Salina has a tiny problem with her ego. She does whatever she wants, whenever she feels like it. As long as everything works out for her, there’s no harm done. That’s at least what she thinks until she starts messing up real people.
It was just supposed to be for fun. Everyone would go back to normal. Little does she know, breaking the law has some serious consequences.
Arguing 6th graders Kenny and Trish set Salina off. She’s had it with their attitudes, and believes she should get involved. After all, they need to change. The spoiled brats will get a reality check. Salina always gets what she demands.
Why should this time be any different?
About the Author:
Christopher Michael Reardon is a young author who came to my attention via “The Bee Writes…” where he approached me for an interview and book review of “Obstacles” one of his other fantasy novels.
He was working as a writing tutor in school and has always been interested in fantasy novels that gave him the motivation to write one himself. Besides writing he is interested in music (he played in a marching band) and tennis.
His work is certainly different to usual fantasy novels as he combines contrasting realities with paranormal elements from various cultures. I decided to review his second book too as I couldn’t quite make my mind up about “Obstacles”.
That’s Sweet: I like the paranormal main character, Salina. She is a teenage girl in another magical dimension who has decided she needs to meddle with the life of her human peers. Of course, her intentions are good. She just doesn’t quite get what huge implications her actions might have on the unexpecting humans.
What I love about her is that she just gets on breaking rules no matter what. As you know, I love headstrong female characters, and she certainly is one.
Kenny and Trish, Salina’s human peers, are just normal teenagers. Kenny is maybe a little spoilt, but I didn’t really get why Salina thought he needed some serious challenge to appreciate Trish and the place her lives in. Well, I might just be a little too old for this sort of story.
He ends up in a Pirate Universe where he is send out to find a Crystal, which allows to speak to passed on relatives. This part is exotic and exciting. It is also supposed to be something called a “Life Trial” and the “price” is to get Trish back who was kidnapped by Salina into the magical universe she lives in.
But of course, this time everything goes wrong.
That Stings: Even though I liked Salina as she is a courageous girl trying out limits I couldn’t fully connect with her. She seemed to have rather an obsession with breaking rules that for me needed a reason to be there. It didn’t seem to me like a normal teenage trying out of limits. I would have expected some sort of trauma the girl needed to compensate, but there was nothing of the sort. Maybe plain boredom can create a reaction like that but it just doesn’t feel quite real to me.
I mentioned already that I couldn’t quite get why Kenny’s behaviour was so bad. He was just moaning about not being able to go away on his holidays, but he did not mistreat Trish in any way or was really nasty towards her. And I wished that Trish would have been just a little more courageous. Yes, she leads Kenny into the wood where they encountered Salina but from then onwards she was plagued with feeling guilty and later on of course terrified by being in another dimension.
And the Honey of it All? Again like “Obstacles” I couldn’t make up my mind fully about this story. The characters didn’t seem to me deep and real enough and the reason Kenny should be “punished” or “tried” didn’t ring quite true for me.
On the other hand though there was a headstrong female character and for that I often forgive other blemishes of a story.
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