Just in time for the upcoming release of Book 2, “Return to Cardamom” coming July 17, 2013, we are pleased to spotlight the first book in the “Caramel Cardamom Trilogy” ~ “Escape From the Forbidden Planet” by Julie Ann Grasso. Read on to learn more about this fantastic series; nab a FREE copy of the first book; and, enter a giveaway for your chance to win 1 of 5 ARCs of the second book.
Title: Escape From the Forbidden Planet
Author: Julie Anne Grasso
Year published: 2012
Number of pages: 172
Recommended age: 9+
The Buzz About Escape From the Forbidden Planet:
“The plot was unique because it combined elves, aliens, technology and chocolate cake. The cover art on the book was great too (illustrated by David Blackwell). Caramel was an awesome heroine that I think girls and boys will really like. She was true to what she believed in, loyal, brave and kind to her friends. I am looking forward to the second book in the series! The book was a clean read so it would be great for young advanced readers.” ~ 5-Star review This Kid Reviews Books, Amazon
“It’s part geeky, part science, and part fun, all brought together to become this awesome book called Escape From The Forbidden Planet. I would recommend this book to reading age kids and adults who like sci-fi kids books. Definitely something different. I really enjoyed reading it!” ~ Michael S., Amazon, 5 Stars
“I loved this book. Super great series for middle graders. I loved Caramel. She has a great attitude and determination. I really admired how she was focused on getting home, saving her family but also made the best of being stuck on an alien planet. Definitely a book with great role models for kids. I really hope there is more to come where this came from. Kids need books like this with catchy stories, solid characters who have good values that they can relate to.” ~ Unorthodox Mama, Goodreads, 5 Stars
Our Reviews of Escape From the Forbidden Planet:
Here are some excerpts from our review of Escape From the Forbidden Planet. For the full review CLICK HERE.
Daughter’s Thoughts: This story is about an elf named Caramel and her Mom and Dad who are captured by a clone race and sent to “The Forbidden Planet”. The clone race is looking for a new source of energy and they find it on Caramel’s planet, Cardamom.
The main character is a girl elf named Caramel. She’s way older than me in the book. She could read what people were thinking. I wish I could read people’s minds so I could know what they are thinking. I have one friend in particular whose mind I want to read. In the story, Caramel has a bad leg and when we first meet her, she is a bit scared to do stuff. Then she becomes really brave because she has to save her family. Having a bad leg doesn’t stop somebody from doing things.
The story started getting really good when they got kidnapped and sent to the Forbidden Planet. I was surprised when I found out what the Forbidden Planet was. I liked how the elves in the story speak a different language and how they had to use a translator bracelet when they went to the Forbidden Planet. I really liked this book and I would recommend it to girls 10 and older.
Mom’s Thought: Julie Anne Grasso has created an action-packed story featuring a range of interesting and imaginative characters (i.e., elves, the Alexanders, and other creatures), intergalactic travel, advanced medical and scientific technology, and complex environmental and conservation issues. Escape From the Forbidden Planet contains an intricate plot which slowly unfolds until you’re hooked and you are left on the edge of your proverbial seat wondering what will happen next.
The story itself is highly imaginative and original mixing “fairy tale” and “science fiction” genres to create a unique and engaging plot. When I first started the book, I thought I would be reading a typical story about elves living in a forest with magic involved, and so forth. Boy was I wrong! This is a high tech, sophisticated story with a well-developed and sympathetic main character and covering a number of fairly complex sub-plots and themes.
Escape From the Forbidden Planet could be interpreted as providing social and political commentary on globalization. The clone “race” of Alexanders find themselves depleting their lone source energy, IQ-Crystals. Desperate to find an alternative energy source, Alexander222 stumbles upon Caramel’s home planet, Cardamom, where he discovers that caramel sauce contains the right combination of ingredients to power his high-tech gadgets. The problem: the secret ingredient can only be harvested on Cardamom and Alexander222 will stop at nothing for the chance to be a local hero who saves his race from an energy crisis.
What follows is reminiscent of the politics and the fall-out of what we see with the oil industry, where an important resource is at the centre of global politics. My daughter struggled answering the question “What lessons did you learn from story?”, but what was interesting was that it opened up a discussion of important parallels between what happens in the book and what is occurring globally.
I really enjoyed reading this interesting and unique book. This is one for kids and grown-ups alike as there is much to ponder as you read it. In fact, I can easily see this book as a screenplay and then on the big screen. I highly recommend this book to girls and boys aged 9+ who are looking for a different kind of fairy tale and who enjoy techie science fiction stories. Oh, and cake!
About The Author:
Julie Anne Grasso is an Australian author with a background in paediatric nursing. She spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. Add in some very funky technology, her love of science fiction and desire to impart great values through her little girl elf named Caramel and there you have it, the Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy was the result.
Julie lives in Melbourne with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle. Most days she can be found sipping chai lattes, chasing a toddler, and dreaming up wonderful worlds that often involve consumption of cupcakes.
Book Website: www.julieannegrassobooks.com
Twitter: Julie Grasso
** FREE DOWNLOAD June 6 to 8!! **
You can download a FREE e-copy of “Escape From the Forbidden Planet” by Julie Anne Grasso through Amazon from June 6 to 8th, 2013. Tick, tock … go grab your copy NOW and get hooked on this fun series! You’ll be all set to read Book 2, “Return to Cardamom” coming July 17, 2013. Just click on the cover to the right.
*** Giveaway for Book 2 ~ Return to Cardamom ***
Julie Anne Grasso, the author of Escape From the Forbidden Planet, is giving away five ARC copies of her upcoming sequel, Return to Cardamom, in a giveaway hosted by Goodreads through the First Reads giveaway program. The giveaway closes June 17, 2013 and is open to the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. You can enter through the Goodreads widget below. Good luck!