The island of Edenwiess is under attack from what seems to be a simple storm. However, lighting is striking repeatedly in the same location, over the vast volcano, causing those who are observing to realize that this is no typical storm, something evil is at work.
In order to save the magical world she loves, Morgan and her friends must return to the Island after their school has been evacuated. Not only will she place her life in peril, but those of her friends as well.
Morgan will go beyond the limits of her magic, and discovering the identity of the one responsible for the attack will leave her feeling betrayed.
Morgan Koda and her friends, Tristan Blake, Rex Walker, and Raine Hunter stood before one of their classroom windows watching the sky as it turned darker and darker. Billowing black clouds rolled over Edenwiess School of Magic. The vast five story stone manor shook as thunder exploded over the tiny Hawaiian Island.
Thunderbolts of forked lightning lit up the darkening sky and struck the ground not far from the building.
Morgan flinched as the bone rattling crash sounded a second later. The brilliant flare of golden light temporarily blinded her. Standing with her hand pressed against the window wasn't one of her more brilliant idea, she thought. She threw every bit of strength she had into her hands, and tried to back away from the violence the thin sheet of glass protect her from. But she found her way blocked by a mass of humanity. Some of her classmates had crowded up behind her to observe the storm as it unleashed its fury.
The windowpane quaked again in its frame. Warning her, she had better get a move on. Suddenly goose bumps the size of peas burst out over her arms and legs, then the hair at the back of her neck stood up.
Her schoolmates jostle forward pinning her tight against the glass.
Morgan stared wide eyed as a magnitude of lightning shot through the swirling black mass and struck a tree at the edge of the school lawns instantly setting it ablaze.
She stilled her panic as she struggled to push herself away the glass.
It was no use. She was trapped by her fellow classmates. She knew she was in serious trouble and would need a little help to get her and her classmates away from the window. She had little doubt what would happen if pane gave way to the debris being hurled against it from hurricane force winds.
She closed her eyes and opened the lid on her magic. The cover, however, slammed closed before she could initiate the spell.
Professor Sam Mullen stared over his student’s heads at the fury beyond his classroom windows. He was just as awestruck by the storm as they were. In all the years he had been teaching at Edenwiess, he had never seen a storm as severe as the one flashing outside.
It took him several moments to recall that the windows were not the safest place for his students. Just as he opened his mouth to call his students back to their seats, the room exploded in absolute mayhem as the overhead lights went out
He waved his hands toward the ceiling. The lights flickered for a second, then shined with a bright soothing glow.
“Okay, everyone…" He started. But no one heard him over the cries of the tangled mound of bodies littering the floor. With a little added magic, his voice roared about the room. "We have all seen a storm before.” He said firmly. But no one seemed to be paying any attention to his instructions as another wail of thunder exploded over the school.
Professor Mullen, almost in a panic to get his students under control, waved his hands a second time. The roar from the storm was instantly muted as thick dark shades suddenly appeared over all the windows. “We have a lot of work to get through today.” He called unwaveringly with his magically enhanced voice.
He rushed forward and started trying to untangle the bodies littering the floor at the front of the room. As he set them upright, they slowly made their way back to the tables cluttered about the room. A few, however, kept one eye on the raging storm as they settled back into their seats.
Morgan felt the presser against her back give, and with a sigh, she started to peel herself from the glass. Professor Mullen’s screen appeared a mere inch in front her nose, and her heart jumped. For a second, her amethyst eyes widened as she watched the dark shade start to fill in her silhouette. She slammed her eyes closed as another bolt flashed as her outline vanished. She blinked the flare of lightning out of her vision, then flung herself away from the glass as something huge crash into it from the other side.
She felt herself falling backward over the tangle mound of students. She rolled over the mass of bodies until she was clear of them, then bounced to her feet. She gave the room a once over. Her eyes stopped at the table she shared with Tristan, Rex, and Raine. Rex was ginning at her, and the sight of his smirk set her teeth on edge.
“Well that's one way to get you away from the window." He said as she joined them "I thought we were going to have to chip you off the glass.” He sent her another beaming smirk as she took her seat between Tristan and Raine.
“Very funny,” Morgan replied giving him a scornful glare. In his place, she knew she would have seen it funny as well.
She forced her attention to the front of the room, where Professor Mullen had just set the last student on his feet, then as though nothing had happened. He went back to his lecture directing the class on the proper way to use a beckoning charm.
Morgan, Tristan, Rex and Raine were already well acquainted with the spell. All four of them had used the beckoning charm to summon heavy winter clothing when they had followed the trail of The Mask of Noesis to the arctic in their first year at Edenwiess.
Morgan groaned softly to herself as she remembered how that trip had turned out. Her magic had failed her and she had put the four of them plus Sonny, her yellow lab, in the path of a T-rex. Then, just when she thought they were safe. She’d landed them within reach of a crazed party of war painted natives.
A jab to her side brought her back to the present. Morgan turned her head and raised her eyebrows at Rex.
His head bobbed toward the front of the room.
She turned her head, and found Professor Mullen staring directly at her.
He was dumbfounded that Morgan didn’t have her hand raised to answer his question. She was one of the few who followed along in his class lectures.
Morgan sat up a little straighter and gazed inquiringly at him.
“Miss Koda, now that I have your attention.” The glare he shot at her spoke volumes. “Can you tell us…” His voice was full of disappointment in her inattentiveness. “Why a textbook can not be beckon?” He was sure he had her with the question and she would stare at him in bewilderment.
He should have known better.
“All textbooks have a summoning spell on them. Instead of the book coming to the owner…” She said hastily trying make up for her inattentiveness. "The spell will transport the book’s owner to wherever the textbook happens to be.” She replied. She couldn’t help the tiny smile that formed her lips at his astonished expression. He had no idea she’d learned this lesson the hard way the year before. While trying to beckon her lost textbook, she had experienced several terrifying seconds when she thought she had transported herself into a coffin. However, to her great surprise, she had materialized under her bed where her textbook had slid between her mattress and the wall.
She also knew the Dark Emir had used this detail as means to kidnap her. But his spy at the school had gotten the wrong book from her bag, resulting in Tristan being kidnapped in her place.
She still didn’t know who the spy was. But she was keeping an eye out, and as soon as she knew who this person was, they would pay for the deaths they had caused.
She grinned at the thought of the Dark Emir wondering around alone in the cave, where he had held Tristan captive. She hoped he never found a way out. But she knew it was only a matter of time before he did.
The peal of the bell ending the class brought her back to the present, and the four of them shoved their books back into their bags, then hurried from the room. They met up with Sonny, who was waiting just outside the classroom door.
Morgan, Tristan, Rex and Raine with Sonny leading the way darted between the milling mass of students to the nearest of the many staircases that were threaded throughout the stone manor. The four of them followed Sonny’s swinging tail as he led the way down, first one stairway, then another, until they reached one of the rear doors leading out of the school to the stables.
Morgan jerked to a halt to keep from falling over Sonny broad back. He had come to a dead stop upon seeing what greeted them through the open doorway.
Tristan, Rex, and Raine piled up behind her.
Even though, he tried with all his might to stop. Tristan collided hard with Morgan causing her to stubble forward and topple over Sonny.
Her breath left her in a great whoosh as she tumbled over the dog. Her hands shot out to catch herself. But she never met the soggy ground. She found herself floating in mid-air.
Raine, however, stared wide eyed at Morgan as she hung there like she was being supported by invisible wires. “You know… it’s not polite to show off your magical skills all the time.” Raine said a little waspishly. She knew if it was her, she would be face down in the mud.
“AND…” Rex said a little maliciously “…Why in the bloody hell do you think its Morgan doing the magic?” His voice grew louder and louder with each word.
Tristan and Raine whirled around to find Rex staring at them with both hands out before him and his finger spread wide toward Morgan.
“Sorry,” Raine muttered mortified.
“Think nothing of it.” Rex said good-naturedly.
“Um, Rex” Morgan said humorlessly. “Do you think you could let me down? I’m getting soaked.” Her voice sounded as though it was coming from underwater.
And sure enough, Morgan had water pouring from her hair and robes.
The rain was now so dense they could only see a few yards along the trail that led across the school's vast rear lawns.
Sonny stepped under Morgan and looked up. “I have a better idea” He said grinning, then added merrily, “We should just use her as an umbrella.”
Morgan glared down at the dog, “Very funny.” She said through clinched teeth.
“He’s got a point.” Rex said, rubbing his chin musingly. Then a bolt of lightning struck the ground not far away and highlighted the bones in Morgan’s face.
Tristan turned to Rex with every intention of telling him to ‘knock it off’ before Morgan was struck by one of the many bolts flashing around her.
“Oh, alright,” Rex said. He didn’t want her hurt. Plus the look she shot him a second later, convinced him that she was about to undo his spell and he would find himself in her place.
He waved his hands, and Morgan dropped face first into the muck. Muddy water went flying in every direction. She gagged as her mouth filled with the gritty disgusting stuff. She slowly raised her head and spat out the foul tasting grime.
Sonny had barely gotten out of the way as she came crashing down; however, Tristan, Rex, Rain and Sonny were now as wet and muddy as she was.
She slowly gained her feet and raised her head into the pouring rain, rinsing most of the mud from her face and robes. She turned toward Rex and barely opened her mouth.
He exploded through the doorway, and stopped a mere foot from her with his arms spread wide. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to drop you. You know I would never do that.” He pleaded.
Morgan knew he would never do anything to harm her. But dropping her in the mud? - Maybe. "Come on," She said turning on her heel, "We need to get to the horses before this gets any worse."
The rain had turned into a cloudburst before they were even a quarter of the way to the stables.
Morgan raised her hands above her head, then brought them to her sides. An invisible shield appeared over their heads protecting them from the downpour as they followed the trail to the stables.
Rex looked down at his dripping robes, then shot a glance at the robes of his friends. There was a plus with all this rain, he thought. They wouldn't have to take their school robes to the laundry and have angry questions thrown at them by the witch, who supervised the cleaning of all the school’s washables. He sighed with a grin hovering at the corner of his lips.
They hurried through the driving rain to the stables of Edenwiess. They had received a notice earlier that morning that their riding class had been postponed due to the squall.
Morgan peered through the haze at the empty paddocks. "Where are the horses?" She muttered, then the answer came to her. She whirled, splashing mud as she darted toward the stable. She all but flew through the doors with her friends hot on her heels.
The horses were standing in individual stalls with their heads hanging over the stall doors.
Spirit turned his black spotted, white head toward the banging of the stable door. “Why have you come here?” He asked heatedly with his silver eyes glaring into Morgan’s purple ones.
“We were worried about you and the rest of the horses.” Morgan shot back.
“What about us?” A shadowy voice said from the end of the building.
Morgan sucked in a breath as she latched onto Tristan's hand.
Rex and Raine along with Sonny turned their heads and stared down the wide alley between the stall doors.
An apparition moved within the darkness. Slowly it crept out of the murkiness at the end of the corridor.
Morgan took a step back, her free hand shot out and her fingers were spread wide before her chest.
Sonny on the other hand, wagged his tail as the silhouette took shape.
A reindeer, then a Canadian Lynx came into view.
“Velvet… Shando,” Morgan squealed as she dragged Tristan toward them. She had forgotten to let go of his hand. “How are you?” She said as she hugged them one handed.
Tristan shook his hand free and rubbed his shoulder; it felt like it had been wrenched from the socket. He waited for his turn, then hugged his friends.
“We are fine.” Velvet said as Rex and Raine hugged her.
Another clap of thunder resounded shaking the whole building. Everyone, animal and human alike, looked up at the wooden rafters above them, wondering if the storm could get any worse.
“Mr. Glendon Simpson was persistent we use the stalls. He is a very kind human.” Shando assured them.
Morgan studied the reindeer before her. The tempest didn’t seem to be bothering her. Then Morgan noted a quiver in her massive antlers, but it was the slight dance of her hoofs gave her away. Morgan turned her attention to Shando. She really had no idea if the storm bothered him or not. He looked completely placid.
She and her friends had first met Velvet and Shando, along with a tiny snowy owl, Pippin, and a great polar bear named, Kenyon, when the four of them had journeyed to the arctic. Morgan had landed them in the arctic in the middle of a blizzard. They would have been forced to return to the school had it not been for Pippin leading them to a cave. He was now hiding in Rex’s dorm room, and had firmly turned down a trip to the stables. Kenyon, the great polar bear, was with his family in the northern cell-way between the mountain ranges of Idaho and Montana.
The Other Island
The Other Island, by Juls Duncan, is wonderfully written and will spur the imagination of those who read it.
My favorite part is where Morgan and her friends finds themselves in a another world. Morgan has been there before, but her friends haven't. “I know exactly what’s behind the light. I’ve been there before.” Only Juls Duncan could come up with a world like it belonged in the North Pole, minus the snow and cold. Another show of Duncan's imagination is when the dragon she was riding caught one of the bad wizards. “Please let me eat him,”
The book is a great mystery as well as an urban fantasy, where Morgan learns to control her magic or face the consequences.
I highly recommend all the books in the Morgan Koda Adventures series. I see the Juls Duncan and her Morgan Koda series becoming as popular as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter.
The Other Island
THE OTHER ISLAND is book filled with Juls Duncan's wonderful imagination; so much so, it cannot help but spur the imagination of those who read it. The book opens with Morgan being pinned to a classroom window at Edenwiess School of Magic, during a violent storm that is wreaking havoc on the tiny Hawaiian island.
There is as much humor in The Other Island as there is imagination. “Miss Koda, your parents will be here to pick you up in a few minutes. I need you to go to your dorm and collect your belongs, then come to my office.” but Morgan disobeys. "Spirit and the rest of the animals are the only things that my parents will be taking back with them.” She heads for the stables instead.
Morgan discovers there is something strange about the storm, “This is not just some little storm.” She must investigate and against her father's wishes. “You are to stay away from the island. Do you understand?
The book becomes as much a mystery as a fantasy, and it's up to Morgan and her friends, Tristan, Rex, and Raine to discover what is causing the storm, and to stop it. As with most good mysteries, the culprit is a surprise. Along the way, there are enough surprises and imaginative details thrown in.
THE OTHER ISLAND is a book that is a pleasure for readers of all ages, but for a child, it will prove to be a true and memorable joy.
The Other Island
The Other Island, Book Three, of the Morgan Koda Adventures Series is the latest in a series of books that will capture imaginations worldwide with good reason. Juls Duncan has created a loveable, likeable cast of characters with the requisite villains the reader just loves to hate. Morgan and her friends also find themselves in predicaments many children face: Unpleasant adults who seem to wish them nothing but trouble; mysterious actions of adults who do things without explanation; and the sense of learning to use your own abilities to succeed in life. "Take what is thrown at you and do your best to survive" is a strong theme throughout all of the Morgan Koda Adventure books.
It's not hard to see why kids enjoy these books. Children can easily identify with the characters, and the plots capture their imagination. Yet, though Juls Duncan has managed to create a heroine and friends who will endure, she has not fallen into a trap many authors of children's books face: Morgan is not eternally young, but is growing and learning. She's even learning of the perils and mysteries of socializing with non-humans. Wonder what else Juls Duncan has in store for our gutsy heroine....