I received a copy of Crystal Shadows in exchange for an honest review. This didn’t affect my review.
Sarah’s father has always been secretive about her dead grandfather, even though Sarah and her father share a close bond. However, her fathers behavior hasn’t stopped Sarah from asking questions. And when Sarah and her friends start investigating the strange noises from the attic, they come to the shocking discovery that Sarah’s ‘grandfather’ had actually been living in the attic! And they also discover that her grandfather needs them to save the world…
I wanted to like it, I really did. I don’t often read middle grade books, but the premise was incredibly interesting so I took a chance. Unfortunately, as soon as I started reading it, I was lost. The dialogue between the characters wasn’t logical and incredibly hard to follow. I also couldn’t imagine the characters at all because the ways all the characters talked and acted weren’t realistic. First there was a huge revelation, and suddenly Carly Rae Jepsen (I truly don’t know if I spelled her name correctly) was doing a performance during a basketball game? Why is there a performance in the last few pages of the book when there’s so much that still has to be solved?
Furthermore, I missed a lot of world building. Descriptions of the house, of Sarah’s friends, her father, anything that would make it easier to imagine the story. Instead, too many words were used for (I’m so sorry) useless dialogue. It had a negative influence on the flow of the story.
And lastly, the plot. I’m actually not sure if there’s going to be a sequel or not. If there is, this book was building up to it, and in that case this book and the sequel should have been one book. If not, I’m afraid the only real plot that the book thoroughly executed was Sarah finding her grandfather in the attic, which was already spoiled in the blurb of the book. Nothing happened with the amulet that was supposed to help Sarah fight the darkness and there’s too much that still needs to be solved.
The story has real promise, it really does. The book just needs lots of editing. Make the dialogue more realistic and create a better flow in the book. That will give Crystal Shadows a better chance to go to its full potential.