I really didn't care for this book. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE the author.
The Author's Note at the end of the book completely won me over. I can't express hI really didn't care for this book. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE the author.
The Author's Note at the end of the book completely won me over. I can't express how much I adore the fact that she is advocating for the sciences. Though the so-called "science" in this book is complete bullhonky, her note inspiring readers to explore the grand world of physics really made me happy. So for that - much love!
So I did not read the summary or any reviews about this book before I started, and I'm so glad that didn't. Had I known beforehand that this book was about dark matter, I would have been beyond stoked to read it and would have been sorely, sorely disappointed.
As someone who has read quite a lot about physics, I was practically banging my head against the wall in regards to the science in this book. The fact that a young adult book features the concept of dark matter thrills me beyond belief, but I can't help but feel let down by the way it was used in the story. It felt like an add-on. It seemed like an invented fantasy land that had dark matter thrown in to "explain" the alternate dimension. Kind of like how George Lucas decided to throw midichlorians into Star Wars as some sort of attempt at explaining the Force with science. A lame attempt at science does not science fiction make. Just admit that the story is fantasy and that the science doesn't really work. There's nothing wrong with that.
Maybe my expectations for the science in my science fiction are just too high.
This is a huge book, and almost nothing happens until maybe halfway through. Honestly, I was about to put down the book for good when the magic words "dark matter" caught my attention. I just had to keep going in the hopes that the book would do justice to one of my favorite scientific phenomenons. I'm sad to say that I don't believe it did.
But still, kudos for the love of science. And if this book gets young people interested in the sciences and inspires them to pursue knowledge, then it's definitely worth a read!
But anywho - if you don't plan on reading the book or are just curious about the science involved, here is a SPOILER FILLED run-down (seriously guys, this is like hella major spoils so don't click if you plan to read the book): (view spoiler)[There is a world made of dark matter called Darkside. There are people made of dark matter called Darklings. A select few can cross over to the regular world. These dark matter people lost the part of their brain that allows them to make music so they have to breed with normal people to gain back their music making ability. But now, these half-breed-music-makers (called Experimentals) threaten the existence of the dark matter world so now all the half-breeds must be assassinated and guess what? Our main character just so happens to be a dark matter half-breed. And her love interest happens to be an assassin. They fall into true love! Oh and she has to avoid the dark matter world and the other assassins, but (shocker!) if she touches her love interest, they are instantly transported to the dark matter world against their will. Oh and when she goes there, she destroys the fabric of their dark matter universe. But wait! There's more - she can heal the dark matter with her magical music making ability. Super special chosen one FTW! (hide spoiler)]...more
Okay FINE. This book isn't actually about a blonde chick with a door to an alternate universe in her head, but the plot line is just as equally contri
Okay FINE. This book isn't actually about a blonde chick with a door to an alternate universe in her head, but the plot line is just as equally contrived.
Gwen and Vic are our two protagonists, and they are also "twin" cousins. This means that their dads are brothers, and their moms are sisters. Yeah - two brothers married two sisters and each couple had a child. I'm not sure if I should be creeped out by that. In fact, I found myself thinking about it often throughout the book and whether or not it should be weird. I don't think it should, but for some reason it seems like it would be.
So, the kids inadvertently stumble into their Uncle/Dad's alternate universe machine and discover a whole new world. The inhabitants of this world are at war with a race of beings called Merlons. Dun, dun, dun...
When I was in middle school, I loved the Young Jedi Knights series (which would make an amaaaaazing TV show!!) that was written by the same authors. It's fair to say that I was obsessed. Now, I'm not sure if I was just to blinded by thoughts like "COOL JEDI TRAINING!!" to see the sad truth about it. The writing is rife with overused and unnessecary words and breaks off topic so easily that it's ridiculous. Maybe this was fine for me during my peak ADD years, but now I need a lot more.
Obviously a juvenile book, The Crystal Door is full of cliches, adjectives, adverbs, words like cerulean and magenta being used to describe the sky and the ocean, evil things, cheesy dialogue, and many other marks of books targeted to younger readers.
In it's entirety, it was fun, cute, and quick, but not a world where I would want to spend a huge amount of time. So it's a good thing that these books are short.
However, it was funny at times and might make a good choice if you are in the mood for a middle grade book!...more