Non-Professional review of Destiny Of The Divas
 Ernie Johnson was one of my first friends on Gather, and I've loved crafting poems to fit his Poetry Play on Words group. I pin my PPOW badge to my writing bag with pride, and my computer mouse glides happily over a PPOW mouse pad.

Recently I bought and read Ernie's new book, Destiny of the Divas. I'm probably not the right person to review it though, as I live in a household of males. The book did give me a much-needed chance to catch up on the fairer sex, important to me as the girl-free zone I inhabit may be a handicap to writing my own novel for mid-grade readers.

My out-of-touch-ness quotient went sky high when the boys asked, "What's it about?" I told them, "Four girls who form a band and have special powers and help people." "Oh, like Josie and the Pussycats," said the youngest son, and I wondered who he meant. Yes, I've heard of Josie and the Pussycats, but for all I knew they could have been talking kittens in a pet shop. "Oh Mom." Oh well.

So you see I'm totally out of it. Does that mean I should hang up my pen and stop trying to write for children? Or does it just mean I shouldn't write superhero stories? To be fair, Ernie's characters are very human, besides being heroic. The story arc takes them successfully from relatively quiet, non-musical nobodies to confidence and triumph, via lessons in faith and trust and human kindness. And Ernie avoids the girl-book trap of giving everyone a beautiful boyfriend. He keeps the story focused on real-world needs and dangers. The girls' families live pleasantly ordinary lives... Well, okay, the girls end up in something rather extra-ordinary, but they are young women on the brink on adulthood and stardom, and Ernie conveys that what-shall-I-do-now-I've-graduated feeling very well. Real-life dangers are ever present because of the book's opening scene, and theme, where a small boy is kidnapped. And real-life issues, like paying the rent and shopping for food, may be easily resolved, but they're still addressed.

"Every kid wants to be a superhero," says my son--in superior tones as he's not technically a kid anymore. Perhaps that explains why Ernie's heroines so quickly accept the supernatural leading of their guide. And, "Every kid wants to be in a band," explains why they're so happy to walk into music stores. Does every kid want to rescue someone too? Probably. And Destiny feeds into all these dreams.

But I'm not a kid, and my children are grown, so my dreams are different. I like to know how things work and where they fit together. When the super talents were revealed in Destiny I felt frustrated because they seemed so specific to a task not yet discovered; I wanted powers with more universal relevance. But the girls did use their talents and machines several times during the story, so they weren't as limited as I'd thought. And a younger reader would probably be following the plot rather than analyzing the details.

I enjoyed reading Destiny, though I found myself frequently distracted (sons, dog, life etc.) The ending held my attention particularly well and was very satisfying--a beautifully dramatic scene, blessed with a quiet truth. It left me smiling and content, happily wishing every success to the band and their creator, Ernie Johnson.
 


Comments:
 
Ernie_Johnson   Ernie_Johnson wrote
on 9/21/2008 7:20:51 PM
You can purchase the book on my website and get an autographed copy - such a deal. go to http:/www.ernierjohnson.net Ernie

ClaireCollins   ClaireCollins wrote
on 9/21/2008 5:26:16 PM
Ernie, So what is it with us and Destiny anyway? If we want to buy the book, where can we find it?

Ernie_Johnson
Novel / Novella
Drama
writing Ernie_Johnson
Writing is not a job, it's an adventure. My adventure takes me to places I've never been.
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