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Readings from NEBADOR Books One - Six by J. Z. Colby
The Nebador Series by J. Z. Colby is probably one of my favorites, now. Right along Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Mists of Avalon, the Graal Trilogy, The Vampire Chronicles and some others, there sit the 6 books of the Nebador Series.
Mati, with her bad knee, is on the edge of a new life. It's hard and it's new. It's more of a change than traveling all across the universe, to her, since it's her body, it's something she always lived with, and it's going to change everything she does and is. Not who she is, but the way her being interacts with the world.
Kibi has to learn to interact with the rest of the universe. Understand what is appropriate and when, but also, be confident that she has value and that there is a job for her and her feelings, which are as valuable as other skills. I think Kibi is the character that bothered me the most all through the books, because she doesn't SEEM valuable, her skills don't seem important, like the others. She has no definite skill, math, language, anything, and yet, she is Ilika's girl and that gives you the feeling that she was on the crew from the start. But, the thing is, she has the strongest intuition and she can sense people's feelings, she can understand people and relate to them. I couldn't really see that on the first books, probably because I am one of those people that can "feel people" but can't understand how those feelings can be a skill. Much like Kibi :)
Kibi's test of the heart, as mentioned on the summary, is one I would probably fail myself. Damn licking on the neck. J.Z., Nebador's author, writes with such emotion and so many details that I get shivers to this day. After that, she puts her feet on a path she must take, specially to be in the Nebador Transport Service, along with her friends and her lover, but that is hard and complicated, making her face several fears and issues.
I love Nebador and I would read 100 books on this series. But we have definitely reached a stopping point, if needed. No other book before this has left me with such an accomplishment feeling, you can see there may be more coming, but you can also stop here and know that the story has been told, of the path a small team of young adults took from the lowest of the low to the stars, from poverty to respected equals to the whole universe. There is more to learn, but now they are well on their way.
I reccomend the whole Nebador series to anyone who likes reading, learning and loves to read good writing, great character development and awesome plot.
Link to the full review of Book Six
First Friday Art Walk and Book Signing, Newberg, Oregon
The author talked to lots of wonderful people and signed books after dining with Kearsten Hill (the voice of Neti in the audiobooks) and her partner Marco, both of whom helped with set-up and clean-up. Pictures will be posted as soon as they emerge from their camera.
Marco and Kearsten (audiobook voice actor)
Becky Rivera, mother of four, wife, daughter, sister, best friend, home educator, and child of God
The book Nebador is a science fiction adventure book that is geared toward young adults. The author, JZ Colby, has even pre-faced this book by writing to young readers the importance of thinking on your own and how young people today can be the heroes of the future. Being a science fiction novel, the setting is far off in the future but the people have regressed to the era of castles and cottages. The main character is a stranger to the land, so the reader also gets to experience the customs and people of this medieval kingdom as a visitor.
In learning about this city and the culture, you can see how different classes of people treat others and how these classes already categorize a visitor based upon first impressions. The various characters throughout the story, from slave to king, show how their position in society usually predetermines their mannerisms. This book shows the main character and other individuals who do not stay within the society’s placement.
The chapters are only a few pages in length which made it easy to stay involved in the storyline. This also helped in reading the book because you would go on to read the next chapter since it was only going to be a couple of pages in length. The accompanied book [the Deep Learning Notes, available as a separate book and on the web site] for notes, questions, and illustrations was helpful in explaining the chapters and characters.
On a negative note, I must add that this book does have language and some questionable topics; so I most definitely do not recommend it for children or junior high ages. I caution parents to read this book first before you allow your teenager to read it.
Link to the review on Books Tell Stories Reviews
A question and answer about this review is on the Questions page.
Topics include the NEBADOR series, which Sophia is currently reading, and several interesting ethical and religious concepts, with an excellent example given by a caller duing the show.
Sophia: In book #1, I really liked the character of Sata the innkeeper's daughter. You will find, like me, that she is a really hard worker and smart; which ultimately, is why I was glad when she passed the crew test. Mati is one of my favorite characters in the book too. Ilika wears something magical that I would love to have as well:) This one item helps out in a pinch in the medieval wall;) I learned so much in just this book alone with the many lessons.
Sophia: I was glad at one point in book #2 when the crew found the wonderful shack. You'll get a kick out of how Mata had to get used to her donkey, Tera. It's great to find out how the crew got along when traveling through the desert, forest and along the ocean. I became worried when Miko hurt his hand that he might not make the team at one point. There is a character named "Kit" that a baker helps out; and it's a touching story to look forward to:)
Sophia: I was worried in book #3 when it looked like the kids were not going to be able to find food. All is fine when they choose the right path to a great location. When the crew was finally chosen, they get to keep a special item along the way. I was glad to learn that too. We learn a great deal more about what the crew will be traveling on in this edition. There is much more to worry about for the crew in this book as well. I look forward to book #4 when all take course on their new journey…
Young Adults, Pagans, and the Future
This workshop is an extension of what I write and speak about all the time. I am a retired mental-health therapist, and now an advocate for young adults (roughly ages 10-20, sometimes 7-30) as they deal with the stuff that's coming at them out of the future.
The changes on the horizon are huge, and include environmental, political, and economic forces that are approaching just slowly enough so that adults are reluctant to do anything about them. However, the timing of these changes will most likely hit today's youth very hard in the coming years.
I am not the source of this stuff, but it is usually given in thick adult technical/political language, and so is inaccessible to young people. I am their interpreter.
Even though young adults are right in the "cross hairs" of these world changes, they also have some important things going for them, such as their abilities to think fresh thoughts, and their lack of loyalty to ideas that most adults cherish (like "economic growth").
In addition, anyone who has a toe (or more) in Earth-based religions will have a huge advantage in coming years. In my opinion, young adults WITH an Earth-based background are in the very best position to thrive and be happy.
This workshop will last about 2 hours, and will be a mixture of story readings, discussion times, and situation brain-storming with priority given to young people. Please bring pillows and other comforts. Free books, both fiction and non-fiction, for interested youth at the end.
Correction: When I said "we're about two-thirds of the way down" in reference to USA oil production relative to the 1971 peak, I should have said "we're at about the two-thirds point" or "about one-third of the way down."
Discussion audio: MP3 - 50:16 - 32Kbps - 12MB
Topics include the RMS Queen Mary and its ghosts, Peter James the psychic investigator, and the NEBADOR series, which Sophia is currently reading.
Review on the story of "NEBADOR" BY J. Z. Colby. He lives in Washington here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
September 2011, March 2012, May 2012
After your read Nebador Book One: The Test, you are left with a sense that it may be grand, but you're not quite sure. ... Everything changes on The Journey. Suddenly, we understand them. We follow them around their country, their realm, and see them interacting with the several experiences in life – from different people to different ideas, from customs to dangers, from trusting people unconditionally to weighing your options.
I just now, looking for links and images for this post, found the "Deep Learning Notes". I love them. They make me think but don't give answers and they would've been very interesting to read while I read the book (at each chapter, for example). If you are interested in learning (and, if you liked the Nebador Series I am sure you do), I strongly advise you to use them.
Link to the full review of Book Two
I loved watching them learning to be good to the world - and when they could or couldn't help, as humans. I loved watching them lean to deal with the ship - that was pretty cool - and how to deal with societies and what they could or couldn't do as crew members.
And then I felt the book was just too short. It wasn't, really, short. I just wanted to read more, I wanted to follow them and see more of them. ...
I'm very curious to see the rest of the series - I heard there will be over 10 books, and I believe it, there is so much to tell, so much to explore! The universe and beyond!
Link to the full review of Book Three
With this Flight Training, we get to see our crew in action, solving puzzles and knowing more about their home world. Aside from that, we get a pretty big scare in one part, but they work it out.
As Ilika is, we are proud of our little crew members. We are happy to see how much they learnt and grew and we are sure Ilika did the right choice, they were the best he could've found.
Boy was I wrong.
Link to the full review of Book Four
There is no way out. Now, they're part of the Manessa crew, they're out in space and they just won't be able to run away anymore.
This is the fifth book of the Nebador Series, called "Back to the Stars", it shows how 4 former slaves and one innkeeper's daughter end up flying an intergalactic ship. This specific book shows our lovely ones flying away from their planet and into the stars, into experiences that they can't even imagine. ...
We watch our crew get too close to the Sun, explore new worlds, solve puzzles - oh I love a good puzzle! - and meeting new people! They stumble into another ship and it's crew, but they have this interesting feature: they are birds! ...
Also, they get, accidentally, into a desperate situation and neither Ilika, with all his experience, nor Manessa can help them out. They are trapped and they must ready themselves to die. ...
The crew gets to meet one of the big people from Nebador, the "golden light" that's helped them before, on the fires of Lumber Town and that made the lights dance during Miko's funeral. The power that had to make sure they were ready. That was probably the best part of the book to me, she was beautiful and the whole part was very interesting, with love and devotion, acceptance and guidance.
Link to the full review of Book Five
Author features local artists' work
PICTURES ARE WORTH WORDS - Nancy Fournier (right) and Mariah Babin (left) show off their artwork. Author J.Z. Colby is featuring their work, along with the art of Kendra Theriault and Elizabeth Green on the author's website. Babin took a first place and Theriault took second place.
FORT KENT - An author of a science fiction trilogy is featuring the artwork of local high school students ...
Link to the full newspaper article at Fiddlehead Focus
The Future of Young-Adulthood -- Childhood's End?
An extended childhood was one of the perks of a century of wealth from cheap energy and the technology to use it. That era may well be winding down. If so, today's young adults -- roughly, those between the ages of 10 and 20 -- will be facing a tough transition just as their parents are struggling in other areas. The NEBADOR series of young-adult science fiction novels was inspired by a Muse who obviously believes that young people need to begin sharpening their wits and honing their skills now, before the future forces them to do so.
Theresa K. Stowell
Science fiction fans of all ages will enjoy THE TEST, the first in a six-book series, NEBADOR, by J.Z. Colby.
In this book, readers are introduced to Ilika, a young man who has trained for almost half of his life to take a test that will allow him to advance in his chosen career. The first part of his test requires him to choose five companions, and he must seek them in a place unlike anywhere he has been before.
He encounters prejudice, fear, poverty, and friendship in his quest and must learn to accept, overcome, and learn through his experiences. He will teach his companions to challenge the world they know and open themselves to new worlds beyond their imaginations.
Ilika's test challenges the ways that both the characters and readers consider moral, social, and psychological issues. Colby skillfully combines story with critical thinking puzzles and deeper questions about not only Ilika's fictional world but the real world that surrounds his readers.
In a supplement to the novels, Colby has also created a volume of "Deep Learning Notes" to go along with the books. The set would be a useful addition to any advanced middle school or high school classroom's science fiction unit.
J.Z. Colby's Nebador: Book 1 -- The Test is a teen science fiction novel that appeals to students from all walks of life by including teens with varied backgrounds as the main characters of the story.
When my students saw the book on my desk that first day, they were all picking it up, asking if we were going to be able to read it next and what was it about! How exciting to see teens getting excited about a book! Because it was also available as a Kindle book, I was able to help my students purchase it in that manner and expose them to a whole new way of reading! And the audio book version totally enhances the reading experience!
Reading the book myself, I enjoyed watching the students, though of different intelligences and strengths, bond together, using their strengths and supporting each other during times of weakness or struggle, working as one unit, one team. This is a concept that we try to constantly reinforce in our classroom. What I enjoyed the most, as a teacher looking to share this book with my students, was the authors descriptions of how Ilika taught his students math and reading! These are many of the same techniques that we use with the students in our classroom, making the book more real for my students because of what and how it is being taught.
This is the kind of book that when you get to the end, you can't wait to pick up the next volume to find out what happens next! Bravo!
May 2011: How exciting it is to see the kids eat up the book and want to learn more everyday! I have a student who has almost finished the first book on her own and has requested the second book. It has really lit a fire under my students, having some of them now putting money away to buy more books!
July 2011: Thank you for writing books that interested my students enough so they wanted to read the next book in the series! It is great to see them enjoy reading something and WANTING to read more on their own! I don't typically see that in special education -- particularly at the high school level!
... I am constantly reading books (an average of 2 to 3 books a week) aimed at the Young Adult market. I am especially focused on finding books for reluctant readers. When I recieved the news that I was awarded one of the available copies of "The Test" by J.Z. Colby through GoodReads, I was psyched because I hoped that my first impressions would be validated as I read it. Good Science Fiction that is also acceptable to put on my shelves at school is kind of hard to come by so I really hoped that this book would fit the parameters. I felt the book started well and hooked the reader quickly with the air of mystery that surrounds Ilika, the central character. As the story unfolded and he began learning about the society he was interacting with and then started to choose his students I was sold. This book combined so many wonderful elements that reluctant readers like such as action, adventure, a little mystery and likeable but sometimes troubled characters their own age. I also appreciated the educational tidbits that were entwined in the story and the life lessons that were taught subltly throughout the novel. After finishing this book I found I would really like to read the next books in the series to find out what happens to these characters. I would recommend this book to most young adult AND adult readers, even if they think they don't like science fiction, because after reading "The Test" they just might change their minds.
Link to the review on GoodReads.com
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9
The Test is a series of adventures that change the lives of ten young adults. These people have to learn to trust in an untrustworthy and unpromising world. Through many changes and narrow escapes from the undermining officials to the king, these young students and there bright-minded teacher make it out alive. But will that great luck continue? Or will the law-breaking, no good, selfish, so called Religious Orders get there way. Placed in the middle of a strange town, with even stranger people, this book is sure to keep you busy reading.
I liked the Test for many good reasons, some of witch I will share and others you will have to read the book to find out. I think the Test is good for the ages 12- 15. I for one liked the maps provided throughout the book. It gave me a better idea of where they lived and what it was like there. The author painted good pictures with his words. Throughout all the adventures I could clearly see (if that is the right word) the place they where in. To find out all the rest of why I liked it, well, just read the book.
Link to the review on Flamingnet.com
Rating: Must Read!
... In "NEBADOR Book One: The Test", author J.Z. Colby takes us on a journey with Ilika Imni Zalara Sim through the streets of Nebador. Ilika, a young ship's captain, is looking for a crew of five able-bodied persons (men and women alike) to travel farther than they could have ever dreamed. Danger is imminent, and this fact is laid out on the table without any sugar-coating. Most of the book is focused on finding the recruits, which proves to be a difficult task in a town where intellect is discouraged. The phrase "Red sky in morning, sailors warning" is a perfect way to describe the ending, which leaves you with an overwhelming feeling of impending peril.
The visual details give you a perfect image allowing you to play the scenes out in your head until the very end. The author is a master of subtlety, revealing just enough information to leave an "Aha!" exclamation at the tip of your tongue. If I am fortunate enough to review the next book in this series, I have a feeling that I will either be "woohooing" all of my correct observations, or enjoying another slice of pie due to my poor attempt at reading between the lines. Either way, I am thoroughly looking forward to it.
Link to the full review on BookReview.com
What fun! Reading J. Z. Colby's book, Nebador: Book One: The Test, is as cute as seeing a youngster wearing a Spock outfit at a Star Trek convention. How do people become sci-fi enthusiasts? They start young, and this book is the ideal fertilizer for their young, developing minds.
J. Z. Colby no doubt has a grand plan for developing this as a series, as Nebador: Book One: The Test is the first of many books planned to carry the story forward. The story revolves around a visitor to a kingdom that becomes threatened by a high-priest and forced into exile with 5 student followers. The survival of the group depends on their ability to gain personal power, to stand on their own two feet, with a smile on their face, in the middle of a universe that contains a million ways to crush you - a slogan of the Nebador Transport Service.
Full review in PDF
Link to the full review on PacificBookReview.com
"Nebador Book One: The Test" by J. Z. Colby is the story of a young man named Ilika who must find a crew for a mysterious ship that doesn't float on water. Coming from a more advanced civilization and arriving in a bustling city during the Middle Ages, he is astonished by some of the horrible acts of cruelty by slave owners. After a thorough search of all the religious orders and colleges, he tries the slave market. He finds several brilliant kids that were forced into slavery for one reason or another. However, the religious orders grow suspicious of Ilika and his pending crew. Can Ilika gather his crew and escape the city before it is too late and they are all forced into slavery?
Full review in PDF
Link to the full review on ReaderViewsKids.com
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