Review: Tumbleweed Forts


Imagine if what you see is not what really is. What if you could travel through time in a blink of an eye, revisit your past, flash ahead to your future and learn the secrets of life hoping to create within yourself an understanding of not only who and what you are but others too.

Changing dimensions, leaving the protection of his parents and his home, Joshua goes in search of his Tumbleweed Fort before his family is forced to leave and more to yet another world, kingdom and life. Protected by his mother keeps the planet of her family in tact and aligned, she realizes that Joshua’s desire for adventure, exploration and his ability to disappear needed nurturing and allowing him to explore it one more time inevitable. Imagine learning the lessons of life from an angel or vision. Imagine leaving the desert world filled with armies, creatures that Joshua could defeat and living among the Clan of Desert Warriors that he belonged to only to find himself going on a one time journey back in time seeing himself as he travels through time, almost like an outer body experience into other dimensions and different worlds.

Tumbleweeds won’t grow near other plants where the ground had been disturbed. Creating a tumbleweed fort is an art form and the formation of these forts for children of the desert as depicted in this novella, was nothing new. Children as the author calls the Knights created the forts. Describing their construction and their purpose was fascinating and sets the stage for our adventurer.

For Joshua before leaving the desert he wanted one more visit to his tumbleweed fort but what happens will send him to other dimensions and the worlds he encounters and those within them will teach him valuable lessons that will remain with him along with his memories. Inside their Kingdom in his grandfather’s garage his tumbleweed adventures flooded him with memories-secret tunnels-battles that he fought and expanded his imagination. As the author describes the scene and we learn about the shadow creatures, Joshua takes the reader along with the narrator on a trip back in time to places filled with mountains, breathtaking views, descriptions of battles and worlds that kids today would love, and a young boy named Joshua who learns some valuable lessons in life.

The mountains can hear his thoughts. The Land of Whispers knows what you are thinking. Traveling and hoping to reach his fort before the wind increases, danger imminent sends him into another realm, dimension and changes him for all time. As he starts off on his journey and the wind kicks up he finds himself facing an angelic creature named Zaleen. She will be our guide into the many different portals, dimensions that Joshua visits and she will be our teacher, our mentor and much more as she takes not only Joshua but the reader to on a guided tour of his life, past, present and future.

The Angel Guardians who protect him from harm. Able to pass though universes in a flash and escaping the Durs who are the guardians whose job is to punish those who attempt or try to travel from one dimension to another. Zaleen is interesting, smart and she tries to impart a lot of knowledge and information to Joshua.

But, he has difficulty processing it. Explaining that life is not what answers you get but asking the right questions in order to find those answers, he is stumped at first with this type of logic. Learning that creatures are not always what they appear to be and many are not ruled by goodness others by kindness is a good lesson to teach not just kids but adults too. Those who listen to the words of others and people their lies only cause harm in the long run.

Reliving incidents in the past, seeing himself in places along with watching the events with Zaleen became surreal to him yet intriguing. From the world of Grays, where there was no color, warmth only doom and sadness, to learning what he would grow up to be when he got older, gave him and I know the reader an unsettling feeling that his life would not yield him too much joy or happiness yet Joshua’s heart was always in the right place.

Not leaving a friend in need that was in trouble and starting a business that it appears he would not feel comfortable in or like, you begin to understand Joshua more, you feel the frustrations that everyone encounters when the unknown is faces you and your life is played for you as if they are different scenes in a play or movie.

Battles reenacted, shadows lurking in the darkness, humans hated in many of the dimensions, understanding that there are many who hate you for where you were born and who you are, is something people today deal with and an issue brought to light in this novel. Seeing himself move through the air, go through waterfalls and stay dry, fly and visiting death and viewing life from all sides would frighten most adults and kids today yet Joshua began to understand Zaleen’s messages to him after a while. Visions of helping his friend coming from work and encountering the winds, rain and elements of the forest green; Joshua wonders what else is in store for him.

Imagine being able to enter different dimensions in a flash. Connecting different worlds and experiences them without the need of trains, buses or planes. Imagine having your own guardian angel to protect you from harm. Action filled, vivid descriptions of each place visited, real life emotions experienced and coming face to face with demons, the Devil’s Hand, creatures called Ringers that understand your every thought not having the ability to hide thoughts and emotions behind their words. Imagine understanding the differences between good and evil in a crystal clear manner. What would happen if everyone did things for the greater good of not just themselves but others too?

What a world that would be? But as Zaleen, our guide brings out most humans are concerned about themselves, limiting their thought processes to what is right in front of them and not thinking past what they want to learn on the surface, how amazing what she tried to teach Joshua. But the dangers were real, and the escapes narrow but at the end will he find his way back to his parents, will the Durs capture them both or will they remain traveling in the different dimensions forever?

What you see or hear might not always be real? Realities are quite different in each of the dimensions and the lessons learned will hopefully help build character and strength in Joshua. Zaleen is not what she seems but I think everyone could use a Zaleen to keep them centered and focused. This is one interesting story that has many places it can go in the future. I can see many more adventures for Joshua and what does happen to Zaleen when he tries to find his way back to the tumbleweed patches will definitely keep you guessing.

What would you do if the only way to understand the world and others was to read minds and thoughts? Take the journey along with Joshua into his past, present, and future. Let Zaleen guide through the forests, the waterfalls, the mountains, visions of gray and the many other places and decide on what kind of world you want to live in and what us humans still have to learn. Tolerance, understanding, hope and kindness are just some things Joshua learns as he visits many places. But, he learns much more too. Just what and how this all comes together you will have to read for yourself and take a trip to the Tumbleweed Forts.  Author Daniel Brian Ferry gives the reader much pause for thought. This is a great book for kids and adults to read.

Author: Daniel Brian Ferry
Fran Lewis: Reviewer

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