Wednesday, April 27, 2016

[ 2016 | Review #30 ] : "SKY RAIDERS"

Text copyright © 2014 by Brandon Mull
Cover illustration copyright © 2014 by Owen Richardson
Cover design by Jessica Handelman
Interior design by Ellis M. Lee
Printed in the United States of America
Published by Aladdin (an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
First Aladding paperback edition January 2015
Paperback edition ; 440 p | ISBN 978-1-4424-9701-6 

Cole Randolph just wanna have some fun with his buddy Dalton, by doin’ ‘trick or treat’ in Halloween. Sixth grader student seems too old playing ‘candy hunt’ but Cole can’t help it if he still likes it, after all there is so many older kid also still doin’ it. Then the plan slidly changes, when he stumble with Jenna Hunt – girl he has crush-on since second grade, to visited the haunted mansion everybody already talks about. And that’s why Cole, Dalton, Jenna and several other boys and girls went to see what so fuss about those place. They soon arrive and welcoming by some teenager who take them into basement – where there is more spooky stuff already prepare to make even more spooky and scarier scenery ... or at least that that’s what those childrean thinking.

NOOO !!!
Then everything happen so fast and unbelieveable dreadful. Inside the basement there are some ‘older people’ who so weird and strange like they in peculiar custome, but instead just a costume, appearantly they really ‘strange creature’ who captured and seize all the boys and girls, and bring them into somekind of passage. While the attack begins and the situation a little bit chaotic, Cole managed to escape without anybody notice and hiding in plain side, watching all his friend capture one by one. There are other children too being held by those weird people, and when they all gone into the dark passage, Cole made up his mind to follow quitely, just to get information where those kidnapers will go, before he goes to the police. But before he realizes anything, the dark passage indeed take him into somewhere else – somewhere he never knew before : another world.

Cole soon find out he is not in Mesa, Arizona, his hometown. In his arrival he meet a mysterious man, called him self as Wayminder – who also the keeper of gate that connect between two world. The place Cole now standing its caleed the Outskirts – a strange place who lies between five kingdoms, a place that no one acclaimed as the owner, ‘coz there is so many outlaws, strange and danger peoples (and creatures) living, breathing and obey only one rule : this is a world of the strongest and the smartest, average and mediocracy  will loses their spirit and mind in this wild world. Cole just wanna have some fun, and now he must find away to tracking his friend who mention by Wayminder earlier, that they already ‘branded’ as ‘slaves’ – another comodities who happen very familiars and demanded in this world.
“Your problem involves more than simply opening a way. Once you have come to the Outskirts, you will inevitably be drawn back here. The pull is considerably stronger if this is your birthplace, but once you have visited, all roads tend to lead you back.”
This is not only bad news for Cole, it become worse and worse, ‘coz he cannot retrieve his step coming back home (at least not soon enough), then while trying pursuing and release his friends from their kidnappers, he got caught and soon joining others, mark as a slave and sold into everyone willing to pay. Since his act consider as danger and rebelious, Cole sold to the first customer approaching the slaver. Leaping into another world, cannot go back to his home, having enormous experience and worse kind as ‘human-treating’ by those slaver, Cole cannot imagine how would it be when he become the property of Adam Jones, owner of  the Cliffside Salvage Yard and the leader of the Sky Raiders, where the all living in the territory called The Brink. What will awaits Cole in that place ? Can he live long enough and survive in this new world ‘till he find a way to get his friend and comeback home ?

My first experience with Brandon Mull’s works from his series Fablehaven – another fantasy stories that quite intrigueing with plot and many of interesting characters. This first instlament of Five Kingdoms series also capture my fully intention from the beginning until the end. Adventureous, so intense and the way ‘other world’ live in my imagination, quite vivid since the author gave so many details and changes the scenery from one to another so many times, so fast and makes me furious to get more and more ... ‘til the last page finally come to end. If Fablehaven move quite ‘slowly’ makes the reader hanging unto the mystery behind the awful truth regarding Fablehaven, so it the opposite situation happen with this book. Cole adventure’s leaping so fast, and he meet so many interesting characters in the journey, both new friend and foe, even unbelieve enemies he must facing, it show how ‘crazy’ Brandon imagination to make such creatures.

Sky Raiders – as expected by the name, is a bunch of peoples (mostly teenager or youngster) who ‘raid’ a numerous floating castles, looking for anything valuable or precious enough to be sell in the market. They proudly named them self as salvagers, and the works seems quite simple, if this did not counting how dangerous every mission to places. That because those castles most certainly also have ‘something’ – guardian each place and attack and killed any trespassing visitors. Cole Randolph is a teenager boy, normal human, and now he sees so many magic and extraordinary things (living and not) in the world that so impresif yet scary at the same time. From just ‘a boy’ who spent most of the time at school nor hang-out with his friends and buddies, he became a slave then turn into part of Sky Raiders – salvager who risked their live constantly in every mission.

Danger now is ‘daily routines’ he must face, and that continue into something bigger, when he getting caught in the middle of war between most powerfull peole who rules the entire Five Kingdoms. Betrayed, conspiracy and killing among friends even families, soon Cole realize that the history about new world he living now, are about to change rapidly into huge revolution, when those who victimazed, living in hiding for several years, slowly a rise and gather to fight the tyran behind scandalous-secrecy-conspiracy in the history of Five Kingdoms. And one day, Cole must decided whether he stays with fellow Sky Raiders or choose a very different path, something that quite dangerous with unknown-unsure future. When an army of soldier sent to capture ‘an escape slave’ from the Kingdoms, sent by The High Shapers its self, Cole knew there will not be others choice than fight against that order, to save Mira – strange and mysterious gilr who happen stays in Sky Raiders quite sometimes. With the help others, including Jace and Twitch (other new fellow of Cole’s), they made it to escape and becoming fugitive of The High Shapers soldiers. And then another ‘crazy-dangerous adventure’ begins ...
“There are five major kingdoms in the Outskirts : Sambria, where we are now, Necronum, Ellower, Zeropolis and Creon. The five kingdoms used to be governed by five Grand Shapers. The High Shaper ranked above them all and lived in the Junction City. Together they formed the Governing Council, and they ruled the Outskirts as a group. Except, around sixty years ago, the High Shaper decided he wanted all the power for himself. The High Shaper lived with his wife and five daughters. Although he came from a long line of shapers, and married a woman who was a powerful shaper, he held his position more by pedigree and political games than by talent. One day, there was a terrible accident, and all his daughters died. Nobody knows what really happened. The High King is ruthless and selfish. He destroyed his own family to get what he wanted : the power of great sharper all together.”
Conclusion :
~ Indo's Cover ~
Satu lagi karya Brandon Mull yang mampu membuatku terhanyut dalam adegan-adegan petualangan seru nan menegangkan sekaligus melambungkan imajinasi melalui rangkaian dunia fantasi tak terbatas, makhluk-makhluk aneh dan unik. Tokoh utama kisah ini adalah Cole Randolph – remaja pria yang sedang menikmati perayaan Halloween bersama-sama teman-temannya, ketika mereka mendadak terjebak dan diculik sekelompok ‘makhluk’ yang sekilas mirip dengan manusia normal yang menggunakan kostum. Cole berhasil lolos dari sergapan mereka, dan seharusnya ia bisa segera melaporkan peristiwa itu ke pihak berwajib, namun alih-alih ia justru memilih untuk mengikuti dan mencaritahu di mana gerangan kawanan penculik itu membawa teman-temannya. Dan itu adalah salah satu tindakan berani sekaligus gegabah, karena Cole mendapati dirinya justru memasuki ‘portal’ ke dunia lain dan tidak mampu menemukan jalan untuk kembali ke dunianya.

Kisah ini memiliki alur yang cukup cepat, dan melalui sosok Cole, pembaca dibawa mengikuti rangkaian petualangan tiada henti, saat Cole memasuki dunia yang berbeda, sekaligus penuh dengan keragaman anek jenis makhluk serta penghuni di kawasan Outskirts serta setiap kekuasaan Lima Kerajaan (the Five Kingdoms). Sihir merupakan salah satu kekuatan yang cukup langka, dan juga memiliki perbedaan kekuatan antara satu keahlian dengan keahlian lainnya. Bisa dikatakan, penulis benar-benar menuangkan semua imajinasi yang paling ‘gila’ sekali pun untuk mewujudkan dunia fantasi yang menakjubkan ini. Jika harus kusebutkan satu demi satu, rasanya bisa panjang sekali ulasan ini ... (yang berubah menjadi deskripsi detil tentang karakteristik serta aneka keahlian yang muncul sepanjang kisah). Sayangnya, justru karena ke-kompleksan latar belakang serta banyaknya unsur-unsur yang terlibat, perkembangan dan kekuatan emosional pada beberapa tokoh utama justru seakan ‘tenggelam’ dan ‘terlupakan’ dalam keramaian. Alhasil, kisah ini menarik namun kurang memberikan kesan mendalam usai membacanya.

[ book 1 of FIVE KINGDOMS Series ]
Text copyright © 2014 by Brandon Mull
Cover illustration copyright © 2014 by Owen Richardson

Rate : 3.5 of 5

Tentang Penulis :
Brandon Mull adalah penulis seri Beyonders serta Fablehaven, seri terlaris versi New York Times, USA Today, dan Wall Street Journal. Dia tinggal di Utah, di lembah kecil indah dekat mulut sebuah ngarai, bersama istri dan keempat anaknya. Moto hidupnya adalah : “Jangan membuat orang lain merasa bosan.”

[ more about this author and related works, just visit at here  : Brandon Mull | on Goodreads | on Wikipedia | Fablehaven Site | Five Kingdoms Site | at Twitter | at Facebook ]

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