Archive for the ‘epic battles’ Tag

Review of the Crescent Stone by Matt Mikalatos   3 comments

 

 

A girl with a deadly lung disease . . .
A boy with a tragic past . . .
A land where the sun never sets but darkness still creeps in . . .

Madeline Oliver has never wanted for anything, but now she would give anything just to breathe. Jason Wu skates through life on jokes, but when a tragedy leaves him guilt-stricken, he promises to tell only the truth, no matter the price. When a mysterious stranger named Hanali appears to Madeline and offers to heal her in exchange for one year of service to his people, Madeline and Jason are swept into a strange land where they don’t know the rules and where their decisions carry consequences that reach farther than they could ever guess.

***

 

 

The last time I found a series in Christian fantasy that dealt with people crossing over into other worlds from our own was roughly ten years. Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow, if I recall right (an excellent series too, but I won’t go over this here :P).

So you can imagine my delight in discovering The Crescent Stone, book one in what promises to be an epic series.
Madeline Oliver has everything money can buy. Except the gift to breath. With a disease laying waste to her lungs, simple things such as walking to the mailbox or carrying a basket of laundry she can’t do without collapsing in a heap. With the knowledge that she won’t be getting better, she has accepted her fate and withdrawn into herself. Going to high school classes is her only attempt at some normality in her life. When a strange man offers her the chance to breathe, to live a normal life once more in exchange for a year of service to the Sunlit Lands, Madeline takes it without knowing what the costs of such a gift brings.

Jason Wu carries around a terrible weight inside, despite his snarky attitude and quick wit. When Madeline accepts the deal to travel to the Sunlit Lands, he pledges himself to her service and stays by her side. In the Sunlit Lands, he is the only one in the beginning who questions the magic that surrounds the paradise.

As far as characters go, Jason is going to be the one who steals the story. His humor even in most dangerous situations and his gutsy attitude I totally enjoyed. Think Robert Downey Jr. and you have a pretty good idea of Jason’s personality. And yes, you will definitely love his companion, Delightful Glitter Lady (I’ll let you find out who this is on your own :P). Madeline, I feel didn’t match up as well, but she was still enjoyable. After being given the opportunity to breathe again and live a normal life, she doesn’t want to pay attention to the secrets surrounding this gift but is eventually forced to do so when she sees the suffering she was blind to.

For the story itself, I’ll be honest and say it has a lot of slow spots, but Jason’s antics keep the reader invested. Much of the story has a social political theme running through it. In fact, one could say it is the backbone of this book. Topics such as racial discrimination, immigration, and how many people end up wealthy on the backs of others. At times it feels like it’s a little pushed, especially when we’re supposed to be focused on this new world and the protagonists, but it gets interrupted for the author to go over America’s past wrongs towards people.
But the important thing is that it does make you think, which is something I enjoy in a story. The spiritual elements are presented in a subtle vein that is noticeable but not preachy.

So is it a tale worthy to be read? I think so. Matt Mikalatos has crafted a unique world where magic carries a price, and what one takes, another has to give. Necromancers lurk in the shadows and orc-like beasts are to be battled by glittering elves who claim to fight for truth and justice.

Verdict: Though it’s bogged down at times with its social justice issues, the worldbuilding and humor, along with the message woven into the story, are enough to keep you turning the pages and look forward to the next in the series once you finish the book.

(I received a free copy of the book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.)
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