Earth is threatened by humankind. A long time ago, in an effort to help protect her creation, Mother Nature created the Ohana, a worldwide league of shape-shifters, to restore and maintain the natural balance. During particularly troublesome times, she deployed her ultimate defense, a delicate yet powerful golden butterfly, to change the odds in nature’s favor.
Blooming is the first audiobook in the trilogy about Jason Mendez, a 17-year-old living a normal teenage life in a small town in the American Midwest. One day, Jason’s world is turned upside down when he realizes the dream he had the night before was in fact reality and that he was flying through a nearby meadow.
Jason is the Golden One, called upon to avert a major crisis threatening Earth. With no golden butterfly sighted since the final days of World War II, will Jason be able to walk in his predecessors’ shoes? Will he be able to replicate their historic achievements and save the planet from all-but-certain disaster? And what exactly is threatening Mother Nature to call upon the Golden One?
The Golden One is an exciting new fantasy trilogy dealing with urgent topics affecting humanity today.
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- Erryn Barratt
Global is local
Young Adult with fantasy elements is not a genre I’m familiar with, but this series intrigued me so when I had a chance to listen to one of the books, I grabbed it.
Jason is living what he believes is a normal life. He’s got his mom, friends, and is missing his first love Courtney who has moved across the country. He believes that’s his biggest issue when something miraculous happens. He ‘blooms’ into a Golden Butterfly and his entire life is turned upside down. He has a new close group of friends who are all Byeonsin as well (humans who can transform into different animals). Hanging with humans who can become chipmunks, ravens, dragonflies, and owls is neat, but his powers are so much more than those of his fellow companions. His abilities far exceed everyone else’s, and he has to deal with that knowledge. Most 17-year-old kids are worried about finishing high school. Jason is facing the fact he’s been sent to prevent a major catastrophe in humankind.
I enjoyed the stories of when all the other golden butterflies made differences during intersections of great battles or decisions needing to be made. These butterflies have prevented great tragedies or massive numbers of deaths. With this history, Jason wonders what his role will be in the world. He is pulled into the local Ohana group located in his hometown of Amberville. The town is just a regular old spot in the Midwest of the United States, but it has a powerful group of Byeonsin like himself. As the Golden Butterfly, he is granted a place at the table. When a series of personal tragedies befall him, there are supportive people there to help him out.
This story is very much about how the global can be local and although Mother Earth is facing many different threats, one right in Amberville comes to Jason’s attention and with the help of his friends and the animals, he races to save his little piece of nature. The book ends with a happy ending but it’s clear that Jason’s place in the world has yet to be determined, his mission yet to be identified. It’s why there are more books to come.
With all the perils facing the earth these days, it’s important we acknowledge that as humans we are impacting the world in a way that was never imagined. We, as the dominant species, are destroying vast swaths of land, polluting the oceans, and killing off wild animals. This book is a call to reckoning as Jason realizes he has a greater role in the world than just a part-time gardener. I like the importance of his journey and how we all need to realize time is running out. I’m very excited to listen to Book #2.
I want to take a moment to mention Vance Bastian's narration. His voice for Jason was so perfect I believed I was listening to a seventeen-year-old. His interpretation of the characters was brilliant and I cannot say enough good things about his work. Great job.
A fascinating and entertaining start
What do you do when you find out you’re the chosen one, the one to save earth? What about when you realize your Ohana, who you should trust, can’t be trusted anymore? Jason’s world is turned upside down over night. To his surprise he goes from a boy that people don’t really notice and no friends, to someone who is now being talked about, has friends who would die for him, and has the weight of the world on his shoulders.
This first part has a lot of story building and it’s a wonderful start to a new series. Hans M. Hirschi does a great job in captivating a believable and interesting YA fantasy.
Vance Bastian really helps to bring the characters to life and portrays the seriousness of what’s happening. He changes his tones for the characters making it easy to follow along. It also helped with bringing the emotions out, especially at the very end.
I really enjoyed this story and I’m anxiously waiting for the next one to see how Jason, the Golden One, and his true Ohana will help save Earth.