Review by Gill-Marie Stewart
This book is a mixture of some very good bits and some, well, less good ones. I loved the family set-up and the dialogue between the siblings was excellent. The plot idea is good and when I started reading I was really enjoying the story and looking forward to more. The contrast between the home/school scenes and the fantasy scenes worked well. But, in the end, there were just too many things that annoyed me for me for it to be a satisfying read.
At times the book is over-written. There were often sentences, or whole paragraphs, that added nothing to the story, merely repeating what we already knew. And then, conversely, there was the plot. Great idea, which mostly works well, but boy there is so much happening without allowing the reader to pause for breath (or the characters to eat or sleep). They seemed to be constantly dashing from one place to another. I would have liked the plot to slow down, with more definite highs and lows. At times it felt like two-book-worth’s of plot squashed into one.
And one final peeve – the characters just didn’t seem to ask the obvious questions I wanted them to ask, or allow other characters to explain things I wanted to know. This can create a feeling of suspense, but it can also get pretty annoying when it seems an excuse for keeping the reader guessing.
And yet, and yet … many of the characters are great, particularly Xitlali and Kai, and Xitlali’s youngest sister Salaxia is a scream. Lots of good things here, but overall I’m giving this 3 piranhas.
Gill-Marie writes YA mystery/romances as Gill-Marie Stewart. As Gilly Stewart she also writes women’s contemporary fiction. The first book in her YA series about George and Finn is Music and Lies (try out the first chapter here).
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