The Prologue opens with an episode much later in the book. Wingdinger is introduced in an episode fighting a sinister-ling, in this case Daiken. Daiken had a “villainous twinkle in his eye all too reminiscent of his many demon predecessors and his fearless Sinister leaders.” Wingdinger is a super hero accompanied by Elysian, who is a celestial dragon/changeling. He is unsuccessful in his fight and is upstaged by Starry Knight.
In this world of the Supernatural,
God created the Stars as He created People:
Each for a different purpose,
Each to bring glory to His Name.
But Stars can be just as fickle as Mortals.
These are their stories: The Starlight Chronicles.
The chapter gives young adults a teaser to excite as the next part of the book introduces the ordinary world of Hamilton Dinger. Hamilton is a self-absorbed, egotistical sixteen year old. He has charisma, good grades and loves to play video games. He is sure of himself and his place in the world.
Then the earth is hit by a meteor and evil is unleashed and brings an end to Dinger’s world. Hamilton’s life is changed as he and his friends are attacked my forces they do not understand. All Hamilton Dinger wants is to play football, participate in the school play and continue life as a normal teenager.
As the reader is introduced to evil forces, changeling dragons and ‘sinisters’ Hamilton learns he is marked and has supernatural powers. What Hamilton Dinger has a difficult time with is not just believing but accepting his role. Why should forgo his happiness and be a superhero?
“Here’s the thing about beliefs – real beliefs. They change you….I didn’t think, even when the meteorite struck the earth, I would ever change, or ever believe in the truth that began to stalk me.”
Johnson has written the first book in a new YA series. Ms. Johnson has a way with words as evidenced in this sentence: “The nails sank in harder, a black steam rising as she released toxins of deceit into Gwen’s blood.” The Starlight Chronicles Slumbering is fantasy with strong spiritual overtones.
The story engaged me as a reader. Two small issues bothered me about the book and they are small issues. The first being I am so removed from high school I found the recitation of everyday activities of students bogging me down. I wanted the storyteller to pick up the pace. However, this may be something that will lure and appeal to young readers.
Second, again because I liked reading, I wanted Hamilton to move from continuing denial and self-absorption to acceptance and action. However this is an important factor in the tale so my complaint is unwarranted.
Johnson has written an excellent book for young adults. Parents will have virtually no issues with the story or the message. The underlying theme is about belief and choosing to be a part of a greater good. Recommended.