Reviewed By Ryan Jordan for Readers’ Favorite
DOWN UNDER: Kussins by M.W. Adams is the second book in the Family Tree Novel series and is a collection of moments, basically chapters centered around one particular scene in the life of Driew and his family, such as his brother Pester who calls Driew his little bother. Each scene stands alone, but together they make up the life of a young boy in Australia as he meets new people and learns about the world around him. This is a fictional reinterpretation of the life of the author with a lot of clever twists and fun moments that helped bring the stories and volume to life.
I liked the way in which each chapter could stand completely on its own, and the titling of each as ‘moments’ worked really well. Each was a moment in time unto itself, and the self-contained nature inside of the wider theme of the story did a lot to make it interesting. I think my favorite moment was “Hunter” because it had a little bit of everything. There is also a smattering of strange vernacular that I didn’t recognize, and I found the glossary to be tremendously helpful in learning new words or different uses of things I’ve seen before. I think that there is enough fun and educational information in this work to entertain any children, and even adults could easily find quite a few things to love about it. Down Under: Kussins by Mark Wayne Adams is a great story about discovering the world around us by looking at small snippets in time.
Reviewed By Deborah Lloyd for Readers’ Favorite
“Moments in life shape us. Family secrets write my story more than living my life, Driew thought.” These lines from DOWN UNDER: Kussins by M.W. Adams, describe the essence of this fictional work. Part of the Family Tree Novel series, this story’s main character is Driew (“weird” spelled backwards) Qweepie, a rising seventh grader. The Qweepie family moved to Dawson Springs, a small, poverty-stricken town in Kentucky, from sunny, hot Florida. In addition to parents Marq and Nieve, Driew has four ‘sinisters’ and ‘bothers’—Killiope, Pester, Payne and Gayle. He becomes friends with Gulia, and twins Able and Cain Poe. The secrets held between these families add unexpected twists and turns, as well as insights into life-changing moments.
Utilizing Outback, American and Qweepie vernacular, M.W. Adams has written a highly imaginative story in Down Under: Kussins. Another unique technique throughout the book is the use of moments, rather than the more typical chapter titles, for each section. Mr. Adams has excellent and intriguing writing skills. The interweaving of a variety of language and word structures, magical, dream-like beliefs, and a host of fascinating personalities evolve into an incomparable tale. There is mystery with Driew’s gift of a secret sing-song magic. And, his family facilitates an amazing transformation in this small town, beginning with kind acts and culminating in the creation of the successful SeaSuns store. There are layers of meanings within this very creative story, and a serious reader will be challenged and thrilled to explore these many layers. It is a book to be savored.
Reviewed By Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite
DOWN UNDER: Kussins by M.W. Adams is a family tree novel for young readers, a well-crafted work that reads like poetry, featuring very good and believable characters and a plot that will undoubtedly have readers turning the pages. The main character, Driew, is not an ordinary kid, and of course his parents think it is useless leaving him with a cellphone. From the very first page, readers are pulled into the world of the protagonist, a world that rhymes with a lot of tension and activities and danger. Very early in the story, the reader understands that Driew already has a huge problem dealing with his one sibling: “I don’t want to live another tortuous year as Pester’s little brother. Can’t Pester resolve his issues to become a loving brother?” The reader is pulled into the dynamics of family life and conflicts, but the adventure of Driew is what will take their breath away. Follow him down the hazardous path under.
The writing is like nothing I have read before, an original voice and a turn of phrase that has its unique signature. M.W. Adams has a bubbling imagination that comes out powerfully in the morphology of his writing, the cast of characters, and the compelling plot. The plot is fast-paced with a lot of drama and powerful scenes to pull the reader in. I read the entire story within twenty-four hours and enjoyed the plot lines, the characters, and the themes that center on the family. Down Under: Kussins is fun and entertaining.