Great Reads brings you book reviews on teen books that parents will love from such great young adult authors as Garth Nix, Clare Dunkle, DJ Machale, Stephanie Meyer and many more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Quest of the Seal Bearers: The Five Jewels

*New Author Spotlight*

"Quest of the Seal Bearers: The Five Jewels" is the second in the series from author A.W.G. Coleman, which centers around a group of 20 teens brought from Earth to the world of Mendala, where together they must learn magic and join forces to defeat the evil Davron, who seeks dominance and destruction.

"Quest" has its good and bad points. The bad is that it doesn't exactly follow the rules of tradition magical stories- for instance, magic is invoked by repeating a certain phrase with then the effect said after. But the invocation is in an ancient language, while the effect is in English. I found this confusing at first, so I was glad for the explanation as to what the ancient language meant. Also strange is the inclusion of the land of Acme- whose inhabitants are cartoons. This seemed very out place with the rest of Mendala, but it did make for some interesting characters. Another bad is that there are so many characters, though the book did focus on a few rather than all as they tend to travel in groups. I found it hard to remember who was who except for a couple of characters, but I also didn't read the first novel- something I think would've been helpful, so I'll be picking this up. But, I did find the author's site a useful resource, and a great place to read the first chapters of the two books.

Now the good: The story is interesting and you don't ever see books where so many teens are taken to save a world (from a writer's perspective, I don't think I could keep them all straight, so I give him props here, for they never seem to act out of character). The characters that are focused on are really interesting, perhaps the most interesting being Ace, who, when brought from Earth, was sent 11,000 years into the past and lived on Mendala as a teen until he was able to catch up in time with his friends. It was interesting to see their reactions to someone who'd only been missing for 5 days their time, but to him it was 11,000 years. He's a character I'd love to see more of in the next book- I think Coleman has got a ton of story to tell there.

So, while "Quest" is not a great read- yet- I'd definitely like to voice my support for the novice author. It's a good book with a good story, and I think over time the writing will get tighter. I look forward to the next book in the series.

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