HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Boy and His Curse: Book 1, Artists and Earthian
Author: Michael Philip Mordenga
Cover Illustrator: Heidi Larsson
Publisher: Published independently, 2018
Related website(s): http://www.missionsdoor.org/missionary/mordenga-michael/ (author)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 12 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
Disclosure: Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion. Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library. No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.
For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Mordenga, Michael Philip. The Boy and His Curse: Artists and Earthian Book 1 (published independently in 2018). Teenager Ethan Chester Mioko, born in Korea, lives in Litchfield with his adopted parents and is a student at Happy Oaks High School, but is about the only kid in his class without a driver’s license. During his third driver’s exam with Mr. Fasterdly of the Suburban School of Driving, Ethan runs over the cat of an elderly homeless woman, and she gives him a curse of bad luck. With a burning black “X” on his hand, he finds that the world is constantly trying to end his life with falling light poles, vicious dogs, crashing semis, and flooding showers. His parents have disappeared, and an exploding toaster causes a raging fire in his house. Just as he is about to be run over by a school bus, an angel-like personal deaconess named Caitilin Ashberry from the Queendom of Faeria whisks him away to the ancient world of Magi.
There, Ethan meets various individuals, such as the High Priest Gibbs, the hunter Hinson, and the warrior Mollet, and learns that the deity Daysun has chosen him to play a part in the war between the noble, winged Phaenix of Faeria under their Queen Eldira and the invading Kalhari trolls from Bangor led by Prince Fragile who worship the false god Avero. What does Ethan have to do in the war? Will he even survive the battle? And can he ever go back home? The Boy and His Curse is book 1 in the “Artists and Earthian” series. Author Michael P. Mordenga is a college minister for Campus Ambassadors who spends his days sharing his faith with the Universities of Rochester and writes elaborate fantasy science fiction with perilous adventures that are laced with witty comedy.
There are a few common euphemisms and some childish slang terms, including a reference to farting. The trolls like to drink rum. However, there are spiritual implications in the story. Ethan starts out as an unbeliever in any divine power, so it will be interesting to see what if anything can happen to change his mind. Mordenga calls the book “a Christian Fantasy novel,” saying that his brother and sister who were homeschooled are the inspiration for this story. Anyone who likes J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy and Chronicles of Narnia should enjoy this book. It is an easy but adventurous read. The only word of warning which I have is that it ends with things somewhat up in the air, so the reader will have to get the sequel.