(this is the latest review for “Cave Planet” on amazon.com)
There are many things about Luke Meier’s book and the imagination behind its creation that greatly inspires me. In this second book in his Portal series, the protagonist, Leo, and his dog, Bucky, return home through a Portal he found in his father’s work area. Now, he had been forbidden to ever enter that place, but he went to find Bucky’s leash, thus beginning the first adventure which led to this story.
He waits for his father, trying to take his mind off what he has seen by inviting his friend over to play video games. This helps a bit until Leo’s dad comes home and, despite all Leo’s fears that his father would never understand, his father actually proves to be his greatest advocate. As the story unfolds, after Bucky, Leo, Leo’s Father, and Jeremiah go through the portal to help the Buckies, together, Leo, his friends and his father create an amazing alliance that brings about good for all, yet leads imaginatively into the set up for the next story.
Now, in analyzing the story, I greatly admire Luke for his talent and imagination. Never lose that light, never allow anyone to convince you to lay down that pen. At least that is what I want to say to Luke. I can see clearly that his father, Joe Meier, stands behind him completely offering that rare encouragement of which all writers, artists, performers, etc. would greatly benefit. I believe this provides the platform for these stories in which Leo draws his father in, not totally as a parent, but more as a cohort, friend, and needed essence for his story to unfold. Today, many stories snuff out the presence of the adult in order to sell to the young adult crowd. The idea is that an adult presence will make the story less likeable to young audiences because they want to see the protagonist solve the problems by himself or herself. In this story, I see that each character solves the issues that pertain to his abilities, not so much age. It is refreshing to see this inclusion and to understand that because of Luke’s healthy relationship with his father, he is able to create amazing stories that will only grow more complicated, interesting, exciting, and well-rounded as time passes.
I want to reiterate, “Luke, never give up. Keep that pen in hand and paint with words and imagination a masterpiece that will not just touch you and your family, but the world around you.”
You can get “Cave Planet” here and read for yourself: