I am an author who has been blogging for many moons at my lovely blog home: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write YA Fantasy/Paranormal novels, ghost/horror short stories and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry - haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-o...
My alter ego is MJ - Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.
As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It's rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband. My two enchanted daughters often return to visit me with a cheery smile.
When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.
Bloodstone is the first book in the The Curse of Time series written by M.J. Mallon. The book was published in 2018, and the author is currently working on the second one in this young adult fantasy / paranormal, coming-of-age story. At its core, this is an emotional tale about a young girl figuring out her identity, learning who to trust, and discovering there is more to the world than the tangible things she's experienced in the first one-and-a-half decades of her life.
Magic Mirrors? Mysterious appearances? Letters that cannot be destroyed? Puzzling trust? What's a girl to do when she's followed by two strange boys in the park, only to realize something darker is beginning to happen? Mallon explores the fears in a young girl who wants to break out of her life but doesn't know where to turn. She's unsure about trusting friends and family. Ryder, who saves the day, might actually not be the best thing for her... safety... sanity... security. Can she fight the feelings burgeoning around her?
Crystals play a huge role in this story. There's another girl trapped inside a mirror, but is she working for or against our heroine, Amelina? When pushed to the limit, she's resourceful and kind. Amelina wields her powers in an unusual way, learning how to manage everything that's suddenly new to her in this enchanted life that's begun in the strangest but most welcome of ways. I enjoyed the character development. Mallon's writing style flows well and draws you in. This isn't a normal genre for me, but I easily relaxed into the plot and found the characters intriguing and refreshing.
I want to know what could come next. Good thing the author is writing more... now just what kind of magic might unfold? I hope these unbreakable messages and posts figure prominently. What a great way to start the tale!
It took me a short while to get into the swing of the story, but once I was there, I really enjoyed the tale. Drawn into the life of the main character, Amelina, you are quickly whisked off into a world filled with supernatural happenings, people in mirrors and crystals. Lots of crystals! There is an element of change evident in Amelina as the book progresses, showing her development as a person who is capable of having a huge effect on those around her, as she learns of the powers she has had bestowed upon her. I didn't like Ryder... not that you are really meant to. Ryder is someone who she meets, and who influences her negatively. The fact that I didn't like him shows that his character was written well within the story. Over all, a book brimming with supernatural happenings, a mysterious cottage and a family problem that needs solving.
A magical invitation, that doesn't tear up, urges Amelina to go to Crystal Cottage to seek out the hidden secrets of her family. Amelina Scott knows her family isn't what you call normal and neither is her house. No one she knows has a girl trapped in the mirrors. When she receives an invitation to visit Crystal Cottage, she doesn't know what to make of it. Is it a prank? Is it a trick? She decides to ignore it and throws it in the trash. Only it doesn't stay in the bin. She tries to cut it up but it doesn't cut. It sings, it dances, it is somehow alive. She finally decides to travel to the Crystal Cottage to see what happens. Along the way, she meets Ryder and discovers magic (both light and dark) is all around. She interacts with magical people, beings, and objects while learning the truth of her family. What happens next will astound you, the reader. Are you ready for an adventure?
Bloodstone is an imaginative fantasy adventure I enjoyed from start to finish. From the first page, I connected with Amelina. She's a delightful heroine. I could relate to her on so many levels. Everything from her curiosity to her reactions to her emotional state rang true. While it's tricky these days to write an original fantasy story, M.J. Mallon wrote one of the most original fantasy books I've read in a long time. Taking bits from fantasy authors of the past, M.J. Mallon adds her own blend of magical realism and emotional coming of age to make Bloodstone a gem. The plot moves at a good pace with each chapter starting with a puzzle. What a creative way to keep the reader invested. The world-building is intricate and riveting. The characters are engaging and easy to connect with. Overall, Bloodstone is a brilliant story and when I finished, I wanted to read it all over again. If you're a fantasy reader, you need to read Bloodstone. Highly recommend!
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I'd review it. My thoughts are all my own.
I am truly addicted to this book! Marjorie is such a talented author and really does reel you into the book and the life of Amelina. At first, I was a little unsure about the book with it being different from my normal genres and a little slow. After a while though, you do get addicted and just can not put it down! Amelina is a really good character, super lovable and you want to keep reading to see where things take her.
You are quickly whisked off into a world filled with supernatural happenings, people in mirrors and crystals. Lots of crystals! There is an element of change evident in Amelina as the book progresses, showing her development as a person who is capable of having a huge effect on those around her, as she learns of the powers she has had bestowed upon her. On the other end of the spectrum, Ryder is a really dislikeable character.
I suppose he needed to be like this, as you're really not meant to like him! He definitely influences Amelina negatively, her friends and family also question him, making him for a well-written character within the story. The last couple of chapters were crazy and left me on the edge of my seat wanting more from them. This book does focus on things from the norm, the whole secret and wanting to know about these crystals.
Normally I hate finishing books, as the impressive story is over, but I have the luxury of Book 2 for this series, which I hope I can get my hands on it soon! Overall, this is a book brimming with supernatural happenings, a mysterious cottage and a family problem that needs solving. I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good mystery as it will reel you in.
The Curse of Time is a young adult fantasy novel set in Cambridge, England.
This book has a complex mix of themes running through it, and at times my head did spin as I tried to keep up. Amelina is a likeable character. She receives enchanted gifts and dreams about an elusive cottage. Her parents can’t offer her the support she needs, and instead, she turns to Esme, a friend who lives in the mirror.
As a qualified crystal therapist, I liked the inclusion of crystals throughout the story.
Our clasped hands shook with fear. I waited, afraid to witness the effect the Black Obsidian would have on my friends and me next. Our eyes met, and we strengthened our hold, clasping our hands tighter. The blackness of the moment grew. A flowing ribbon of dark, velvety light encircled our hands and bound our palms together sealing our bond.
There is also a strong personal development theme running through the book which I enjoyed.
As with all coming-of-age stories, Amelina grows as the story unfold. Learning who to trust, and how to use her gifts.
I reviewed The Curse of Time as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team #RBRT
The Curse Of Time by M.J. Mallon is an intricate fantasy novel with unique supernatural and magical elements which serves as a highly entertaining read. I had a great time reading this novel and exploring the magical world of Amelina full of magic crystals and enchanted mirrors.
The writing is good, the characterization decent and the pacing and tension in sync with the plot. The plot-progression was good and the character development was something I really appreciated in this story. The simple use of language complimented the plot and made it an enjoyable read.
The only problem I had when I started reading this book was that there were a number of themes running through the book, which at times felt a little bit confusing to me. But as I progressed further in the story, everything started to fall into place, and eventually, everything started to make more sense. So, maybe it was intentional or maybe not, either way, it wasn't a big issue as I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to all fantasy and supernatural readers.
“Bloodstone” is a paranormal YA story that centers on 15-year-old Amelina. Her family life drastically changed after her father disappeared and then returned home a different man. Her once happy household was gone. When she gets an invitation to a mysterious place, she goes down a forbidden path by the river. Here she meets Ryder, who completely mesmerizes her after saving her from a robbery attempt. There were many great secondary characters, including her band members and cat, Shadow, but I think my favorite was Esme or the girl who lived in the mirror. There was a lot of depth in Esme, and the subject of self-harm was dealt with well. I’m a fan of rocks/crystals, so their importance in the story was a plus. The magic and darkness weaved into the plot of finding the truth contrasted with Amelina’s constant conflict. The poetry before each chapter was a nice addition, and I enjoyed the descriptive passages. The ending answered some questions, but not all. I look forward to reading the next book in this series to see what happens next. If you like a paranormal story told from a teen’s perspective who is not only finding herself but discovering her unique abilities, this is for you.
Bloodstone is a fascinating book, beautifully written and full of mystery and imagination.
Amelina is a sixteen year old girl who is caught in a cycle of unhappiness. Her happy family life changed on her thirteen birthday. She can't remember the details but "[her] mind, resurrecting buried memories from [her] thirteenth birthday: an imprint on glass, a charades card, and a young man's beguiling voice bewitching [her]." Since that dreadful night when her father disappeared and returned months later an altered man, whose youth had been stolen, Amelina has been sad. Her mother changed on that day and became a harridan who works all the time and who cannot ever be pleased.
Amelina's only 'friends' in her own home are self-harming Esme, an ex-school colleague who seemed to have the perfect life but is now trapped behind the mirrors in Amalina's family home, and Shadow, her creepy black cat. Amelina does have some strong friendships outside of her home which are her saving grace.
The story starts with Amelina receiving a strange invitation to visit the mythical Crystal Cottage. On the same day, while out for a walk to think about this unusual invitation, she meets the mysterious and handsome Ryder to whom she is instantly attracted.
These two events trigger an unusual adventure where Amelina must take certain actions in order to save her father and restore the happiness of her family.
I enjoyed the character of Amelina. She had a troubled and difficult life with her disapproving mother and elderly and convalescent father. She just want's her life to return to how it was before and she knows that her lot in life is poor compared to her best friends. I admired Amelina for being sensible and seeing the reality of her relationship with Ryder, despite her anguished state of mind and intense attraction to the man. I think this shows great strength of character and sends an excellent message to YA female readers of this book. I also liked the fact that Amelina looked for solutions to her problems and actively sought happiness. These are all positive characteristics.
Amelina has a gift for art and is given a magic art set by her aunt. The scenes involving Amelina painting with this gift are among my favorite in the book.
The following extract demonstrates the energy and mystery of the painting:
"As I dipped the brush into the paint, a gripping sensation overcame me. I painted in haste with a multitude of dissolving crystal paint flecks staring back at me from the canvas. A dark grey, bluish black, sinister tinge blemished the artwork. Shares of varying hues moved across the painting, competing for supremacy in a powerful duality of light and darkness."
Ryder was a dark character and that was evident form his first encounter with Amelina. It was satisfyingly for me that Amelina did not succumb to his charms in a completely thoughtless and silly way. She kept her head and assessed Ryder's behaviour even though it hurt her to do so.
The self harm references could be a trigger for some young readers, but they are skillfully and carefully handled so I think it is unlikely to cause distress. They are more likely to provide comfort, but that is just my opinion and I haven't had any dealings with the victims of self harming.
An excellent and engrossing read and one I recommend to young adult and adult readers alike.
A YA Fantasy novel. Enter a world of magical crystals, vanishing cottages and vocal paint boxes. The fifteen-year-old protagonist, Amelina, discovers she has supernatural powers. I liked how the mysticism was grounded in family life. As well as coping with teenage angst, Amelina struggles in her relationship with her parents, anxious about her cursed father, and her harsh mother is particularly taxing. Her unhappiness at home contrasts sharply with that of her friends Joselyn, Jade and Ilaria (the characters in this book all have interesting names). Then there’s Esme, who is trapped in mirrors, who only Amelina can see and communicate with.
Enter the alluring, Ryder, another memorable character, an enigmatic stranger, through whom the author explores the complexity of teen jealousy and rivalry when he meets Amelina’s circle of friends. His appearance signals the beginning of Amelina’s rollercoaster journey, is he her rescuer or nemesis?
This is a highly entertaining read, which I wish had been around when I was a teenager.
From the beginning, I was drawn into the main character, Amelina’s world.
It is quickly established that Amelina’s world is not like other girls her age.
I can’t say more than that as I don’t want to give spoilers away.
Amelina is written so well. There is a part of her that all of us will recognise and emphasise with. At that awkward age where nothing fits and at the same time you feel as if you can conquer the world.
Darkness creeps in slowly in the form of Ryder who at first seems the answer to all Amelina desires, or is he?
The circle of friends she has are all different personalities but they fit together like a circle.
The description of each girl is short but gives us an immediate picture of their personality.
Then there are Amelina’s parents, her growing power and the strange invitation.
I give Curse of Time Book One five stars.
I enjoyed reading this novel and the only consolation I had when finishing it was there will be a book two.
Marjorie has written a magical tale and drawn for us a world where nothing is what it appears to be on the surface.
I loved this novel and Marjorie’s telling of it.
Amelina has a strong voice and I could see everything crystal clear through her eyes.
This book introduces you to 15-year-old Amelina Scott, living in a rather unusal home.
With The Curse of Time, M. J. Mallon has created a well-crafted paranormal teen story that made me follow Amelina as an invisible ally; inwardly cheering her on as she tried to find a solution for her family's issues. It is a very compelling read that draws you close to Amelina and her quest. M. J. Mallon introduces Amelina with utmost care, she is a complex and believable teenager, and you want to find a possibility to support her. The story has a steady yet fast-paced flow, still leaving you sufficient opportunity to grasp the situations. Even if I am way past my teenage times - I had a great time reading this first book in the Bloodstone series. I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series.
This is a book for you if you like paranormal and occult stories with believable characters, mysteries, the young adult genre per se, and if you appreciate great story-telling.
A charming and magical tale for teens and young adults that has that essential quality of a thoroughly loveable and complex main character in fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott. I fell in with the flow of the storytelling in the first couple of pages, confident I was going to be swept up and held as I read.
Fed up with her dysfunctional family after her father disappeared and then returned a changed man, Amelina is lured by an invitation that refuses to be ripped up into taking the river path to visit the Crystal Cottage. On the way she encounters two lads filled with menace and is saved by a strange young man she comes to know as Ryder. What unfolds is a story filled with colourful characters and plenty of action.
The inclusion of short poems at the start of each chapter works well. The paranormal elements intertwine well with, and to a large degree drive the plot. I liked the crafting of the mysterious Ryder and found old school friend Esme intriguing, especially as she is trapped behind mirrors. It is brave to deal with self harm in a novel and through Esme, Mallon handles this theme well. I found the premise of this book original and refreshing. Bloodstone is told with flair and imagination and will appeal to young adult readers.
“Bloodstone” is set in the city of Cambridge in the U.K. where we follow Amelina’s journey as she tries to understand her father’s recent disappearance, and why he’s so different since his return. Her mother’s having issues too. She’s reluctant to talk about anything. Through a series of strange events, Amelina finds herself drawn to learning the truth about her family.
The author packed this YA adventure full of intriguing characters. There is Esme, the girl trapped in a mirror, who longs to escape her mirrored prison. We meet the mysterious and alluring Ryder, who is not everything he seems. Amelina’s girlfriends are an interesting bunch of characters as well. What I liked best about the characters is how the author kept the conversations to what a fifteen-year-old would say and discuss. There are some trigger elements like bullying and self-harm, although there are no graphic details to read, which I thought was a plus.
There’s something here for everyone: Arthurian legends, magic, crystals, and plenty of teenage angst to keep the story grounded. I enjoyed the poetry at the beginning of each chapter, written as puzzle pieces to help propel the story forward.
If you’re looking for an unusual YA Fantasy to read, this is the book for you.
what an absolutely brilliant read. I love the way this book is written: the lovely descriptive writing that made me feel different emotions along a journey of a dark stranger, a group of friends, a girl in a mirror and family disruption. There are different elements like bullying and self harm although not graphic detail xx All are entwined with a magical paint set, Crystal stones and a key that unlocks the past. This is one ROLLERCOASTER journey for Amelina xx this book is an easy ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ from me and to be honest would make a great film
First of all, thank you so much to the author for getting in touch via email and offering to send me a copy of her debut novel, the first in the Bloodstone series, The Curse Of Time in exchange for an honest review. The author is a fellow blogger and publishes a wide variety of posts including book reviews, author interviews, haiku poetry and snippets of her own writing life. Visit her website HERE. I've been in the mood for a good young adult fantasy for a while now and as soon as I read the synopsis, with the promise of a magical curse and a female lead character with a difficult past, I was instantly intrigued to get started. Generally, I found this to be a highly imaginative work of fiction with bucket loads of promise for both character and plot development. I have to admit it took me a little while to get into the flow and rhythm of the story, but once I was there, it was impossible to put the book down without becoming quite embroiled in a fascinating mystery.
I don't want to delve much deeper into the plot of this novel, the synopsis above does that more than adequately and the beauty of this story is definitely discovering all its secrets for yourself. I do want to touch on a few things that I really enjoyed and mention why I haven't given it a higher rating. To begin with, I'd like to mention the characters which were perfectly drawn and enjoyable to read about. I particularly enjoyed our heroine, Amelina and Ryder (although the less said about this latter character the better, I believe saying anything would be giving away major spoilers!). Indeed, it was Ryder and Esme, the girl trapped in the mirror who were the most interesting aspects of this story for me. They both had an air of mystery, desperation, sadness and curiosity and were probably the most compelling reason for me wanting to read on. I also want to take a moment to mention the gorgeous illustrations in my copy of The Curse Of Time which really added something special to my reading experience and that I was delighted to share on my Instagram account, I was so entranced by them.
As I alluded to earlier, the breadth of the author's imagination is undeniable and I loved her foray into the powerful properties of crystals, the importance of friends and family and (one of my favourites) magical talking household objects! Who doesn't love that? I also admired that she isn't afraid to go to some dark places in her fiction, including dysfunctional relationships, self-harm, emotionally unhealthy relationships etc and this only served to make her narrative more gritty and authentic. My only slight issue with this book is that because so much seemed to be going on at once, occasionally the story felt a bit "busy" and everything just felt a little bit rushed where at times, I did struggle to catch up. Unfortunately, I did feel that sometimes the dialogue between the characters suffered at these points and became a little stilted which was a shame.
On the other hand, it did wonderfully illustrate the veritable explosion of great ideas M.J. Mallon has and certainly no one could ever accuse this novel of being dull or lacking in originality. If you're a fan of fantasy/magical-based narratives that walk on the slightly darker side of life I would definitely suggest The Curse Of Time as an intriguing read from a hugely promising author.
For someone who doesn't usually read fantasy, this YA novel caught my interest. The teenage characters in the book are very real with typical issues such as lack of confidence, jealousy, confusion, parental disagreements, and volatile friendships. Amelina comes from a dysfunctional family with a paranormal twist. If she can figure out the curse, perhaps her family could be happy once more. In her quest, she meets a self-harming girl locked in a mirror, a heartthrob boy with a mean side, a cottage full of amazing crystals and an old woman with sage advice. I like that the story is based on a real clock, the Corpus Chronophage clock, in Cambridge, England. (Chronophage means time-eater). There is some time travel in the story, which I love. There's a lot happening in this very descriptive book and not everything is explained. But that is because it is the first book in a series. I look forward to reading more about Amelina and her quirky friends.
A fascinating twist of events shakes Amelina’s world, awakening her to the power of crystals and her family’s legacy. An enjoyable read with well-written characters who keep you on your toes as they drive the action forward.
Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise. So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative. Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not? It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them. The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he's back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she's so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything. She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages. All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences. The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding. Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.
I hadn't heard of the Curse of Time when I received an email to be part of the blog tour but being a person who loves to read YA fantasy I knew I had to give it a read. I really enjoyed The Curse of Time and it is a really solid read, great for anyone who loves to read.
So only having a vague idea of the premise I started reading the book and found out from the first page that I needed to know what happened. I was fully invested in the story and needed to keep reading. I was intrigued by the story and the mysterious guy at the beginning who I ended up really liking as a character. The letter was also a mystery so basically, I just wanted to keep reading.
This was similar to throughout the book, the plot was quite interesting throughout and it definitely kept me reading. I didn't want to put it down. I also liked how the book had many mundane issues and dealt with the family aspects of it really well. I definitely thought that this was developed throughout and I especially liked her cat because I am a sucker for cats in books.
I also really enjoyed the characters in the book, Amelina was a really solid character and I liked seeing her arc through the book. I also did really enjoy the writing. The poetry at the beginning of every chapter was a nice addition and I have not seen this done in other books before. The general writing of the book was also really good and hopefully, I can get my hands on the sequel.
The Curse of Time is an interesting and engaging fantasy read that focuses on family that is great for anyone who loves a great read!
Okay, wow. Marjorie had created a wonderful story with such relatable characters. The Curse of Time is a young adult fantasy novel and I loved every page in it <3
Amelina, the main character is such a lovable and so relatable character. The author did a great job with her and the other characters in this book. Every detail so well thought off and you can tell by reading as the story flows so easily. Amelina's world is so unique and full of magic (I won't say much here, every little detail might spoil things).
Meeting the Ryder changed everything with Amelina and not the way she wished to and I loved that the author made Amelina grow with the plot, and as a writer myself, that is what I love to see in books. I loved the use of mirrors and crystals in this book, every magical item made the story more dramatic and magical, you are "literally" sucked into Amelina's world and it felt amazing. It was the perfect book to read while my life was so stressful and hectic, it was a blessed escape.
Ryder is the perfect villain here and the author did a great job with making us "love to hate him" and I enjoyed to hating him, lol :D
You could really tell that the author Marjorie made every little detail feel special, from the beggings of the chapters to a character-driven plot and amazing adventures and struggles. If you love Fantasy and Paranormal this book is for you <3
I won't say more as from here on the plot really moves fast and before you know it, the book has ended (WHY???). I need book 2 :)
Her house is haunted by a girl who lives in the mirror, her dad returned from a strange disappearance oddly aged, and inanimate objects can talk to her and control her. Her cat is capable of disappearing, a talent shared by her dark, handsome, and creepy crush, Ryder. Her family is cursed. Amelina is not a happy teenager.
Each chapter is a puzzle piece that leads the reader deeper into Amelina’s experience. The first third of the book is primarily exposition - filling the reader in through dreams, memories, visions, and the mutterings of the girl in the mirror. The odd things that happen to Amelina reminded me of the adventures of Alice in Wonderland, the connection and significance of each puzzle piece not yet clear. The line from the book, “Nothing is crazy. Everything is possible” sums it up.
For a while, the story shift and focuses on Amelina and Ryder, a budding romance riddled with teenage angst and hinting at a darker side to the handsome teen. It’s not until near the end of the book that Amelina’s goal —to rid her family of its curse— takes over, accompanied by the means to accomplish her wish.
I liked the character of Amelina and was sympathetic to her plight. She’s stuck in that teenage place of caring for one’s parents while also thinking they’re annoying. The use of crystals was intriguing and included the real-life power and wisdom that crystals are thought to possess. The read is full of teenage-life details, and I recommend it for YA readers.
This is a brilliant book for young adults interested in magic, supernatural, paranormal, fantasy and myth. I found it highly readable and the author's imagination is phenomenal, as is the fluency of her language and the dazzling way she describes the curious events and characters in her story. I loved the idea of Esme, the girl trapped in the mirror. There were several scenes where the author's words seem to take wing. I feel she has packed so many different fascinating ideas into this one novel that she will have quite a challenge drawing them all out and developing them even further within the planned books for the rest of the series. In particular I wondered about Ryder and who and what he truly is. My one caveat in this book is that I didn't find the overall shape of the story structure satisfying. However the many exceptional scenes in the story will be more than enough to captivate young readers. MJ Mallon's varied interests and her creativity promise well for her future books.
Whimsical with Dark Elements I enjoyed this book for its whimsy and interesting characters. I'd assign it a 3.75 only for a few reasons, but the interesting characters definitely won me over. Amelina is a teenage girl whose world has been turned upside down by a curse within a world where magic is hidden and most don’t seem to know of its existence. In fact, it seems she’s a descendant of a line of magic-wielding enchanters who have a special relationship with crystals. But with this curse, her father is time-ravaged, a girl is trapped in her mirror, and her family is falling apart. There are a lot of unanswered questions come the end of the book, so be on the lookout for more in the series. There are mentions of delicate issues such as cutting an anorexia, both handled with care, and a séance, but I’d recommend this book for older teens and people who love magical stories that involve power within crystals, curses, and unexplainable happenings.
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC in exchange for a fair review and although I don't usually read YA fiction with the promise of crystals and a charismatic cat, how could I resist?
The author has a talent for description, which is always a big draw to me as I love to see the author's world being laid out for me to explore. There is a multi-layered mystery to be unravelled, spiced with supernatural hints and mixed with some very current issues such as family dysfunction and self-harming.
The main character, Amelina, must deal with all of these and her own feelings and impulses as she approaches her sixteenth birthday. The story is compelling, Amelina is engaging and this first book of the series promises to be a welcome addition to the YA genre with its charming blend of teenage angst, family, magic and crystal lore.
This is a totally different genre for me, but this year I have been reading books by so many exciting new authors that I wanted to give this book a try. This novel would be great for teenagers, or young adults and it follows the magical story of teenager Amelina as she steps into a world of crystals, magic and wonderment. There are some likeable and not so likeable characters and both are really well written. The book weaves a story of the main character learning new skills and you see her personal growth throughout the story. Nothing is what is seems and you want to find out how Amelia will use her enchanted gifts and learn who she can trust. A book packed full of intrigue, believable characters and poetic verse.
Welcome to the enchanted world of Amelina Scott a fairly normal fifteen year old and her normal friends with a band; who is not a stranger to the strange considering, her rather dysfunctional family seems under some sort of case, her father aging before his time, Esme, a sister who isnt a sister but might as well as be on account of being permanently imprisoned in their house's mirrors and Shadow the sleek black cat with disappearing tendencies...... If you like YA fantasy this should be fun magical read. For a more detailed review visit my blog wp.me/p3NqTj-2RO
Beautifully written and poetic fantasy novel that perfectly sustains mystery and drama throughout the pages. The characters are very vivid and the world is rich in detail and atmosphere. Marjorie is excellent at painting imaginative and believable scenes with words and magic. A fantastic debut! Looking forward to her next book.