Andrea Pearson, I am so sorry.
I was supposed to review this book like three weeks ago, and completely forgot about it until I got an e-mail from Tristi. So not only is this a) late and b) off-schedule, but also c) written-in-a-hurry and therefore d) not-very-good. But it's here. So...sorry. Again.
here). Here's the blurb:
Jacob Clark has just returned from the world of Eklaron, where he frustrated the
evil plans of the Lorkon and returned the magical Key of Kilenya to its rightful
owners. His quest is far from over, though—Aloren is trapped in Maivoryl City by
the Ember Gods, and Jacob can't return to save her until he receives the potion
that will protect his team from the corrosive influence of the
Balancing between this new world and his own proves tricky. Not
only has he started his first year of high school, but his magical abilities are
bringing him too much attention. He feels pulled by both sides, hoping he'll
figure out his special powers to save Aloren in time.
Once again, I felt that Andrea Pearson's Middle Grade novel is just that much above and beyond the norm. The characters feel more real, the plot seems more substantial, and the dialogue has more flavor. Overall, The Ember Gods is a good read, well worth your time.
First, the characters. The arcs that started in The Key of Kilenya continue to develop throughout the second book in the series, including some revelations (don't worry--no spoilers) about Jacob's past that I found creative and exciting. My one sort-of complaint in this category--one that isn't really Andrea's fault, just a plot thing--is that I didn't get to hear enough of Aloren. I really liked her character and her voice in the first book, but with the kind of huge plot problem of her being locked away for the majority of the second, I as the reader didn't get to hear much from her. Overall though, great job.
Second, the plot. Again, Andrea strikes a clever balance between the magical and the mediocre, with Jacob forced to divide his time between his world and Eklaron. At times the plot leaps boggled my brain (for no more than a few paragraphs), but when looking at the book from a Middle Grade perspective (something I think we reviewers do far too little), the plot is absolutely perfect. Andrea is golden in the area of appealing to her audience and giving those little tykes something with which to keep themselves occupied.
Finally, the dialogue. In Kilenya, I was relatively impressed with the dialogue, mostly with how it progressed the plot and the character arcs. This time, I knew enough about the story to focus on the dialogue for the sake of dialogue, and again Andrea succeeded. The dialogue is real, exactly tuned to the language of Middle Grade, and overall impressive. Again, I wish I could have heard more from Aloren, but that's the fault of the Lorkon, not Andrea. Kudos.
So overall, I definitely reccommend The Ember Gods for any adventerous Middle Grade-rs, as well as for some slightly more (or less, depending on your point of view) adventerous adults. And I'm sorry for being late.
Rating: 4 out of 5