Escape From The Forbidden Planet (Adventures Of Caramel Cardamom #1)

ABOUT Julie Grasso

Julie Grasso
With a background in paediatric nursing, Julie Anne Grasso spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. She l More...



Caramel Cinnamon thought the worst day of her life was the day her grandparents, the King and Queen of the Elves of Cardamom went missing. She was wrong! The day she spills sticky toffee syrup onto her father's computer, that's when her worst nightmare begins. She finds herself marooned on a forbidden planet, sent there by an evil clone with a very sticky secret. Caramel is desperate to escape. If she doesn't she will lose her dreams of returning to Cardamom to become a healer like her Mum. Luckily, she has a secret of her own and the lives of her family and friends depend on it! Suitable for children aged 9-12

When did you first start writing. With my background in paediatric nursing, I spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day I witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people I cared for, which inspired me to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. Add in some very funky technology, my love of science fiction and my desire to impart great values through my little girl elf named Caramel and there you have it, Escape From The Forbidden Planet was the result. How did you come up with the storyline: As a kid I broke my leg falling off a trampoline, so not as dramatic as Caramel’s accident, but I spent many hours in hospital healing. It was then that I think my interest in nursing was engaged. After my graduate year, I got a job in a children’s hospital and I just loved working with kids and families. I spent nearly 13 years working as a nurse, but I always had a dreamt of writing children’s books. I decided to turn my experience as a child, along with my medical knowledge and love of science fiction writing into a story. I hope to capture the attention of children aged 9-12 through the journey that my little girl elf Caramel takes towards realising her true potential despite her disability. I also absolutely love sticky date and chocolate cake with caramel sauce, so I managed to weave that into the very core of my story. I also wanted to keep it light and entertaining for kids but at the same time, allow them to journey with Caramel as she struggles to overcome great odds to save her family and friends from the clutches of the evil Alexanders.

Winner of the Wishing Shelf Independent Book award for ages 9-12 2013

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

The story "Escape from the Forbidden Planet" unfolds when Caramel Cinnamon figures in an accident. Her mother Arianna, who is a healer, comes to her rescue and saves her life. This is just the start of this exciting adventure story that takes place in a fantasy land. One day, Caramel visits her friend Jemm and notices a strange creature in the field. Soon thereafter, her grandparents who are the king and queen of the elves of Cardamom are missing. Cardamon possess a natural resource that is coveted by the Alexanders who are inhabitants of other planets in the galaxy. What happens next brings Caramel in a situation where she has to overcome a number of obstacles. The faith of her family, friends and her elfin world now depends on her.

In her book "Escape from the Forbidden Planet" Julie Anne Grasso creates a delightful world that will not fail to entertain children and adult readers alike. The heroine, Caramel, is a girl possessed of a distinguished family and admirable character. Brave and loyal to her family and friends, she will do everything to protect them. This book has all the elements that an exciting fantasy story should have like elves, royalty, evil clones and an endearing heroine. It is also a science fiction where intergalactic travel, techie and science talk take place. The story is a battle between good and evil but what makes it unique is the various references to mouth watering food and dessert. After reading the book, I had a craving for a piece of caramel cake, peppered with cinnamon and covered with a rich chocolate icing. It is not difficult to relate to these elves who love their desserts a lot. Delicious dessert and an exciting adventure story is indeed a perfect match. A truly entertaining book, I find the mix of food and fantasy unique and delightful.  Full review here

Review Mother Daughter Book Reviews.

Julie Anne Grasso has created an action-packed story featuring a range of interesting and imaginative characters (i.e., elves, the Alexanders, and other creatures), intergalactic travel, advanced medical and scientific technology, and complex environmental and conservation issues.  Escape From the Forbidden Planet contains an intricate plot which slowly unfolds until you’re hooked and you are left on the edge of your proverbial seat wondering what will happen next.

We are first introduced to Gabriella “Caramel” Cinnamon as she is slipping into unconsciousness after an accident – an accident, we learn later, that has left her with a permanently injured leg causing her pain as well as a pronounced limp.  Oh, did I mention she’s a princess?  But, she’s not a typical princess – this is a t-shirt, cargo-pants, boot-wearing, scooter-riding, and essentially unassuming elvish princess who jokes around with her friends and works at the local pizza shop.  I love the way Caramel is portrayed demonstrating intelligence, compassion, vulnerability, courage, and loyalty.  In short, Caramel rocks!

The story itself is highly imaginative and original mixing “fairy tale” and “science fiction” genres to create a unique and engaging plot.  When I first started the book, I thought I would be reading a typical story about elves living in a forest with magic involved, and so forth.  Boy was I wrong!  This is a high tech, sophisticated story with a well-developed and sympathetic main character and covering a number of fairly complex sub-plots and themes.

Escape From the Forbidden Planet could be interpreted as providing social and political commentary on globalization.  The clone “race” of Alexanders find themselves depleting their lone source energy, IQ-Crystals. Desperate to find an alternative energy source, Alexander222 stumbles upon Caramel’s home planet, Cardamom, where he discovers that caramel sauce contains the right combination of ingredients to power his high-tech gadgets.  The problem:  the secret ingredient can only be harvested on Cardamom and Alexander222 will stop at nothing for the chance to be a local hero who saves his race from an energy crisis.

What follows is reminiscent of the politics and the fall-out of what we see with the oil industry, where an important resource is at the centre of global politics.  My daughter struggled answering the question “What lessons did you learn from story?”, but what was interesting was that it opened up a discussion of important parallels between what happens in the book and what is occurring globally.  There are some important debates currently taking place in Canada.  One is the extraction of oil from the tar sands in Alberta and the other is the construction of a pipeline which would carry oil from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska in the U.S.  The potential environmental, social, political, and economical impacts of these two plans are hotly contested with many Canadians being firmly opposed to these plans.  But, clearly, I’ve digressed…

On a lighter note, if a copy of the Sticky Date and Chocolate Cake With Caramel Cardamom Sauce recipe does not magically appear in the comment section of this post (*ahem*), I may go mad!!  There are so many mentions of yummy-sounding food that I must suggest that you don’t read this book on an empty stomach.  You may end up salivating all over it.  Nuff said!

This book has it all: Elves, evil clones, intergalactic travel, adventure, techie talk,science talk, the battle of good vs. evil and tons of food and dessert references that will make your mouth water while you read.

This book is about Elfin world that has a natural resource that other planets in the galaxy are after. The Elf people are betrayed by someone close to them so that they can gain power by selling the elf planets natural resource to beings of another planet called the Alexanders. From there adventure ensues for the main character Caramel Cinnamon. Caramel is left for dead on a forbidden planet. She tries to work her magic as only elves can to heal and to speak telepathically to others. Caramel has to go through many obstacles to help her in the evil fight against the Alexanders as she tries to save her planet...Will justice be restored or will the Alexanders of the galaxy take over reign of the Elfin planet? ... read and find out what happens in the adventures of Caramel Cinnamon.

This book is great for kids and adults alike. I enjoyed it because it had a great plot and it kept me wanting to read more as I got further into the story. I loved the sci-fi feel mixed with the fantasy world of elves that love their desserts. Julie Anne Grasso seems to take from her career of healing(nursing) and her husbands career of computer engineering and swirled them together with technology, science,elves and caramel to create this delicious book. It's part geeky, part science, and part fun, all brought together to become this awesome book called Escape From The Forbidden Planet. I would recommend this book to reading age kids and adults who like sci-fi kids books.
Definitely something different. I really enjoyed reading it!

I was given this book as a gift from the author for review. All my comments are my own and I was not paid for this review.  Posted by Michael on Amazon
This was a great read for kids and kids at heart. It kept my interest to the very end, and I want the recipe for the delicious cake that the elves are all obsessed with. I recommend reading with a snack nearby. Most enjoyable.  Posted by Brutus

Caramel, an elf, can’t wait to visit her friend, Jemm, who lives in the tree tops on their planet, Cardamom. As she is visiting her friend, Caramel spots a weird being in the fields down below that quickly vanishes. When Caramel gets back from her trip, she takes the Elvin Ability Tests to see what job she will get when she grows up. Caramel really wants to be a healer like her mother but she’s already shown signs that she can be a tree tender. Things are going pretty well for Caramel until the day her Grandparents, the King and Queen of the Elves of Cardamom were kidnapped by the strange being Caramel saw in the fields. The evil being took the King and Queen to its ship and sent Caramel and her parents to EARTH, the forbidden planet! Caramel must use all of her abilities to escape from the forbidden planet, rescue her grandparents and stop the aliens robbing Cardamom!

This was an exciting book! It wasn’t a very long book, but it really kept my interest. Ms. Grasso described the world of Cardamom really well. The plot was unique because it combined elves, aliens, technology and chocolate cake. ;) The cover art on the book was great too (illustrated by David Blackwell). Caramel was an awesome heroine that I think girls and boys will really like. She was true to what she believed in, loyal, brave and kind to her friends.  I am looking forward to the second book in the series! The book was a clean read so it would be great for young advanced readers.

Five out of five bookworms for Escape From The Forbidden Planet!
Post by Erik at

Escape From The Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso is a fun read that will draw you in and have you rooting for a family of Elves.

Based on a kingdom of peaceful elves with loving and caring morals, who are dedicated to raising 'tree-tenders', 'healers', or computer techys.

The story begins with main character, Caramel(who is the King's grand-daughter). Caramel is about to fully discover exactly what her talents are when the planet is invaded. From here, Caramel is thrown into and adventure of kidnapping, life-threatening, evil men (well not really men)and dealing with a traitor all while trying to save lives! Escape From The Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso is a fun read that will draw you in and have you rooting for a family of Elves.

Based on a kingdom of peaceful elves with loving and caring morals, who are dedicated to raising 'tree-tenders', 'healers', or computer techys.

The story begins with main character, Caramel(who is the King's grand-daughter). Caramel is about to fully discover exactly what her talents are when the planet is invaded. From here, Caramel is thrown into and adventure of kidnapping, life-threatening, evil men (well not really men)and dealing with a traitor all while trying to save lives! An exciting adventure for the imagination!

I highly recommend Escape From The Forbidden Planet, as I am not anywhere near the targeted audience for this book, but once engaged I was hooked to read to the end! Having said that, I believe age 10 and up will really enjoy this book! Posted By Mammy on Amazon

What do you get when you mix elves, aliens and sugar? You get 'Escape From the Forbidden Planet'.

Caramel (such a delicious name for a character) is a young mind-reading elf who is on the verge of an important and exciting phase of her life. All is going well, she has a great family (royal actually), great friends and she is nervously looking forward to sitting her EATS (Elvin Ability Tests). Will she follow her dreams and become a healer? Or will she become a tree tender? Or maybe, she could be gifted enough to try for both.

I'm not one for spoilers, so the plot is secret :) and I'm not going to tell you too much about it (you'll need to read it yourself). Let's just say there are some cranky little aliens who have very different selfish plans, and they have a huge impact on our hero Caramel and her family.

Cardamom elves are very keen on 'sticky date and chocolate cake with caramel cardamom syrup'. This sweet obsession leads to an exciting discovery that has a huge impact on life of the cranky aliens, Caramel and all of the elfin folk. This is a fun story that takes the reader on a journey to many wonderful settings. From the lush rainforests of planet Cardamom to the Alien's HQ, and the surrounds of the mysterious forbidden planet.

Helped out by some new friends, Caramel must call upon her unique abilities to right the wrongs of the sneaky aliens and set everything straight. This story has plenty of interesting twists, tasty turns and an action-filled climax.

Given that the heroine is a spirited young elf, I'd imagine that young girls would love this story. Once my daughter is a little older and ready for chapter books, I'll be happy to give her this one to read. I'm sure that she will enjoy it.  By SJJM


Even though my passport says I’m 35, some days I think I am 12-13 and some days 16-17. That type of thinking is what led me to find this book from Julie Anne Grasso. It’s written for children aged 9-12 but as I said I rarely pay attention to what age is written on my passport and more attention to whatever mood I’m in that day. Besides the 12 year old me doesn’t feel half as much guilt for eating chocolate cake as the 35 year old me does.


I thoroughly enjoyed Escape From the Forbidden Planet and if you have young children or are just young at heart I believe you’ll enjoy it too. It’s available for free download on Kindle from Nov 21-23 so a great way to spend the long weekend. ( I don’t know the author and wasn’t asked to promote this or anything I just stumbled upon it on Amazon and downloaded it. I thought it would be a great share for anyone who has kids and are looking for something constructive for them to do over the Holiday weekend.)  Posted by Alyssa Reyans

This is a real page-turner. The characters, who move between their world and ours, go from one crisis to another in this fast-moving narrative. The characters and setting are well-developed and believable. Although the book is probably targeted mainly at girls, their brothers will find it equally enjoyable.  By Kellie Kaye

This is a great book for children in the 10 - 12 year age group. The characters are delightful and well developed and the storyline is awesome. I couldn't put it down and there are some great twists in the plotline.

The use of technology and supernatural powers are interwoven very cleverly through this book and it's cool to see how things we know have been translated into a different world.

It's also great to see the main character of Caramel overcoming both a disability and huge obstacles without becoming bitter. Caramel's family is realistic too which is good to see in a time when this doesn't happen all that often. It's awesome to see a family that actually likes each other and functions well without it all being roses and sunlight. There are problems but they work through them together.  By Lindyloo
Awesome book! Although beware, it will have you craving pizza and chocolate cake with caramel cardamom sauce. Hope my niece enjoys it as much as I did.  By Jo

Very good read. I read this to check weather it was alright for my nieces to read. It was fabulous! I really enjoyed the read. Can't wait till my little nieces get into it.  By Athena09