by Constance Burris
Chalcedony is the follow-up to Coal, which I read quite some time ago. I enjoyed the first book, but I thought this one was better for several reasons. I thought the writing was much better in this book all around, with few typos, a smooth style, and an engaging story.
In this book we spend a lot of time in the 'real' world, are introduce to new villains, and make some new friends. I enjoyed Coal's character much more this time, as he has matured somewhat, and I enjoyed the twists his story took.
Although this book is titled after Chalcedony, I didn't find her character especially compelling. She's not very likable to me, which I believe is intentional, but I don't really even like her as a villain. She's not really a villain, but neither is she a hero… but that's kind of a good thing, isn't it? She's caught up in everything around her and she's immature and selfish and too powerful for her own good and not as smart as she thinks she is. So, she's kind of like a real person, lol, albeit a real person with magic powers, red eyes, and pointy ears.
There's another character, Haline, who I enjoyed very much. I think I could read a book just about her and her adventures and be happy. She's a dwarf, but not a typical one, and her spunkiness appealed to me. Yeah, she might have been my favorite character. One problem with reading stories about teenagers is that sometimes they act too much like teenagers and they irritate me, but Haline was a nice relief from the drama. And again, Coal had grown up a bit, too.
Language: Infrequent minor swearing.
Sexual Content: None.
Violence: A bit of weirdness with a creepy villain, but nothing I would consider ridiculous or gratuitous.
Overall Message/Plot: The truth is, I didn't spend a lot of time analyzing the story. I read it for fun. In fact, I should admit that when I read this I wasn't looking for minor issues, so don't come after me if you find things I didn't notice. A few little things did jump out at me, but nothing that kept me from enjoying the story. There are some fun developments, some people learn to be less stupid… It's not one of those freakish stories where it all comes together and you wake your husband up because your mind is so blown that you can't shut up, but as far as I remember it all fit together and there were some cool twists that I didn't see coming. As in the first book, I didn't find the ending satisfying, but the truth is that it's part of a series and the next book will pick up where this one dropped off. At least it's not one of those annoying cliff hangers. I look forward to reading the next in the series, Jade: Book Three of the Everleaf Series.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Find the book here.