Review: Sheila O’Flanagan – The Crystal Run

The Crystal Run
Sheila O’Flanagan

While running from bullies, Joe finds himself thrown into a new world where he is likely to actually be killed. Joe’s hearing isn’t so good normally, and his ability to understand the new language is even worse. What he does work out is that the Carcassians are mislead from top to toe, but there isn’t much he can do about it.

29078428I’m not sure what I was expecting from this novel. I wanted something fantasy because I was sick of teenage drama. No fear here – a scrap of ‘isn’t she pretty’, but otherwise fantasy running wild. Very satisfying and light to read.

What I liked about this novel was that the main character was flawed in a way that younger readers are going to be able empathise with. There is nothing like a protagonist that could be a regular person, and really isn’t anything special. It makes people feel like they will be travelling with them.

It has been a while since I read a true teenage or early tween novel and I had forgotten that they are usually plot driven. That being said, I didn’t put this novel down. I was intrigued by the things that were going wrong, and honestly, pretty mad at the Carcassians. Sticking your head in the sand isn’t going to solve anything!

I’m going to compare this to The Dragon of the Month Club, and suggest that the latter has more to offer in terms of character development. However, it no doubt could be difficult to source in Australia.

I’m going to err on the side of niceness here and give it 4 stars, even though I tossed up giving it 3. I don’t want to short change a nice new offering that thinks about power solutions in a way that tweens are going to understand. The environment matters!

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