All your Feedback & Reviews

She did indeed pass it to her daughter …

I am so glad my mom (Lota Jones, below) ordered your book and passed it on to me. It is excellent, and I absolutely loved it! I stayed up very late reading it because I wanted to read just “one more” chapter, but I couldn’t put it down. I’ve given it to my son (age 14) to read next, and I know it will be passed throughout the family. It is truly a wonderful story for all generations to enjoy. This book needs a U.S. release! I can easily see this book making it to the big screen someday. I am really looking forward to Geoff Anderson’s next book.

Kimberly (Jones) Vernon – Pittsburgh, PA USA

 A Reader from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA

I’m more than half way through and what a delightful way to begin a new year! Can’t wait to share it with my dgt and grandson…they’ll love it as much as I do! What is so fascinating is that my grandmother came from Wales around 1900, and I remember she and my great-grandfather talking of many of the places you mention. What a joy this book has been on so many levels!

[LATER …. ]

I finished it yesterday – what a gem you have written! The story gave me the same thrill as did Narnia!  This is one that I want to share and share and share! Blessings on all of your work…can’t wait to read more!

L. Jones – Pittsburgh PA USA 

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Self-Publishing Magazine: 

Reviewers are recruited from the general public and receive no recompense, save to keep the book they review. I don’t know the age or gender of this reviewer, but he or she has great taste!

“This spiritual thriller for teens is more exciting and better written than The Da Vinci Code. The plot is more plausible, as a convincing back story has been thought out, and is referred to in the text. The characters are well-drawn and we feel immediate empathy for Carys, the main character. There is a touch of irony here and there, and the full-of-fun Bethany brings a welcome relief from the heavier elements of this story.

If there are any faults, one which Anderson’s story shares with Dan Brown’s, is that perhaps the action takes place in too short a time period. The readers may like a slower build up and more time to savour the mystery. Occasionally, also, the language slips and the characters do not speak in their true voices. The narrative voice occasionally addresses an adult rather than the child for whom the story is written. Not to worry, Harry Potter occasionally does the same, and that has done JK Rowling no harm.

Anderson continues to imitate the rich and famous by weaving as skilfully as Rowling into his story several references to legend and religious books. The theology of the piece is convincing. The cover is suitably dark and mysterious, and the picture entirely relevant to the plot.

The book retails at £6.99, which is perfectly acceptable for a book which is 248 pages long. I hope there will be another one out soon.”

Rob Millar:

As I read your story, I tried to imagine how a young person reading it might react. There are some to whom the word ‘legend’ would come as an alarm signal; if they take on the first chapter, they may be confused by unfamiliar names and long words, but would probably identify with Carys’ struggle to do as her mother wishes, despite being unsure why she should. Fortunately, the chapters are short enough for this kind of reader to remain engaged, especially as there are plenty of cliffhangers to keep them curious. The tale is told at a lively pace, so reluctant readers may find themselves enchanted and, if not distracted from the book, inquisitive enough to keep turning the pages.

There are other young readers to whom the title will be as a green light, and the more unusual the names, the better! This book is for them, in fact they will recognise the characters and even wish to be them, an achievement for any writer of fiction. These readers will be familiar with Tolkein and Harry Potter, and may even be like Zach with his esoteric knowledge and sparky imagination. They will have no difficulty with the twists and turns, the ever-changing reality, the increasingly supernatural characters and events. They will love the children of the Apocalypse, and regard the ending as perfectly plausible. For them, The Legend of Aranrhod has all the ingredients necessary for an exciting read, and they will await the film version, for which it is entirely suited, happy ending and all.

Sandra wrote:

<<This is an uplifting story of the triumph of the human spirit over 
all that would destroy or damage it, culminating in a resurrection 
ending of great joy.  It is an exciting, contemporary adventure in 
which the positive qualities of friendship, faith, perseverance, fun 
and creativity prevail.  I love the interweaving of the ancient world 
of legend and spirituality with the Christian, and the very positive 
light that is thrown on the church and its purpose.   It is a very 
entertaining read and let’s hope there will be more!  Thank you very 
much.>>

K Tyler’s Review (“Kee”)

I really enjoyed this book, especially as it had been an anniversary present from my wife who had got Geoff Anderson to autograph it commemorating our anniversary.

It could have been ‘fleshed’ out into a much longer book or even 2 books, but the fast pace, humour and relevance should appeal to the young and teens much more in this format.

Adults should enjoy this just as much, especially as it portrays teenagers, the clergy and other subjects in a very realistic and refreshing manner with plenty of humour.

A good story of good versus evil using the legends of the bible and of Britain in a present-day setting. I look forward to any future publications by this author.

Steve Dixon’s Review

(included with books listed in the Resource Centre in the Children’s section of the Manchester Diocesan website.)

This excellently written book has all the ingredients needed for a children’s thriller. The forces of good and evil are both racing to solve a riddle and assemble a source of power that will either save the world or consign it to evil domination. There are deceptions, misunderstandings, and good people tricked into working for the wrong side; dream premonitions, and the mysterious death of a beloved father to unravel; and most important of all a band of children who can achieve what the adults can’t.

The other powerful ingredient of this story is magic, and as in all the best fiction that uses this tool – from Narnia to Potter – it is used to provide an imaginative context in which the power of friendship, faith and love do battle with evil. However, unlike Potter, and even Narnia, Geoff Anderson’s fictional world does not exist in some parallel place where the church does not have a presence. Worcester Cathedral, its dean and a corpulent canon are at the centre of the action. It is in the Cathedral that the first revelation takes place that leads to the solving of the riddle. And the power of prayer is enlisted in the fight against the evil power. Even the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury is called upon to sanction the use of a secret spiritual weapon – the presence of children, with their laughter and play in all the churches and cathedrals of the land.

A 13-yr-old’s View

Plunging you straight into the middle of a nightmare from the first sentence, from the minute you open the cover and start reading, you are sucked into an amazing novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the last few pages. Welcome to the world of Carys Aranrhod Cadwaladr.

Carys has always thought of her mum as slightly crazy, what with all her talk of magic and demons, not to mention all that talk about King Arthur and the legends surrounding him and the moon goddess Aranrhod – who believes in magic these days anyway? However, when her mum starts talking of a long awaited spiritual ‘war’ and sends her away from Merlin’s farm, her home in North Pembrokeshire, to live with English relatives in Worcester, Carys goes along. At least it will be a load off her mum’s mind, what with the well dried up and the farm failing, and she might even make some new friends.

All is not as it seems though, as Carys, Bethany (her cousin), Zach (Bethany’s friend) and Suzy (Zach’s dog) soon find out. For the Old Palace Worcester isn’t quite the safe, out of the way, haven Branwen, Carys’ mum, had hoped to send her daughter to. In fact, it’s where everything is about to happen.Driving you to distraction until you reach the final few pages, this book is a successful cocktail of myth, legend, religion, magic and crazy jokes that keeps you guessing. Throughout the book various endings are hinted at leading you to countless possibilities, but though looking back the solution is obvious, you’ll never guess how it happens. Perfect for all ages, this book will capture your imagination and won’t let it go.Do you believe in magic? Real magic? Don’t ask. Just believe. (S. aged 13) 

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A Middle-Aged Man’s View …

This is a very well told story, it has some great characters and lots of humour, it constantly hints at deeper issues (e.g. about stories, their power, and the power of the storyteller), it’s a real page-turner and has a brilliant and (within the terms of the story) thoroughly justified happy ending to it.

Among many good things: the relationship of teenagers, humorously and realistically observed; clergy seen as normal and human – and reasonably heroic; the dog, Suzy, as a real dog (i.e. not anthropomorphic!) but still a real character; the link up of themes around Aaron’s Rod and Excalibur; and the brilliant idea at the end.

This story would make an excellent stage show, or even a film. In fact, it’s really crying out for some special effects and would make an exciting and enchanting film.

The only two small criticisms one could make would be that (a) the scary bits aren’t quite as scary as they could be, if there were a little more concrete description of the demons and the miasma they create; and (b) the whole thing is actually a bit too short; it could do with a little more ‘backstory’ and more of the interaction of the characters to ‘establish’ them.But these are minor criticisms of a story told with vigour, style, sensitivity and humour. Younger teenagers will thoroughly enjoy it – and so will their parents! And without being in the slightest ‘heavy’, it’s clearly the work of a person of faith and very much ‘on the side of the angels’.  (Nicholas Jowett, Sheffield) ========================

2 Responses to “All your Feedback & Reviews”

  1. Lota Says:

    Geoff…received the book sometime ago but didn’t have the opportunity to begin reading it until yesterday. I’m more than half way through and what a delightful way to begin a new year! Can’t wait to share it with my dgt and grandson…they’ll love it as much as I do! What is so fascinating in my grandmother came from Wales around 1900, and I remember she and my great-grandfather talking of many of the places you mention. What a joy this book has been on so many levels….thank you for the opportunity to obtain it! Blessings on all of your work…can’t wait to read more!
    L.Jones
    Pittsburgh PA USA

  2. Kimberly Says:

    I am so glad my mom (Lota Jones) ordered your book and passed it on to me. It is excellent, and I absolutely loved it! I stayed up very late reading it because I wanted to read just “one more” chapter, but I couldn’t put it down. I’ve given it to my son (age 14) to read next, and I know it will be passed throughout the family. It is truly a wonderful story for all generations to enjoy. This book needs a U.S. release! I can easily see this book making it to the big screen someday. I am really looking forward to Geoff Anderson’s next book.

    Kimberly (Jones) Vernon – Pittsburgh, PA USA

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