What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Eye of the Crystal Ball by T.P. Boje

Summary from Goodreads: When Sara was newborn her parents left her at the doorstep at Mr. and Mrs. Schneider's house.

When Sara was ten she discovered she was telekinetic. She began to move stuff around when she got angry just by her will alone.

When Sara was twelve her real parents came for her and took her with them to live like the Gypsy that she was - or Romani as they like to call themselves. They told her she was going to fulfill a prophesy. That it was once said that out of the Romani people the greatest sorceress who had ever lived would be born.
When Sara was thirteen she had a baby brother and when she was fourteen he got very sick with a strange illness.
To save her baby-brother Sara sets off on a quest to find his cure - well knowing that it will cost her dearly.
Soon Sara finds herself going through the Singing Cave, crossing Wild Witches Valley, talking to a ten foot giant snail, rescuing the Beads of Souls from the Hell-hounds, escaping a spell in Vamila, the Forest of Vanity, visiting the king at the City of Lights before she finally reaches the Black Castle where she is told the Eye of the Crystal Ball can tell her how to cure her brother's strange illness.

But nothing is free in this world - and as Sara soon will know - everything has a price.

The summary is what drew me to the book in the first place. I thought it sounded like it had all the right elements of magic, and suspense, and myths!

What I liked: 1) The creative locations that Sara and Manolo travel to. The descriptions are very well done and puts the reader right there alongside the characters. 2) I liked Manolo. He was a good guy, and helped Sara a lot on her travels. 3) How dedicated Sara was to her brother, journeying out into the unknown world, facing a lot of danger to save him. 4) There was a unicorn! Who doesn't like unicorns. 5) I've always thought that the Romani (or gypsy) lifestyle sounds fascinating.

What I didn't like: 1) I felt like the first 30 pages or so moved a little too fast. A lot happened, and it was hard to catch everything because of the speed. 2) So Sara was raised by the Schneiders for the first 12 years of her life. She knows them as her parents. But then suddenly, this Romani tribe shows up and claims to be Sara's family. And the Schneiders just let her go without a fight. I thought that was a little strange. And Sara doesn't seem to put up a fight when they take her either. It's like, "okay, you've been our daughter for 12 years, but see ya later. Okay, bye fake parents! I'm gonna go love these other parents now!" 3) Sara is telekinetic, but I felt like that was more of an afterthought. She didn't use these powers very much.

Overall thoughts: I was on the fence when I read this book, so much so that I decided to reread it before reviewing it. It has a good plot, and and many interesting settings. Sara was pretty well developed as a character, though I would have liked to get to know a little more about her powers as a sorceress. She never really learned to develop them. I wonder if this is going to be explored further in another book, because the ending certainly gave a great opening for another story.

My rating: 3 shots

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1 comment:

  1. You reread it? Now that's a committed reviewer. You go girl!


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