Synopsis: In the year 2162, a young boy named Jal Valhyn is caught in a maelstrom of violence and conflict. His country is at war and the world government based on humanistic principles that had fulfilled its promise of a halcyon peace for over a century has fallen. Alone and helpless, he has an encounter with an invisible being that leads to a seven-day journey. With his two appointed companions he sets out for a safe haven far from the world of danger and turmoil. Each day’s trek brings the gift of new friendships and a growing awareness that life has dimensions grounded in more than the material. He intuitively understands the faith that sustains the inhabitants of an enduring peaceable kingdom.
The Boy Who Walked a Way is a touching literary fantasy novel by Nancy Janes about the true power of belief. Representing the child inside all of us that neither age nor time can eradicate, young Jal is a perfect personification to the untainted and wholehearted faith and belief in miracles that the innocence of childhood provides. With Bea and Sammie as correlating characters who impact Jal’s present and future, the two companions teach him the importance of using his troubles as an asset in developing a sense of mastery over his circumstances and in turn give readers a glimpse into the importance of trust in yourself and the personal conquering of adversity.
With a deep and gentle meaning that is born of violent circumstances, The Boy Who Walked a Way is a rare young adult novel that appeals to both genders equally. Though born of Christian roots, this profound story is a perfect fit for readers of all backgrounds and faiths that truly inspires with its touching journey of self-discovery, belief, and personal mastery. With a rich and detailed world that has descended into out-of-control chaos, this grand novel is an epic, touching fantasy that will inspire and entertain for years to come.
A lifetime love of literature’s possibility to convey the meaning of human experience in simple or complex terms motivates Janes’ writing. A clinical social worker by training and profession, she has been writing on various topics, since childhood. Other than her poetry, Janes has never felt compelled to publish her writing until she began The Boy Who Walked a Way. While leading a rather quiet life, she finds the life stories and cultures of others inspiring and leans toward assorted genres of literary and non-literary books. And when travel is on the menu, she is quickly off to collect the many splendid stories of the individuals on their mutual journey of life.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Review: There’s a lot that can be said about The Boy Who Walked a Way. What I want to mention first, is that having a preface and prologue seemed a little unnecessary. It may have been better to combine them. I’m also not a fan of talking to the reader to end the prologue and begin the story. The reader understands where they are entering into the story, it’s not necessary to announce it.
It was difficult reading the entire book. The characters are very 2-dimensional which made it really hard to relate to. The parents and boy don’t have much of a personality. The entire journey of the book makes me think the kid is on acid. I get that this is set in the future, but I don’t know how else a swan and butterfly would be able to speak. Even if we factor in evolution, it isn’t really explained how Jal is able to communicate with them.
I’m sort of a grammar freak, too, so it was kind of agonizing reading through this book. It doesn’t seem like the author had anyone proofread the manuscript before having the book published. I found several grammatical errors and would have suggested a lot of changes. If there was someone who edited and proofread the manuscript, then they didn’t do a very good job and I would ask for my money back. I know, this is a little harsh, but a proper proofread would have helped the book out a lot. Even the title I would have edited. It should be Away, not “a Way”. I assumed there was a reason for the way the book is titled, but it wasn’t revealed in the plot at all.
I actually feel really bad giving a not-so-great review. The description of a country at war in the future was really exciting. I had really high hopes for it. However, I’m not a big religious person so the spiritual journey the boy went through wasn’t entertaining or relatable for me. Also, reading a story about a 10 year old kid was a little strange for me. I don’t think that anyone would have let a boy walk around alone (most likely hallucinating because of the swan and butterfly), for eight days without supervision. Someone would have questioned why he was alone.
If this was meant to be a book for children, then I can see it being very successful, except for the fact that the whole futuristic setting wouldn’t really be necessary for a children’s book. A kid would love a dreamland type book like this whether it was set in the future or present time. I don’t care for the religious undertones, and the book is a little long for a children’s book, but overall, I do think this would be a great story for children. There is a great message and would probably help kids learn how to deal with some more serious issues and learn how to cope in a more mature way. That being said, I would definitely not call this a young adult novel.
The author does a wonderful job describing the surroundings of Jal, the main character. It is another reason I feel bad giving a mostly negative review. While reading, I can tell that Nancy Jones has a knack for writing and has the ability to write a fantastic fantasy novel. The description of what the boy sees is really well written; I can imagine being right there with him. Unfortunately, the rest of the novel doesn’t do a very good job of showing off her skills. Though I didn’t enjoy this book, I have high hopes for Ms. Jones as an author and look forward to reading more of her work in the future.