One gemstone that changed her life… Now it was almost before me. My breath quickened as I struggled to let go of the necklace. I even stood to pull the box with me, but the ribbon of the necklace reddened my wrist like a hot coal and I cried out in pain. Suddenly all I heard was my breath-in, out. The figure moved quicker and quicker, closer and closer… The figure was now above me, drifting over my head, and then it tumbled on me with the force of gravity.
And then with a whimper, I fell unconscious as darkness surrounded me. ARICA MILLER is thrilled to begin her sophomore year at Hill Valley Private Arts Academy. Little does she know that the prestigious school holds more hidden secrets than she’d anticipated-especially with the headmistress. After she accidentally comes into contact with a mysterious gemstone necklace, she receives strange hallucinations that connect to her family’s past. Arica soon realizes that this is no regular necklace, but a necklace that contains power beyond her knowledge. And that’s not all. Her world unwinds as she is absorbed with knowledge of a world of sorcery. All dating up to Halloween night, Arica must face suspicious friends, monstrous creatures, and the truth of her family’s connection with sorcery. But worst of all, she must face a powerful enemy keen on only one thing: the gemstones.
The authors sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The authors contacted me on Instagram asking me to review their book. So, after checking the book on GoodReads (and that the authors are twins – I don’t know any twins!) as well as the fact that they were ready to send me a physical copy for review? This just went to the top of my review pile 😀
But sadly, the reason why the review is late, is because my National Conference came in between. I had to present a paper and thus, had to study for that. So my reading time was relegated to like half hour a day or so, for about three weeks. So, I would like to make apologies for that.
This book tells the story about Arica and her cousins as well as the “friends” she makes at the private academy she has just transferred to. There in, she discovers a whole new world – a world of magic and sorcery. A world where she doesn’t know who her friend is nor who her enemy is.
This book has an interesting concept and it starts off perfectly. The authors lay foundation to a pretty strong story line and the plot itself doesn’t disappoint. The story is fast paced, with enough action to keep your appetite whetted through out the book. Even the secondary characters themselves were an enigma, (except Lembrose. SHe is one evil lady!) and it’s not till the end, that we realize where and which side does everybody stand.
Arica is a very likeable character. She is loyal, sarcastic and even though she is a teenager, she doesn’t act impulsively, at least not too much (she is still a kid after all!). She takes the presence of magic quite easily, too easily (for me at least!). And while she doesn’t understand the nuances of it, she believes it’s all in fun and frolic without understanding the magnitude of the power she has been given.
This book was quite well written, especially considering this a debut novel of two teenage authors. Yet, there were times I felt the story dragged on. There were many extra details, scenes that I felt the plotline could have done without, but this did not mean that I did not enjoy this installment, I did. I just felt it was a a grade below for me – more like Middle Grade Level book! I have a feeling if I gave this book to my 12 year old cousin, he would immensely enjoy it – that is if he was the reading kind 😀
Another thing was that there was not much focus on the character development. While most would enjoy this book without that focus, I need to feel more connected to the characters (it’s a character flaw of mine!) for me to completely immerse myself in a series or even a story! But considering the authors themselves are teenagers, they have done a wonderful job with the characters. ❤
It is the climax of the story, where everything got interesting, and let me say this, the fight between good vs evil in this book was pretty perfect and that’s why I can’t ever forgive the authors for that cliffhanger, because I can’t seem to find the next installment of this trilogy in India *sobs*
3.5 / 5 Stars
The premise of this book is interesting, and for those who love fantasy, this is a good bet. Especially if you are still a teenager. This book will have you immersed in it, hook, line and sinker.