Light and Water: An Aaron Safronoff Book Review

My favorite part of reading a book is the imagination aspect. Reality fades for a moment as I’m immersed in words so vivid that my mind creates its own alternative reality. Seeing those words come to life, whether it’s through a film based on the book or illustrations within the book, can sometimes be disappointing. This is not the case for Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall.

The concept behind Sunborn Rising is rare in the way it interweaves words with sounds and images. The story revolves around Barra, an independent young Arboreal who seems to be following in her departed father’s footsteps of curiosity surrounding the infected Great Trees of Cerulean.

Their unique world of Cerulean, described as “a star at the center of a vast ocean, covered by a great floating forest. The Great Trees, woven together by their roots, carry water and light up their enormous trunks and into the canopy, providing for all the life in the world. Every flower and berry, every wood and leaf, ever Arboreal exists because of the relationship of star, sea and tree”, has a mystery surrounding it and Barra’s father got caught up in the midst of it. Now Barra, as well as her friends Plicks and Tory, pick up where her father left off to help save their home.

It’s a tale of bravery and adventure for ages young and old. In addition to physical copies, Sunborn Rising is also an immersive digital experience. The app includes the story alongside original music adjusted to any reading speed and the illustrations come to life with movement within the chapters. As if that isn’t enough, a game based on the story is also available in any app store.

The creative writing alone is stunning; descriptive and detail-oriented enough to feel as though the reader is completely surrounded in the story. The standout imagery in both the illustrations and words themselves really adds an element that isn’t often seen.  It is said to be the first of a series, and the anticipation for the next one is one that I am finding well worth the wait.