Alora: The Wander Jewel

AloraI got rather behind on my reading for the Fellowship of Fantasy Book Club this summer. But I finally read and finished the book for June. This one was a fun, easy read. But while it did hold my attention, it didn’t quite make it up onto my list of favorites.

I liked this story. It just wasn’t quite my cup of tea. I’m not entirely certain why. The premise is unique and interesting, and the characters develop well. The world-development is very good and easy to follow. I probably would have enjoyed a bit more explanation of the world and a bit less time spent on the teenager worries/romance. The main character, Alora, has a “soulmate bond” with Kaevin, which means that they have to hold hands once a day or they will both become seriously ill and die. If they kiss, they “recharge” their magical abilities more quickly. While I appreciated the humor and the cleverness this brought to the story, I did get about as tired of the scenes where they kissed as Alora’s Uncle Charles, who raised her and has strict rules about dating. But that’s just my personal preference.

I also would have liked to see more development of the villain – who felt like he was evil solely for the sake of being evil, as opposed to having a solid motivation for his actions.

Because of the main character’s special ability, there is a lot of hopping all over the place. This is handled extremely well and I was never lost or confused about what was happening or where people were.

While I appreciated the characters reacting to weird and unfamiliar sights/experiences with acceptance rather than freaking out, I did feel at times that they accepted it too easily. It also felt like they weren’t taking the threats and the danger seriously, which made it hard for me to take it seriously as well.

The concept of the clans and the gifts was brilliant, and it was the best part of the story. I enjoyed discovering this magical realm with the main character. Unfortunately, since events transpired so quickly, I didn’t feel like I ever got to really bask in the wonder of this new realm.

Overall, I liked this story. I may even continue reading the series at some point. But like I said, it just seemed to be missing that intangible, undefinable quality that turns a “good read” into a “favorite read.” I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult stories, portal fantasy (fantasy that has people crossing from “our” world into a fantastical, magical realm… aka Narnia), and stories that have a healthy helping of clean teenage romance.

Three Dragon Eggs

dragonEgg3star

~ jenelle

4 Comments

DJ Edwardson

Well, that can’t all be Lord of the Rings, I guess, but at least you enjoyed it for the most part.

That part about “soul-mates” and recharging though…I think I’d have a hard time with that as well. Really diminishes the true meaning of affection, I would think.

Thanks for sharing this review, though!

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Abbey Stellingwerff

What an interesting premise. It doesn’t look like my cup of tea, either. While the cover catches my attention, I’m not a huge fan of stories that rely on romance to spur the plot forward. That’s one of my qualms with The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater… The premise of the book is that if Blue kisses her true love, he will die, and while the books are about far more than that, that is still the premise, and it cheapens the series just a tidgel because of it.

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jenelle

The cover is beautiful! It’s even prettier in person. I didn’t feel like the romance spurred the plot forward, actually. It kind of got in the way more than anything. Which added drama and conflict… but it just got a little old… for me.

I really enjoyed the premise. I will probably get around to reading the rest of the series at some point… compulsive series-finisher that I am… :) haha

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