Tuesday, April 8, 2014

James Moser - Chasing Prophecy - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Mo is a shy teen who is just trying to survive high school. He has secretly fallen in love with a girl named Prophecy who lives with a group that some call a commune and others call a cult. When she disappears, Mo must find the courage to face the monster that her family has become. Chasing Prophecy is a contemporary coming of age story that is heartwarming, suspenseful, and beautifully written. This book chronicles the adolescence of one boy who must transform himself to save the girl of his dreams.


A stellar read for teens and adults, full of hilarious growing pains, tenderness and a few surprises. Moser’s debut is an unflinching young-adult novel that sees a group of friends tested by bigotry and the illegal machinations of a religious cult. The author serves up an irresistibly wisecracking narrator in Mo Kirkland. Every page ripples with a controlled cleverness. There’s also a rawness to this tale similar to that which many teens face in the real world. Moser can wax rhapsodic about young love, but he shows that he knows how to raise the tension in the second half of the novel. -Kirkus Reviews

My Review

This young adult novel doesn't rely on one plot device, it makes use of several. A religious cult. Meth dealing. Bigfoot sightings. High school bullying. It takes on a lot of subject matter that you wouldn't think would mesh together into a coherent whole, but somehow it does. James Moser dips his hand into his bag of tricks again and again, coming up with something new around every turn. The end result is a unique conglomeration that keeps the reader engaged and involved. I'll say this for CHASING PROPHECY, it never gets boring.

Throughout the book, Moser opens up a lot of serious topics for discussion. Are the people at the commune being brainwashed to go along with the corrupt change in leadership? What happens when minors are forced to mule crystal meth over the Canadian border at gunpoint? How does a young girl react when she suspects her mother was viciously murdered? Those are some heavy issues, yet the book maintains a light-hearted vibe. Not that it doesn't take these things seriously, but they're being viewed from the perspective of a teenage boy. One minute he's thinking about kissing a girl and the next he's being interrogated by a U.S. Marshal. The juxtaposition of such varying moods can be tricky, but Moser handles each shift in tempo with a sure hand. He's not stringing the reader along or dismissing the severity of any given situation. He's just providing some levity whenever he thinks the story calls for it. And throughout the narrative, he's pretty much right on target.

So many of the details created such a vivid picture in my mind's eye. The photo of the cult members grouped in alphabetical order, each holding an identical newspaper. Creepy. The blackmail tactics of snapping a photo of two teenage boys holding bags of meth when they didn't even know what they were holding. Twisted. A young girl curling into a fetal position upon learning about the horrific death of her mother. Heartbreaking. Moser nails every beat of the story.

The only element I didn't think was absolutely necessary was the paranormal subplot, but I can see where Moser was going with it. The whole Bigfoot story line portrays the creature as a sentinel in the wilderness, watching out for the good of mankind. His presence is especially felt in the last few chapters. Usually, I'd roll my eyes at such a cameo appearance, but instead it made me smile. These kids have been through so much, that it felt good to know that someone had their back after a lot of the adults in their life let them down. It was heartening to see them championed from such an unexpected source. It's definitely one of those Boo Radley type, feel good moments that'll give you goosebumps. I know it made me want to stand up and cheer.


Chasing Prophecy can be purchased at:
Amazon, Smashwords

Prices/Formats: $2.99 ebook
Pages: 237
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Paranormal
Publisher: Skookum Trail
Release: December 31, 2013
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

James Moser has always loved stories in all forms. He is in his fourteenth year of working with high school students. The author’s goal was to write a book that would inspire even his most reluctant readers. Young adults have always inspired him. As such, he wanted to show teenagers transforming themselves to overcome obstacles, which is what he watches them do, every day.

Moser has a B.A. in English and a Master’s degree in Secondary English Education. He lives in Seattle with his beautiful wife and eight year old son. When he’s not reading and writing, or thinking about reading and writing, he’s watching way too much television while snacking on frozen treats from Trader Joe’s. Man, those things are good.

Links to connect with James:
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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