For 15 years, Tristan has tried to cope with hearing the thoughts of others. But that was child’s play compared to what he must do now. When an old woman appears with a murderer hot on her trail, Tristan is thrust into a world of trickery and manipulation. With secret societies tracking his every move, Tristan must find the possessed emerald he was destined to protect and learn to control powers he never knew he had. Only, Tristan never was any good at doing what he was supposed to and the consequences for screwing up now could cost him everything he’s grown to love.
Tristan is not your typical fifteen year old boy, his reality is that of living with a trailer trash drugged up single mum, and if dealing with trying to fit in at school isn’t hard enough, he has to work as well, while trying to work out what people are actually saying amongst the constant chatter of everyone’s thoughts and it’s driving him crazy. In the end he decides to put an end to it… But fate intervenes and suddenly Tristan is responsible for a magical gemstone and secret map.
This is where it gets a bit confusing for Tristan and the reader, he and the situation he ends up in is suddenly being managed and he ends up seemingly off the hook but stuck back in the beat up trailer park with days if not weeks unaccounted for….
And then his mum and deadbeat boyfriend turn up! And boy does she show her true colours.
From this point the plot just kept getting more and more complicated, Tristan is on his way to who knows where, he ends up penniless but neither he nor the reader know how, so even though he is given alternative paths he chooses to become a stowaway on a ship.
Where he ends up, begins a journey for him to finally get some answers, but even that is complicated by wariness and jealousy.
Tristan is a great main character, he takes everything dished out but still gets back up and tries again. Plus, he is still willing to trust, to see the good in a person.
Then there is the mythology, which seemed fairly original. However you don’t get enough information to fully decide this and it was frustrating that the supporting characters showed a lack of compassion towards Tristan’s ignorance to what he was and in helping him to see what he was capable of, deciding that he was too much a liability to be helped… Thank god for Gram!
The island and the different types of mythical beings was a nice touch, Dorian, a young girl who is able to speak to plants, and there is a blossoming (if one sided) attraction going on with Tristan to her. Throw in mysterious guardians and magical groups who are supposedly watching from afar but refusing to help Tristan and you get a bit frustrated in what is happening within the plot.
The author has tried to pack a lot into this book, and that may be the problem to why it gets a bit confusing, if it had either contained less but with more detail it may have made it easier for me to keep track of what was going on. I felt that with all what was going on and with characters that seemed flat, or I may have just got swamped with everything going on but it was frustrating to say the least. It was like I had partial amnesia, as if I should have a piece of information that would help me understand what the heck was going on… And maybe this is the authors intention?? After all that’s exactly how Tristan has felt his whole life, out of place, confused and bombarded with information?
I struggled with Dorian. She at first seemed a nice character, her compassion with the plants and her gram had me warming up to her and thinking she will be a good guide for Tristan to learn about who and what he is, but she turned into a jealous shrew, with constant temper tantrums, or her jealously over how the plants react to Tristan. The few times she starts to treat Tristan with a bit of kindness end as quickly as they had begun.
In one way I wondered what he saw in her and why he kept going back to Dorian for more of her abuse. But then I thought about the treatment he had from his mum… I guess some readers will think Tristan weak for taking it, but being constantly abused by his sole carer for his whole life would possibly account for him ignoring her attitude to him, striving to make her see him in a different light?
Don’t get me wrong, this book was an entertaining read, but just as I thought things would start falling into place the plot then jumps and you are left once again confused and left a little in the dark, it felt a bit rushed, particularly at the end. I feel as if the end should have been a few chapters ahead, in the end you are left with a load more questions and needing book 2 to find out if they will be answered.
If you are willing to be immersed into a world where the plot and pace can be erratic, but where the mystery and potential keep you intrigued then this book is for you.
It’s a fantasy that is suitable for 15 and above, as there is a few violent scenes, Hopefully the next installment will resolve some of the issues mentioned above, making for a very exciting and entertaining read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Toni Kerr lives with her husband, two dangerously creative children, and a fabulous Australian Shepherd in the Pacific Northwest. She loves the outdoors, horses, the high desert, Photoshop, music, salty things, and writing in the wee hours of morning when all is silent. and Book 2 should be released in about a month follow her on Twitter or Facebook