Lilibit can hear what the stones are whispering. She is meant to be the earth’s new Stone Voice who will ultimately connect the planet with the universe. Her protector, a stone warrior, attempts to take her to the place called Kiva to fulfill her destiny--but they are intercepted by Syxx, an evil entity devoted to finding the source of Lilibit’s power. Lilibit ends up at a group home for unwanted children, damaged and near death. But she recovers and journeys to Kiva with the other children, bestowing upon them the stones that allow them to embrace their own powers, fight Syxx's minions, and save the earth.
I have mixed feelings about this book–on one hand, it was really good, these kids each have these stones that enhance/give them certain abilities. On the other hand…there are disturbing things. One of the characters seems to be mentally challenged and I don't know how I feel about that. The book is set in another world just like this one, with cars, computers and cellphones, but at the same times, nothing is the same–the cities, the names are all exotic and magical. I wish I could put two reviews, one with five stars and one with two, because I just can't make up my mind!
A strong novel. Although the writing is basic, the plot is very original and intertwined. Definitely recommended.
It starts with one character, Lilibit, who you think will be the central focus of the rest of the book. She is going to be the hero to save everyone, but no. An accident occurs and she arrives at a foster home. Alright, they're all orphans; no surprise there. However, her role is now very minor while the other children take the stage. Almost every kid gets equal screen time, but some, like Nita, do get very little. There's also a range of ages, however, all are younger than 12 or 14. Makes it seem like "kids take charge" book #1,000. Luckily, that is not totally true for those of you how like a book with a few more responsible or mature adults. The kids are on their own for most of the book, though.
The adults play an interesting part in this book. They are the main 'leaders' of both the good and bad sides. Rather than a kid being the head of the good guys, we have the elder in Kiva in charge. However, they don't get seen much. The villains have that typical desire to kill or capture all the children, but the bad guys have an interesting hierarchy. Some of the villains are actually the most believable characters in the book. At least their human interactions are.
The setting is mostly straightforward. It has modern technology tied with shapeshifting, demons, and talking stones. Yeah, as the title implies, the stones can "talk" to Lilibit. Try to keep track of whose stone does what, and you're much better off. There are mountains, towns, a small city, a desert, and underground caverns. Not too complex. This takes place in a fictional world other than Earth, but the geography and people are familiar. (Not a freezing-cold-snow-swept planet) It seems that it could be Earth if the cities were recognizable.
The writing is basic. Not bad, just ... lacking uniqueness, spark, wit, you get what I mean. Since this meant for someone about 9-13 years old the writing makes sense. There are a few problems where I do get confused by the mediocre wording, but it generally flows well.
The plot is very good. Not really original in its making, but the way it is laid out is clever. As I said earlier, there is no true main character. That is very rare because it usually backfires but cleverly works here. The conclusion is set up well to incorporate the next book (also great) with a return to society and some continuing questions. A bit mild considering what happened a few chapters ago. The violence is mild, and the cast of characters is a good fit for that.
What I wish happened/was answered: 1. What happened to Korap? (Old Stone Voice) 2. One of the doctors (antagonists) fired the other 3. Explain where Lilibit's first stones went
I borrowed this book from a friend. It sounded like an interesting fantasy story and I thought I would give it a read. Overall it was an okay story. Parts of it are very flawed, yet it is an intriguing idea. This book is definitely not a stand alone and seems to be mostly setting things up for the next book.
The book starts by going back and forth between the viewpoints of 6 year old Lilibit and 8 year old Todd. Lilibit can talk to stones and use them for magic. Todd can talk to birds and is very different from all children his age. After a short part of the story at these ages, 5 years pass. Now the story is mostly from Todd's viewpoint and, when Lilibit enters the story she is a tortured/diminished soul. Things are not all well in the world and it will be up to Lilibit, Todd and their friends to save things.
As I mentioned the initial part of the story takes place 5 years before the rest of it. After the 5 years pass, the story starts out mainly being told from Todd's point of view. Then the point of view switches willy-nilly as we hear from all of the different characters. This can get a bit confusing because it isn't always immediately apparant whose viewpoint we are hearing from.
The characters are okay, not all that engaging but they all have interesting backgrounds. The characters become more interesting as different stones claim them and lend them power. This book is mostly an adventure/fantasy type of story as the kids leave on a quest to find Lilibit's Kiva. But, it takes a while to get to the journey point. The setting itself is awkward because it takes place in the modern day world; yet there is this sub culture of stone speakers and Stone warriors. You are not ever really sure how this sub-culture interacts with the rest of the world.
I question this story as a children's book because of the violence that happens to Lilibit. They basically explain that she has been operated on without anesthesia and tortured everyday for 5 years, she has also been killed and rehabilitated and number of times. To be honest the whole concept was uncomfortable to me as an adult and definitely not something I would read to a child. It was weird because outside of this part the book would have been great to read to children, but since this background is so central to the story I would have to recommend this to older young adults.
The high point of this novel is the interesting way Tocci deals with magic. The stones are magical and have personalities all of their own. This is a very creative and interesting premise. Unfortunately Tocci never really explains how any of it works. Tocci also kind of throws in new humanoid races whenever it is convenient; they are never explained or seem all that well planned. Further books in the series might make the whole story seemed a bit more put together.
The writing style is okay. For the most part it is very readable, but occasionally it is a bit halting and is a struggle to get through. This whole book is about setting up the story, so the pacing is a bit slow at times and the story a bit boring. I wouldn't recommend this book to reluctant readers, but it could be a good read for young adult fantasy fans out there. The book doesn't resolve much and ends at kind of a cliffhanger. This is a bummer considering I haven't been able to find any information on the sequel to this book.
Overall it is an okay read. The creative magic system and perkiness of Lilibit as a character make it interesting. It also seems like this could be a really interesting world if we could just learn more about it. The rest of the book is somewhat flawed. The torture and violence are a bit much for it to be a children's book, but it is appropriate for young adults. After reading this book I don't feel a huge urge to check out anything else by this author.
Lilibit has always heard the stones talking. But an act of childish stubbornness plays right into her enemy's hands, and those who see her power as a future threat capture her. Now, five years later, she's a shadow of the girl she used to be, washed out to a last-chance foster home. The enemy did not intend to lose her. He wants her back. Can she reach the legendary Kiva before he finds her again?
Much of this book borrows from the strength of thrillers: fast, high-stakes action, being pursued by a powerful and ruthless enemy, the sense that the world is more or less against you. But where thrillers generally fall into the trap of style over substance, this book pushes out beyond and includes some nice elements of fantasy, myth, and coming-of-age.
The beginning is a little off-putting because it starts with a six-year-old Lilibit, which gives some great background on her character but did leave me wondering if the entire book would be following such a young (and rather obnoxious) character. Thankfully, the time skip happens pretty fast, and once we hit the future most of the story shifts to Todd, the oldest boy at the foster home and the one who stands to lose his place there thanks to Lilibit showing up.
I liked Todd a lot. He's not really cut out to be a leader in his own mind, but as the oldest he does feel responsible for the others, even the anti-authority Jeff. I liked how his character arc increasingly trends towards the mythic, as though he's taking up the mantle of a prophet-warrior and moving back to an ancient time of vast powers and supernatural evils. His ability to talk to ravens and crows gets a lot of attention early on, but later, although he follows them, he doesn't hear them speak any more. That was one thing I wish he had regained. He's also the only one of the kids smart enough to figure out what Lilibit's gifts of stones really means, and hesitant about taking his own stone as a consequence.
Keotak-se, the ten-centuries-old Stone Warrior, is another interesting character. Lilibit's stubbornness and unpredictability foil his greater strength and wisdom in his attempts to protect her, and later, find her. It's most interesting to compare him to Todd, though, as Kotek-se appears to be the kind of person Todd is becoming. Even though Lilibit gifts stones to more than just Todd, they all seem more enamored with the powers than the bigger-picture stuff Todd is wondering about.
The biggest flaw feels like the abundance of major characters. Todd, Jeff, Keotak-se, and Lilibit get a lot of development, but many of the younger kids blurred together for me. Which is a shame, because I really liked Devon but kept getting him mixed up with the kid who got the Horse stone. And on a more minor note, although the articles at the end were a nice touch to provide some closure, I find it extremely unbelievable "He was just following orders" got accepted as an excuse. It doesn't usually work that way, although since the point was that Syxx can sway people to unreasonable actions, it's more of a minor thing.
This wraps up fairly well, but several things do point towards wanting a sequel (Molly, Chief, the whole bit with the neophytes gathering). Given how long ago this book came out I'm not too hopeful, although the author page does indicate she's working on it. But if this is all we get, it's still a very good read, so I rate this book Recommended.
Reviewed by Christina Tsichlis for TeensReadToo.com
STONE VOICE RISING by C. Lee Tocci is the story of Lilibit, a young girl who has lived with her aunts and listened to stones whisper for as long as she can remember. She has no idea that she is a major piece in a larger plan - until a stranger shows up one day to introduce her to a new and magical world she did not know that she was a part of. This stranger, Keotak-se, is a stone warrior who has come to take her from her home to a place called Kiva so that she can fulfill her destiny.
Her journey to Kiva, as one may expect, does not go smoothly. The trip is interrupted by Syxx, an evil being who masquerades as the head of a medical research team secretly devoted to discovering why Lilibit can talk to the stones. Held prisoner for years and experimented on, Lilibit eventually escapes, though she is only the empty shell of the girl she once was.
She is injured, scarred, and does not speak when she first escapes. Initially, one is left wondering if this is the same girl from the earlier chapters, something that is increased by the fact that they call Lilibit "Sarah" since she cannot speak. Lilibit finds companions and friends when she is placed in a group home with six children, who are unwanted by others and have created a family of their own.
With Todd, a thirteen-year-old boy who speaks to ravens, as their leader, the seven children set off to find Kiva, unaware of what this really means or where Lilibit's strength comes from. They meet fantastic people and learn to rely on and trust each other in the process. The question is: Will the people they meet, their growing strength as a group, and their bonds allow them to reach Kiva alive, despite Syxx and his team, and what will happen once they make it there?
This book surprised me with how young the main character is as the story starts out, and it may be a little hard for some teens to get into; at the start of the book Lilibit's thoughts and actions are decidedly those of a child. However, if they stick through the first couple of chapters to get the background that they really need and get to know Lilibit before the experiments, they will find the experience rewarding. Lilibit and her companions turn out to be very interesting people set in a unique world full of magic and intrigue.
I'm a little torn about what I think of C. Lee Tocci's Stone Voice Rising. I thought overall the story was engaging even if it did drag on a bit in places. The best part of the story was the main character of Todd and the relationships between the children in the group. I felt Todd was a relate-able protagonist and one that was written as basically a good guy but with a lot of dimension and fallibility to make him interesting. The rest of the characters were kind of flat and one sided. Lilibit was a little annoying, but I suppose that was to make her very young and helpless in the face of great power and in need of Todd's help so I can overlook that. The characters seem to be assigned stones by Lilibit mostly to help them get out of predicaments in the story--need some horses to ride? She has a stone for that. Need to access the internet and infiltrate the bad guy's computer network? What do you know--there is a stone for that too. Todd is the only one who gets a magic stone without an agenda. The villain, Syxx, is a demon/Voldemort-type character bent on world destruction for it's own sake. He casually kills minions and people which is the only reason why I'd give the book more of a middle school rating over upper elementary. Also, there is an exchange between the boys when they call each other gay and faggot that I was not impressed with at all. Other than those two issues, the book is completely PG as there is no sex or violence. The story itself, as others have pointed out in their reviews, is a weird mishmash between Native American and Christian mythology which doesn't always seems to flow together well. I generally liked the book, but I don't know if I'll read the second book in the series. Its worth checking out at the library or buying for $3.00 at a Hastings clearance rack, but I wouldn't pay more than that.
Excellent, quick read -- one of the best new kids' fantasies I've read in a long time. Will appeal to both boys and girls. I'm a bit surprised at how negative the Booklist and School Library Journal reviews were, but I also think all the complaints were very adult in nature. My suspicion is that kids will get completely wrapped up in the plot, and not be too concerned that there are "too many belief systems cobbled together (Native American, Christian, and the Stone Voice mythology)," or "the story is crowded with distracting side plots and too many viewpoints"
I was really excited about 3/4 of the way through because I thought it was going to be a stand-alone -- however, it looks like this is going to be the first book in yet another series. sigh.
A small girl named Lilibit has a special talent that she finds useful. She can hear stones, rocks, and pebbles of the Earth whisper to her. She has a destiny of becoming the next Stone Voice for the earth so it can finally can rekindle with the rest of the universe. When a stone warrior comes to take Lilibit to Kiva in order to fulfil her upcoming responsiblity a threat is appeared. Syxx the demon is been know as many things, but the one thing that has not change was his job. He's only purpose is to find the center from which Lilibit's powers derive from even if it means to kill all that is standing in his way. Lilibit is only goal is to get to Kiva she and her new adoptive friends with each a stone giving them hope with powers of their ones this is a fight. Which side will make it on top.
Although written for younger readers, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It had much of what I want in a book, developed storyline, fast action, interesting ideas, likeable characters, obstacles, sorting out who to trust vs who not to, and adults interacting with young people in a healthy way (except for the bad characters who definitely acted bad).
The ending left room for more books and I"m looking forward to others by this author.
I truly enjoyed this book. It's a classic tale of good vs. evil, with the fate of the world in the hands of children. It was hard to put down. Stone Voice Rising is the kind of book that can translate into film very easily, as C. Lee Tocci has done a good job of keeping the tale flowing smoothly while throwing in bits of humor. I look forward to the sequel.
Found in my secret second hand bookshop. This has an interesting concept and a few different story lines for some characters. This book was interesting enough so that I check for the second one every now and again. And I will until I find out what happens even if it continues to be further down my reading level. I'd recommend it to perhaps a 12-14 year old.
At first, I assumed this book would be set in something like medieval times. I was surprised when they introduced cars and computers and the internet, but obviously it works in modern times. There were times that I wished the book would just move on, but mostly it's a very good read, and I especially enjoyed the Keepers of the Trees; their rhymes were just too cute and clever!