
makes it more interesting and encourages one to open the cover and check
The Journey is a quick read that even my ten year old is enjoying. We
started reading it aloud and she immediately, to my surprise, asked if
the characters and story line could be related to the plan of salvation
that she is taught at home and church. She started imagining the
relations to real living people she knows and those she has forgotten on
the other side of the veil. So I started reading it and couldn’t stop
with the plan of salvation in mind and how I could relate it to my life
and past experiences. This book would be a great read for a teenager or
someone who does not know of the plan of salvation and needs to have an
analogy of it. For those that are familiar with it, it would be nice to
actually have scriptural references and such, but that would be for the
Senior seminary student.
Throughout this book there are many life lessons and any young adult
could use these gentle reminders while reading The Journey. The battle
of good and evil is always existing and we all need to choose which side
we want to be on. Good or Evil? This book shows a great representation
of the clear differences between them.
Here is a rundown of the storyline. Ciran, a beautiful young woman, is
sent to live on Jubilis, another world, where she would forget about her
family and be tested and tried. After being there for two years she
meets Ubal at a party. He is very handsome and alluring. She spends more
and more time with him and ultimately finds herself reading her scroll
less and less and wanting to please Ubal more and more. There is a drink
that many drink there called splendor fire. Drinking it gives them
scales that cover their fair skin, a brand, an outward sign, that you
have actually given in to sin and feel as if you can’t go back to being
fair again. Ubal asks Ciran eventually to drink this and she gives in
and sips twice and then the truth is revealed to her. Ubal is the
darkest dark lord, the leader of them all, and he expects to take her
and take over the whole land of Jubilis. Ciran was the daughter of
Cillian who was the leader of Krisandor, a place like heaven, who was
watching over the people in Jubilis, so Ubal’s threat to keep Ciran was
crucial in his plan to gaining Jubilis.
Orion is a funny looking man who is Ciran’s guardian and he gives her
bits of information once in a while to help her choose the right, but he
also allows her to choose and decide for herself, so as not to rob her
of some of the experiences that she may want to have.
If you compare this story to the plan of salvation, one could correlate
the characters in this book with familiar characters. This, of course,
will vary, depending upon the reader and the reader’s life experiences.
Ciran-Us, people born on earth
There are a few more characters that make the storyline more
interesting. As you can see it is rather catching to think of The
Journey in terms of the Plan of Salvation.
There are a lot of thought provoking lines that get one thinking about
whether or not this might be the way it is for us. For example; when
Halia is killed and she falls to the floor, “all the poor choices she
had made in her life were placed before her. She also glimpsed the
choices she should have made but didn’t.
“As she lay and watched the black cloaked figure dart away, she was
surprised to see each of her mistakes vanish as well.”
There's a lot of symbolism going on. Other quotes and their
comparisons: “Each of us has a purpose, a reason for being here.” We each
have a purpose here on earth and a teen that realizes this will have
self-confidence. “We must use these final days to convince those who
follow Ubal that his way is not the way. We must help them see that they
will never be truly happy with Ubal in control of their very lives. They
have been deceived and follow him blindly. We must try and convince them
of the truth. More importantly, we must help them understand that once
the gate is shut, it will be sealed forever.” This could be related to
the importance of missionary work in the latter days, after the Savior
comes and the earth is sealed up. And, “…the earth is becoming so
restless. The evil has grown so much that even the land feels it” can
coincided with the natural catastrophes that have been prophesied that
are happening now. It’s a constant opportunity to think about the symbolism.
One can ponder upon statements like this and ask, "Will it be this way
for me?" Or what in this world is like this experience in the book.
These are great questions and topics for teens to be thinking about.