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Provided by David Smith
David Smith wrote "Dark Eagles: First Flight" and also hid boxes with a copy of the book around the Salt Lake City area. More information is on his website at www.fundautum.com.

"THE DARK EAGLES: First Flight," by David R. Smith, Fundautum Publishing, $20, 286 pages (f)

Kief has lived a life of safety peppered with adventure, but when the Gars — an enemy nation — attack his homeland, he and his friends must take on their greatest adventure yet, preserving the independence of their country.

Based in the fictional world of Fundautum, “The Dark Eagles: First Flight” is an enjoyable, easy read with some room for improvement.

Author David R. Smith does a fine job with his dialogue, which flows smoothly and wittily throughout. His interactions between characters are genuine, and the portrayals of his young female characters in particular are refreshing.

The would be appropriate for sixth graders and up. One flaw in the book is the age of the protagonist, Kief, who is 22 years old. He would have been more relatable to young readers if he was five years younger. The actions of the characters and their dialogue read as teenagers, and the book as a whole reads as young adult fiction or even children’s fiction.

The illustrations accompanying each chapter are at times hazy and distract from the professionalism of the writing. The story itself is entertaining and, with several key questions left unanswered, it clearly leads toward the second installment of the series.

In an effort to create adventures for his readers or to create readers out of adventurers, Smith — a Utah author — has created a treasure hunt, similar to popular geocaching, for his books. He calls it “Book Cache Adventures.” Free copies of his books have been hidden throughout the Salt Lake area with GPS coordinates to retrieve them. For more information, visit his website at www.fundautum.com.

If you go ...

What: "Spring Into Summer" reading event, including David R. Smith

When: Friday, May 4, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Miranda H. Lotz is a military wife, mother of four, bibliophile and musician. She lives on a remote Air Force station in Cavalier, N.D.