The Land of Whoo Series


 The Land of Whoo



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Testimonials and Reviews

Reviews for The Land of Coral Seas
Rating: Excellent         
Reviewed by: M.K.Turner  
In "The Land of Coral Seas," Ryan OBrien's second book in The Land of Whoo Series, Michael Henry is once again called upon to help those in desperate need. With the aid of his friend from Earth, Savannah James, and the team he put together during his previous adventures in the Land of Whoo, the Chosen One now enters yet another world through the portal—the Land of Coral Seas.

Princess Ariana, daughter of King Vincent, has been kidnapped by the Wizard of Pisode. In three weeks, when the moon is full, the tide will flood the cave in which the princess is held prisoner. No one knows the exact location of the cave, only that there is a labyrinth of caverns under the Black Mountain volcano and that somewhere in that maze, the princess awaits death if her father does not subjugate his people to the wizard.

In the first book of the series, Michael Henry displayed his innate respect and courtesy toward all, his willingness to take advice, and his ability to be decisive and assume the authority of leadership. Now, in their desperate, time-driven search for the princess, both Michael Henry and Savannah make mistakes, but they are forthright in taking responsibility for their errors and, by learning from their mistakes, are able to continue to stay focused on their objective. These qualities, plus their great sense of the value of family and friends, are as vital to their success as their supernatural powers.

Although they are successful in rescuing the princess there is a high price for their victory, and as the second book in the series ends, it is not Michael Henry, but the three young girls—Lizzie, Ariana and Savanna—who now find themselves called upon to assume leadership roles. That is when Savanna makes the startling decision to enter a new portal to another strange land, and we read, "Knowing they could trust Savannah, the entire team was away, and the portal went dim. To be continued…" trusts Ryan OBrien to make the third book in The Land of Whoo series as excellent an adventure fantasy for young readers as "The Land of Coral Seas."



Michael Henry’s adventures continue in O’Brien’s (The Land of Whoo, 2012) latest installment of his series.

Michael Henry and his friend Savannah have returned to Earth after their adventures in the Land of Whoo; they’re hoping for a peaceful summer vacation. But when Michael Henry receives an urgent call for help from King Vincent of the Land of Coral Seas, he realizes that, as the bearer of the powerful Medallion, he must help the king. King Vincent’s daughter Ariana has been kidnapped by the Wizard of Pisode, who demands that the king renounce his throne. Ariana has been locked in a cave at the end of a booby-trapped maze. Unless Michael Henry can rescue her within three weeks, the cave will flood, and the princess will drown. Michael Henry must also deal with the wizard’s pirate allies, led by the traitorous Capt. Sturges. To save the princess and defeat the king’s adversaries, Michael Henry assembles his team of friends from Earth and the Land of Whoo and brings them to the Land of Coral Seas. While O’Brien’s work still shows a few rough edges, this book is considerably more sophisticated than his last. He digs deeper into his returning characters and presents them with far more depth and interest. He also throws them into situations where they must make difficult decisions—including one or two points where there is no clear right answer. The result is a realistic and appealing installment of the series … this tale is not only entertaining, it breaks the mold of teenage wizard stories.

A sequel that improves upon the original; worth reading.


Portland Book Review

The Land of Coral Seas: The Second Book in The Land of Whoo Series

By Ryan O’Brien


Michael Henry has always known that he was adopted. But recently he discovered that he is, quite literally, not of this world. In Ryan O’Brien’s The Land of Coral Seas: The Second Book in The Land of Whoo Series, Michael Henry is again drawn into the land of his birth after receiving a desperate message from King Vincent. The King’s daughter is being held under threat of death by an evil wizard wishing to destroy the King and take power for himself.

With the help of his best friend Savannah and characters first introduced in the series’ eponymous first installation, Michael Henry travels to this alternate world and begins preparations to save Princess Ariana from certain death.


While the novel’s occasionally complicated plot and character relationships would most likely be better understood by someone who had read the first book, O’Brien has created a story that pits good against evil in a manner that, while not wholly original, is consistently fun to read. The Land of Coral Seas encourages its readers to push forward, chapter after chapter, to find out if Michael Henry will be victorious or if the wizard will prevail.

Reviews for The Land of Whoo
Publisher: Ryan OBrien Publishing
 5.0 out of 5 stars the Chosen One, March 26, 2012 By Book Review - This review is from: The Land of Whoo (Volume 1) (Paperback) In Ryan OBrien's fantasy novel, "The Land of Whoo," the young hero has moved to a new neighborhood, and takes to his bike to explore it. He quickly makes a friend, Savannah James, and guided by instructions from a dream, he and Savannah discover a portal that takes them into the Land of Whoo. Here Michael Henry is welcomed as the Chosen One and gifted with great powers so long as he uses them wisely, "with no malice toward any person or creature."

Michael Henry undertakes a series of five trials, after which he is empowered by the Medallion, and sets about freeing the Land of Whoo from an evil wizard and a tyrannical war lord. From the very start the boy has an impressive decisiveness. As his adventures develop, he builds a team of cohorts. Their advice and abilities, combined with the magical powers of the Medallion, make for a powerful force for good. But it is Michael Henry's innate respect and courtesy toward all, plus his ability to assume the authority required of all great leaders, that separate him from the merely powerful. He is, in deed, the Chosen One.

OBrien is writing primarily for middle grade youngsters and has chosen for his hero those qualities we adults would all like our children to admire, qualities that go beyond mere strength and cleverness. And the author should also be praised for something one seldom finds in a self-published book: "The Land of Whoo" has been meticulously edited. School librarians are advised to note that in particular. You will not have to think twice about recommending the book to young readers. finds "The Land of Whoo" an excellent young people's fantasy novel and looks forward to Michael Henry's continuing adventures.

Lightword Publishing Review
Subject: Young Michael Henry discovers an entrance to the magical Land of Whoo. A dangerous, but rewarding adventure awaits. The story is loaded with edge-of-your-seat action for middle grade kids, but enjoyably absorbing at any age. Michael Henry must successfully complete “Five Trials” to qualify as “The Chosen One.” Valuable leadership lessons are learned and applied in this fantasy novel. Noteworthy: In addition to offering readers memorable, enchanting fables, the book instructs – in addition to smartness and power, other human qualities like consideration, politeness, and no evil intent are requirements of a leader and winner. The story-line includes a dark wizard, Queen, a Crystal City, warlord, magic Medallion, Eye of the Tiger, & a lot more.
Recommended & Reviewed in “The Mindquest Review of Books,” by Lightword Publishing

The US Review of Books
The Land of Whoo by Ryan O'Brien
reviewed by Wendy Strain
"Michael Henry woke up with a start from his vivid dream. In his dream, he had seen a messenger bathed in a white light... The strange messenger relayed a directive to Michael Henry without talking."
Intended for a young (10-12) audience, this book offers a positive story of friendship and courage under unusual circumstances. When Michael Henry and his new friend and neighbor Savannah discover a secret portal to another land, it will take all of their courage to survive the challenges ahead, but the challenges back at home are easily as great. The friends will need the skills and inner strength they've acquired in one land to save those they love in the other.

After heavy exposition at the outset, the story has an energized plot, continuously moving the reader through both worlds. We consistently experience concern for characters in the opposite world from the one in which the main characters are currently active. Far from talking down to his audience, O'Brien encourages personal growth by constantly pushing Michael Henry to deal with adult situations, making important decisions, thinking ahead, and taking a leadership role.

O'Brien creates engaging characters with a potential for greatness. Michael Henry fulfills many adopted children's fantasies, as he discovers the true identity of his natural parents and takes up the responsibilities they left behind. The story's momentum carries the reader through the adventure while battling two evil enemies.

Beyond-the-Bookshelf - Posted May 27, 2012

On the morning he wakes up from a mysterious dream, Michael Henry knows things are going to change. In his dream, a 7-foot-tall genie-like figure told him he was The Chosen One. And it's not long before Michael learns what exactly that entails: he can cross through the portal into the Land of Whoo - a place where he'll discover the answers to all his questions about his past.

This is the first work of Ryan O'Brien's that I've ever read, but it definitely won't be my last! In this middle-grade novel, a young Michael finds excitement in ways he never imagined. I loved Michael's character, as well as his development and growth throughout the novel. I enjoyed the inclusion of the Trials and the search for the Medallion - who doesn't love a good quest?

The fantasy element of this novel was great - not too complicated, but still complex enough to keep you interested at any age. For whatever reason, while reading this novel I was reminiscent of the books in the 100 Cupboards series by N.D. Wilson - another MG series I adored. If you enjoy MG novels with some elements of fantasy and magic, then this is definitely the series for you. I'm eagerly awaiting book two already!
Grady Harp (Top 50 Reviewer) (Vine Voice) (Hall of Fame Reviewer) (Real Name)  review May 13, 2012
A Young Adult Novel that is richly entertaining and offers a strong fiber of lessons
THE LAND OF WHOO is that rare breed of novels for youngsters that is able to challenge the imagination, relate a fascinating and original story, and open a few vistas of hope and expectations for a kind of life that we hope will be a art of the future dreams of the readers. Ryan OBrien is apparently new to this medium and if this book (gratefully labeled Volume 1) is an indicator of his success in a new venture, then waiting for the future novels will be filled with anticipation.
There are many ways to describe this story but this reader finds the entry written by the author to be the best, and so I quote -'An adopted Michael Henry yearned for some excitement in his life. Away from his friends, in a new neighborhood and school, he discovers the adventures of a lifetime as he learns of a portal with access to the Land of Whoo. Michael Henry's adoptive mother is a nurse named Samantha - Sam to her friends - who works in a downtown Seattle dialysis clinic, and his adoptive father, Dan, has been out of work for the past two years after his construction business failed due to a downturn in the economy, and he is very endeared to them both. On the other side of the portal, the secrets of Michael Henry's [past and future will be revealed to him.'
The story appropriately included a series of trials, an evil wizard, a tyrannical war lord, and of course that magical element, the Medallion - an enduring reference to the 'Holy Grail' that has pervaded literature for centuries. Thankfully without even getting close to the hackneyed concepts of some of the other young adult successes that become movies, THE LAND OF WHOO subtly introduces a set of values in the quest for good that focuses on respect and courtesy. This is a fine book for young readers and it is reassuring that quality books such as this will continue to flow form the pen of Ryan OBrien.