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Reader Views review of Ferren and the Doomsday Mission

(which is ReaderViews Kids for YA, New Adult and Teen fiction)

Here’s the full review, by Sheri Hoyte

5 Stars *****

Ferren’s epic journey unites hope and friendship, against cosmic conflict.

“Ferren and the Doomsday Mission” by Richard Harland is an exciting coming-of-age fantasy for teens and young adults, though being a not-so-young adult, I have to say it’s a memorable reading journey to be enjoyed by all ages. As the second volume in The Ferren Trilogy, this book soars with a stronger adversary, riskier challenges, and escalating stakes.

Ferren is a 15-year-old Residual (human) from the tribe of The People. Miriael is an angel who fell to Earth. They are, perhaps, the only hope for the future of humanity. Working together, they travel to the different tribes of Earth to recruit members for the newly formed Residual Alliance, in an effort to defeat their common enemy, the Humen. This is no small task, as most of the tribes think the Humen are their allies. That, and the Humen have a new leader, Dr. Saniette, who brings an entirely different kind of terror to the front lines of this war.

Ferren has seen the horrific truth of what happens to those selected to serve the Humen military and knows they must be stopped at any cost. Along the way, Miriael is presented with a tempting choice and her decision could unravel the Residual Alliance and change the course of the war. It also tests her relationship with Ferren. Can their friendship withstand the trials of adversity? Will this unlikely duo save humanity and end the Celestial war?

“Ferren and the Doomsday Mission” is an action-packed fantasy adventure that models many relevant themes aside from the larger conflict between the supernatural realm and humanity.

Ferren and Miriael’s relationship is a great example. It evolves from tolerance at first to a deep friendship, strengthened by mutual respect and working together to overcome obstacles despite their difterences. True companionship rises above societal, racial (and celestial) boundaries and this relationship eftectively showcases this.

They also exemplify leadership and influence in their efforts to recruit the tribes. Most of the tribes have common traits of fear and self-doubt, and Ferren and Miriael instill confidence and determination in the people. As the individuals in the tribes rise to the challenge, we see firsthand how working together creates a path to a better future. It’s a universal quest for hope and redemption and is inspirational and uplifting to watch the people come into their power.

Character development is always a key factor for me, in evaluating a story. In our travels with Ferren and Miriael, we meet a diverse cast of characters, many falling into the category of “those

you won’t soon forget.” There are no cookie-cutter humans or celestials to be found and they each stand out for their qualities (and weaknesses). I enjoyed meeting all the characters in this ravaged world, but I have to say I have a soft spot for the Morphs, poor things. Ferren and Miriael are protagonists you want to root for because they are less-than-perfect – as it should be. Very few of us can relate to perfection, *wink*! But perhaps the most outrageous character in this book is Dr. Saniette. I have NEVER before met a character of his make-up, nor am I likely to again. Seriously out of this world creative!

The writing is ideal, spot-on for the genre, especially the special languages and sound effects interspersed throughout. The short chapters provide a sense of urgency that will keep readers engaged in the action. Did I mention creativity? I did, but it bears repeating. Seriously out of this world creative! Harland knows how to entertain!

“Ferren and the Doomsday Mission” shines as the second book in The Ferren Trilogy by Richard Harland and sets the stage for a dynamic conclusion. Well done!

Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (03/2024)

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