Thursday 12 May 2011

The Four Powers of Daren Saner

The Four Powers of Daren Saner by Michael Oehley (Scholastic NZ) 
PB RRP $15.99 
ISBN 978186439453
Reviewed by Dawn Meredith

Daren Saner lives in the future, on the spaceship Superia which has been traveling for almost one thousand years in search of a new home. But Daren also has another identity, one which will be revealed to him the instant he touches a sacred jewel, an ancient relic of Peripoli. Daren travels back four thousand years to the ancient city, where his other persona, Daren Saredes lives with his sick mother on the floating platforms of Osheanus.

The Daren onboard the Superia is always getting into trouble and the Daren living a thousand years before is no different. But, unlike his future self, the Daren of Periapoli has innate powers, as does everyone of that time, who are restricted by their social caste and limited to two of the four types of powers: earth, air, water and fire.

Daren Saner soon discovers not only does he possess all four powers,  he is the Forbidden Child and sentenced to die.

Onboard Superia, Daren has Sela and Boron as his close friends. In ancient Periapoli, Daren finds himself captive and friendless onboard an ocean going vessel with a fierce captain and cutthroat sailors.

Daren’s journey is simultaneously occurring in the past and in the future. He must solve riddles, negotiate with criminals and above all, be brave and independent. Not only is he the Forbidden Child, fighting to fulfill a prophecy, he is also the cause of a major malfunction of the master computer onboard the Superia, which is leading the ship and all its inhabitants towards disaster. Even his parents don’t believe his story.

This is Michael Oehley’s first novel and based upon an idea that had been kicking around inside his head since childhood. I’m glad he finally released it! It’s a great read, full of excitement and with all the essential elements of the genre.

Dawn Meredith writes from the Blue Mountains and is a May Gibbs Fellow 2011. You can follow her exploits at  

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