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February 15, 2017

Review: The Blue Moon Narthex

Title: The Blue Moon Narthex
Author: N.J. Donner
Publisher: Steel Page Press
The balance of good and evil has been left in the hands of a thirteen year old...

Since the beginning of time, Karmanic matter worked silently and unassisted keeping good and evil in balance, until growing greed in the world meant Karma couldn’t keep up. As World War I rages, the secret Karmanic Sovereign Legion works behind the scenes to help Karma.

A suspicious train accident and an odd stone-shaped object that belonged to his father thrust Cole McCarthy and two schoolmates into the middle of this battle to keep dark forces in check. 

With only the powerful stone, a letter, and grandfatherly Norm to guide them, the trio must unravel clues and tap into unknown strengths to discover who Cole’s father really was and keep themselves and those they love safe.

Includes chapter 1 of book 2 in the Karmanic Sovereign Legion series!

LINKS: Amazon | B&N

Overall Rating:4.5/5
This book in my opinion far surpassed the average quality of middle grade literature.  While I reserve a number five rating for the best of the best, this book was so far up my alley that I couldn’t resist giving it at least a four point five.  I also couldn’t help but be a little biased due to the creative science fiction the book as a whole represented.  Clearly it can be seen that a lot more effort was put into developing the story for this book than most other middle-grade fiction.  More than anything I look forward to reading the future book(s) of this series.


Not only do I feel this cover is absolutely spectacular eye candy but I am in love with it’s clever design.  The font is very fitting to the early 1900’s era and is shadowed by the backdrop of dark stone.  Dead center is the symbol described to be on the Blue Moon Narthex itself.  So in a way the cover matches the story in an excellent manner.


Cole was the main character of the story.  He fit the stereotypical “chosen one” character that is the lead in these sort of stories.  Even while falling into this stereotype I still found him to be a very enjoyable character and if anything it made it easier to jump right into the story.

Sophie fit the standard intellectual female character role.  Between her love of books and clever nature she was constantly helping the main trio (Including herself) in their adventure.  In many ways she was my favorite character of the story.

Britten is the dumb but loveable friend.  He often brings about comic relief to the story but in many ways was not completely necessary for the story to progress.  Nevertheless he made an excellent support role considering the level of reading this book was targeting.  I’m sure many middle-aged kids will enjoy the jokes and humor he brings to the story.


The Blue Moon Narthex had a very intriguing plot for a middle-grade novel.  The plot was a little slow at first yet I feel it was necessary to set the tone for this book.  Especially when you consider the fact this book declares to be the first of a series.  I really enjoyed the book much more once it reached its second half.  Between steam-punk styled tech and the ability to travel from one place to another in an instant this book definitely held strong science fiction themes.  There was plenty of action spaced throughout the entire book which kept me glued to the pages and reading.  My only complaint is that I felt the story was cut a little short.  That all might make more sense upon reading future books of the series so I won’t count it against the scoring.


“These won’t be my best clothes after today.” - Cole

“I guess we were in the wrong place at the wrong time.” - Sophie

“A secret latch!” - Britten

N.J. Donner is the author of the new Karmanic Sovereign Legion books. N.J. loves to explore. The world fascinates him and he wants to figure out why and how things work, including Karma.

College adventures took N.J. far from his small Nebraska hometown to the southern hemisphere and the inner city. This was the beginning of his wanderlust and today he loves to travel with his wife, Amanda, and their three children.

N.J. became the first person to graduate with a minor in international affairs from Nebraska Wesleyan University and spent the years right out of college building a successful steel company.

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