Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: The Eye of the Crystal Ball by J.P. Boje

22 Aug 2011

Title: The Eye of the Crystal Ball
Author: T.P Boje
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: 23rd June, 2011
Source: e-book from author for review (Thank you) 
Goodreads Synopsis: 
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.

My Thoughts:
When I first started reading this, I had the impression that a narrator was telling either a story of the past (like a prologue) or a nice bedtime story and that the real tale would be told years later. Except, I realised later on that the story had indeed started already, and it was merely the writing style that confused me. The beginning was mainly a narration and it felt like I was being told a story rather than being shown it. There were sudden changes from third person to second person, which didn’t work so well. While reading it, I felt like a bystander watching the proceedings from a distance instead of experiencing the actions with the characters.

Unfortunately I did not feel a connection with any of the characters. Perhaps it was because everything happened too fast, some characters jumped in and out, never staying long enough to make an impression. Sara and Manolo’s characters were not as well developed as I’d liked. Being the main character, I expected to understand more of Sara’s personality and behaviour, but as the book focused mainly on what she did and what happened to her, occasionally mentioning what she felt, i personally felt no connection with her. The blurb mentioned Sara being telekinetic but in the book, there was hardly any reference to her telekinetic abilities. She discovered her ability one day, was told to learn to control it, and almost never used her ability again.

The book was easy to read and reminded me of an innocent children’s bedtime story. There were mentionsof folklore that was quite intriguing but would certainly have appealed to me more if I was younger. However, I did find many of the fantasy creatures very imaginative. Some were incredibly amusing and sweet, while others were plain evil. Unfortunately, the journey took too long to describe and when I finally read up to the climax, everything resolved too quickly. At least, the ending was satisfying. I was happy that it wasn’t a typical happily-ever-after ending.

I would recommend this to younger readers, as there were appealing qualities which younger children may find interesting. I know for a fact that, had I been younger, I certainly would have enjoyed this much more. Overall, it was fast-paced, and fairytale-like, but sadly, it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. 

Rating: 2 stars

"It is for us to use them, to neglect nature’s cures is to turn away our greatest treasure.
 "Never doubt yourself. Fear makes you lose your powers and drains your energy. You must focus on what you are doing completely and believe that you can do it. "

1 comment:

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