Aline and the Blue Bottle
Reviewed By: Susan Keefe
Susan Keefe reviews novels, poetry and non-fiction books for TheColumbiaReview.com

A truly outstanding coming-of-age fantasy.

When you read of the exciting life this author has had, it is no wonder that she can produce such a spellbinding fantasy story. Having travelled widely as a child, and having a love of animals, Carolina Ugaz-Moran went to the University of Wisconsin where she majored in Biochemistry and Creative Writing. Now a wife and mother, the author has, through her incredible imagination created this amazing fantasy adventure set in a magical enchanting world inhabited by strange creatures.

However, as this story begins, the protagonist Aline, is a young girl who, is being brought up by her mom, and grandmother in our world. Halloween, which also happens to be Aline’s twelfth birthday, is in three days…

Aline struggles to fit in at school, often being teased and taunted, and this year, her birthday was no exception, however, all this is about to change. This Halloween evening is destined to be like no other, because, as the evening draws to a close, Aline is told by her grandmother that her life is in danger, and she is whisked off, through a portal into another, magical world. Once there, suddenly her life begins to make sense as the secrets of her heritage are revealed.

Here, in the magical One World is where she belongs, and now is time for her to learn her real past, and purpose. She discovers that her destiny is to undertake an important mission. However first she has magical powers to unlock, and then, only when she is prepared, can she set off on her dangerous quest, which is to find the powerful blue bottle before the evil warlock Dashiok does.

This wonderful story contains all the excitement, mystery, and fantasy a reader could wish for.  Gargoyles, dragons, sylphs, dryads, and guardians are just a few of the magical creatures which come to life as Aline and her two friends pass through One World on their perilous journey.

Having read this book, it is no surprise that it won the 2020 NYC Big Book Award under Juvenile Fiction, received the Independent Press Award Distinguished Favorites under Children’s in 2020, and the 2019/2020 Reader Views Literary Award Honorable Mention under Children’s Teens (Ages 12-16). Reading it I was reminded of my favourite author, the legendary J. R. R. Tolkien’s incredible The Lord of the Rings and feel that this outstanding work of coming-of-age, fantasy is something truly special. I look forward to reading more of Aline’s incredible adventures. Highly recommended.

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Aline-Blue-Bottle-Carolina-Ugaz-Mor%C3%A1n/dp/1734072806/ref=sr_1_1?crid=ZEU8JZYTQZEJ&dchild=1&keywords=aline+and+the+blue+bottle&qid=1635082557&s=books&sprefix=aline+and+th%2Cstripbooks%2C149&sr=1-1