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World Of Dawn: Arise Reviews


Kirkus Review

Shawn Gale
Xlibris (244 pp.)
$29.99 hardcover, $19.99 paperback, $3.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1-5144-3660-8; March 14, 2017


Some wayward youths unexpectedly find themselves in a world of giant creatures and cannibalistic hunters in this sci-fi–infused novel.

Robbing banks with his uncle could have earned Tanner Kurtz a sentence at a youth detention facility. But he opted to stay at the Halton House, a farm that offers juvenile delinquents a second chance. Returning from a basketball game one evening, Halton House “father” Mr. Conroy has to turn the van around after a landslide effectively closes the highway. The group braves the pothole-laden Windigo Road but unfortunately winds up in an accident. Tanner and others, like hotheaded Colby, assess the aftermath: one person seriously injured; another missing. But their surroundings are considerably more disturbing, with the crew immediately seeing three unfamiliar ringed planets in the sky. There’s a threat of massive, hostile birds and no cell reception, but it’s not all bad: Tanner, et al. come across unicorns and are taken in by a seemingly friendly tribe, the Sawnay. The tribe, which willingly crossed from Earth into the World of Dawn via a portal years ago, is willing to help the newcomers get home. The not-as-cordial Wendo, however, are cannibals that may be more lethal than the beasts. Gale’s (The Stories That Make Us, 2015) book is a striking series opener that quickly introduces its titular world while slyly adding engaging elements. Characters, for one, are gradually drawn out, especially Tanner: snippets of his woeful past (as flashes of memory) form a rounded protagonist whose mother died chasing storms and whose father abandoned him. The narrative’s often playfully ambiguous; details about the World of Dawn (the Sawnay call it “Earth’s mother”) make the realm no less mysterious. The Sawnay, meanwhile, are humanized by a dilemma of their own: their slowly dying river, Cootamain, is making people sick. Lingering
questions tease a sequel, not the least of which involves the Wendo’s baffling One Who Sees All, who, for some reason, wants Tanner.

A riveting tale and invigorating characters should have readers locked into this adventure series.


BOOK REVIEW by Julayn Adams

I could not put this book down! World of Dawn: Arise is one of those rare YA finds that most anyone would enjoy. I’ll admit, at first, I was skeptical that I would enjoy this book as I don’t typically like Sci-Fi stories, but boy was I pleasantly surprised!

Gale has created a world full of extraordinary flora and fauna that reminded me of Journey to the Centre of the Earth with its strange plant life, mythical creatures, and danger at every turn, This new world is inhabited by Native Americans that transported to World of Dawn hundreds of years prior to escape the slaughtering of their people.

Not only are the author’s descriptions of this world vivid and engaging, but his characters are just as dynamic. Tanner, the 17-year-old main character, is one of the story’s troubled teens living in a group home to avoid jail time. But he’s not just a “bad kid”. Throughout the novel, circumstances arise that trigger memories of Tanner’s past: time on the ranch, camping, his parents, and the guilt that he carries from his crimes. These stories, along with his relationships with the other characters, create a protagonist that the reader becomes intimately connected with.

The pacing of this book is fantastic with time taken to develop characters and setting balanced with tons of action and unexpected twists. I also liked the few chapters from the antagonists point of view that gives you a little tease about things to come in the series.

I will definitely be reading the rest of this series! I strongly recommend entering to win a copy for yourself. And if you aren’t one of the lucky winners, buy it! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

BTW…with only a few curse words and no sexual content, this is a pretty safe book for younger teens. There is some violence, but it’s not gory or overly graphic.

A special thank you to Nurture Your Books for offering this fabulous book in exchange for my honest review.


“An intense, new, action-packed YA series that will captivate readers from beginning to end. 5/5 Stars!” – Nurture Your BOOKS™

Thanks to some bad choices in the past, Tanner Kurtz finds himself residing at a farm for troubled youth. On a spring evening, he and some other boys from Halton House finish playing and losing a three-on-three basketball game against a local prep school and head for home. When they encounter a road crew busily clearing a landslide, they take a dangerous detour instead of heading back to the city for the night. Not long into the drive, another landslide buries the vehicle with them inside. After regaining consciousness, Tanner digs them out and they quickly realize that things are not right. In the sky are three massive ringed planets, and in the distance towering trees like skyscrapers spear the clouds. It’s a primeval landscape similar to Earth yet at the same time vastly different. Cut, addled, and bruised, the group tries to make sense of the alien world they now find themselves in.

At every turn, malignant forces conspire against them; giant voracious birds, ravenous flesh-eating beetles, and a cannibalistic tribe sent by the mysterious One Who Knows. World of Dawn: Arise is a coming of age story. It’s a journey that begins as a way to get home and quickly becomes a quest to save this unique, new world.

“Shawn Gale’s novel provides the reader with adventure and inspiration. A story of troubled and traumatized youth on a journey toward self-discovery, recovery, hope, and survival. An exploration and integration of resources for wayward youth proves to be an interesting alternative approach”

Irene Peterson
Trauma Therapist



The Stories That Make Us

by Shawn Gale
reviewed by Joe Kilgore

“Still, my parents’ deaths clung to me like wood smoke to a wool sweater—the very fibre—always present in every scrap, voyage, and challenge.”

Short stories are like snapshots. They capture moments in time. In this collection of verbal photos, the author covers a range of subjects, timeframes, situations, and emotions. There is no particular theme that holds them all together other than an exploration of humanity, which is perhaps the most unifying theme of all.

Gale’s stories introduce us to a particularly diverse cast of characters and circumstances. A young woman returns home to help her father die. A shady criminal learns the hard way he’s not as tough as he thinks he is. An old man unwittingly motivates his nephew to go to war, when his intent was just the opposite. Two tradesmen—one a blowhard, the other quite tentative—reveal what they’re really made of when danger puts them to the test. A boy faces adversity and finds an inner strength he didn’t know he possessed. An inmate accepts that he is his own jailer. A coed learns what her rent money is really paying for. An idyllic summer ends, but not the memory of it. A street musician’s song is heard no more.

More Carver than O. Henry, Gale’s stories are less about intricate plots and surprise endings and more about insight and the beginning of understanding. He shows a keen eye for detail, both physical and emotional. His dialogue is true to his characters. His physical descriptions paint easily conjured pictures, and his prose is confident whether examining the wretched or the wistful. All in all, this young writer’s collection marks an engaging beginning to a promising career.



“Excellent short-story writing…original metaphors…voice is inventive… surprisingly page turning.”

– Whistler Independent Book Awards 92/100


Shawn Gale’s collection of short stories reveals an author who has not only mastered the structural discipline of the short story format but also who skillfully demonstrates a sound knowledge of character development. All of his characters; the good, the bad, and the ugly, quickly become both believable and interesting as their lives unfold in the fast fashion dictated by the short story genre. The people who inhabit each of these stories have lives that are believable and find themselves caught up in plausible situations that with all the ironic twists and turns that keep the reader reading. I hope we hear more from this promising writer.

Irene V. Peterson
Trauma Counsellor




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Mr. Shawn Gale was contacted by an editor from The New York Review of Books after she had read a review for World of Dawn: Arise. She asked if she could showcase World of Dawn in their September Issue. The New York Review of Books is the pinnacle of the book industry. Please see attached  cover and the ad page.