2020 · books · children books · fantasy

Book Review: Crystal Shadows, Gripping New Blood by R.J. Parker

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Crystal Shadows, Gripping New Blood

Author: R.J. Parker

Purchase: Amazon


Sarah Field lives alone with her dad, a teacher at her school. The two of them share a close bond and, unusually, both have the same birthday, which they also share with Sarah’s grandfather, who died when Sarah was small. Sarah knows very little about her grandfather, and her dad insists on keeping it that way.

However, one night, Sarah finds her dad acting in a mysterious way and also hears strange noises after her dad has gone out. Sarah’s friends come to the rescue to help her investigate, and they make a shocking discovery. Someone is living in the attic! And that someone is none other than Sarah’s grandfather! But, this is no ordinary grandfather…

With the discovery of her grandfather comes the question as to whether Sarah has the power to give life to the amulet – the Telum Deos – that will help to fight the forces of darkness.

Rating: 2.75 / 5

When the author contacted me about reviewing this book I was quite excited. I don’t know why but the concept of this reminded me a bit of the Goonies. This is a middle grade fantasy/adventure and although it was pretty interesting, unfortunately I did have some problems with it. Sarah is a young girl who lives with her father and when she has to do a project for school about her family roots, she realizes she doesn’t know anything about her grandfather. And her dad doesn’t help at all because he doesn’t want to tell her a thing about him.

But when her dad starts acting weird and mysterious she finds out about a peculiar and quite dark family secret – her grandpa is actually living in the attic! And oh, her grandpa hunted vampires (and their lord Dracula), and now the dark forces are after them.

Sarah has a large group of friends and all of them are willing to help her save the world.

The thing I liked about this is family relationships. I loved Sarah’s grandpa and I though he was very funny and quirky. Also, I approve of Sarah’s father keeping the family secret from his daughter because (like most parents), all he wants to do is protect his child.

The friend group is… interesting to say the least. It’s very chaotic and there are many characters which swirl up together and I couldn’t really separate one from another. They are like most teens only that these ones fight evil. What I didn’t like was that the conversations were all over the place and there were more of ones that I din’t care about (about trivial stuff and weird unfunny jokes) than the ones that have to deal with the plot.

Towards the end many things happened but I couldn’t really keep track of everything. I had to re-read the last few chapters because I was very confused.

The thing is, I wish this book was a bit more adventure and a bit less fantasy. And, if there were a bit less characters introduced, I would’ve had an easier time following the plot. Also, the humor should’ve been less cringy (maybe with a bit less awkward teenage jokes). Maybe I didn’t find it that well made because it is intended for teens and children and maybe they would enjoy it a bit more. I might just be too old for this.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Crystal Shadows, Gripping New Blood by R.J. Parker

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