Stella Merriss has never felt like she belonged anywhere—her family was always on the run. During a daring escape, her parents suddenly disappear into stormy, shark-infested waters. Alone and unsure of her future, she learns the truth: that she’s actually half angel, half mermaid. Stella has no choice but to join an elite angel apprenticeship program where—despite having to hide her dual nature—she finally feels as though she has found a home.
But villainous forces are gathering to strike against Stella’s newfound home and attack the three Timekeepers who spin and weave the fateful Thread of Life. Evil Lord Sylvain and his army will stop at nothing to corrupt the Laws of the Universe and bend them toward his own vile agenda. A child of land, sea, and sky is the only obstacle standing in his way.
In this epic battle between good and evil, Stella and her friends must defend against the armies of Lord Sylvain or see the realms of land, sea, and sky plunged into chaos
I've seen this book hyped as the 'new' Harry Potter. Every review I saw before reading it was glowing, not a single down vote anywhere. And the synopsis sounded like it could be good. But from the beginning, there were things that irked me about the book.
I may be being too critical, but in the first little bit, you meet Stella and her parents. They're out in this tiny little boat in the middle of shark infested waters. They don't know where they are. Stella's mom ends up overboard, and her dad tells Stella he loves her and to keep heading towards the lighthouse as though he knows he won't be coming back. Then he jumps into the water after her mother. Leaving his daughter all alone, with no help or land in sight. I can understand wanting to save your wife, but I can't understand deciding to leave your child alone with no hope of help.
Stella eventually ends up safe on land again, where she meets a man named Mangus. Mostly what I remember about this character, is him telling Stella she isn't allowed to cry. That she has to be strong, and apparently part of going forward and being strong, is not grieving for anything by shedding so much as a single tear.
Stella and her class also seemed to pass really quickly through the school. It doesn't say how much time passes, but if it was more than a single year I'll be shocked. And yet she and all the others were much higher in class rank (not sure how to put it without a huge spoiler, sorry) at the end of the book than seemed credible.
I did like a number of things about the book. Stella and her friends had some cute moments. And I liked her visit to the clothing shop on the island. Her Guardian Angel was also a fun touch, even if it seemed a bit odd for angels-in-training to have their own Guardian Angel. I liked the 3 Aggies quite a bit, and the Tree of Life. The knight could have been another good character, but he was so minor in the book you don't really get to know much about him.
I think this book would be a decent read for children, they might not notice or be bothered by the things that bothered me. But I'm not as sure about adults. I won't be reading the next book.
Stella and the Timekeepers was a lot better than I expected it to be.
I liked Stella enough as a protagonist but I wish we got to see more growth for her character. She seemed almost too perfect- I mean she handled the discovery of who she was very well especially for someone so young and lacked a certain depth that her character fell flat.
That is not to say that I didn't enjoy some of her cute moments with her friends. I generally liked the plot but it felt very basic and I wanted a little more depth with the conflict between Sylvain. I feel like Sylvain's connections with Stella and his reasons for wanting to conquer the realms could've been more fleshed out.
I didn't really care for Rand's POV though. I was bored reading his parts. I can see how the author was trying to connect it back to Sylvain and his wickedness but I wasn't very interested in those parts.
The worldbuilding was phenomenal though. So unique and so much fun to read about. I liked that the details were woven in and not info-dumped into large monotonous paragraphs.
Even though I'm not in the age range for the target audience I enjoyed this book. A pretty good fantasy middle-grade book.
*Thank you to Beyond Worlds and its publishers for providing a free ARC*
This was almost a perfect read. It had a masterfully written plot and story, well written characters and it is definitely a book written for 'young adults.' There was one part that didn't sit with me well, but I don't want to ruin the story for anyone else by mentioning because it's a personal peeve of mine. Overall, it was good and enjoyable read.
I really like this book for kids who are in the 4-6 grade. I found the book to be cute and engaging ramping up to an perfect ending. There are some good lessons to learn in the story line and would definitely hand it to one of my pre-teens to enjoy.
A fun read! A creative mix of genres that is expertly molded together with the title character, a bridge between rival realms. It was exciting to discover with Stella her special gifts that set her apart from her peers. Strongly recommended as an escape from the turmoil of our world.
It is so refreshing to find a book that is fun, adventuresome in addition to quietly displaying the Secrets of the universe. I will gift this book to all my grandkids! I'm glad fresh authors like Mick have arrived on the scene.