Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review: The Secret of Spruce Knoll

I like trying new things, especially when it comes to books. Lately I've been delving more into YA indie fiction, and I feel like I've been rewarded for doing so. I read more now, because indie digital books are cheaper. I'm changing it up a little, and this week's book review is on a good old paperback.

The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle was reviewed on, and since the reviews on Amazon were pretty favorable, I decided to check it out for myself. I ordered both it and The Toadstone Trilogy Book One and got them right before Christmas.

The story follows newly orphaned Eren Donovan as she moves halfway across the country to live with her aunt in the tiny town of Spruce Knoll, Colorado. Her ancestry is half-Irish and half-Maya, something the townspeople seem to automatically hate her for. She makes a fast friend in Aiden, a fellow orphan who lives with his adopted parents and adopted siblings. The secret in question is that the entire town is made up of channelers, or people who manipulate energy from the earth to fight or heal. Almost from the very beginning, Eren gains her powers. What follows are mysteries, sinister townsfolk, a lot of commentary about racism, and an epic-ish battle as she discovers what really happened to her parents.

I finished this book with a meh feeling. It felt like a cross between Harry Potter and Twilight, only harder to get into. The structure of a good story was definitely there, and the characters were okay, but I felt like it could have used a little more work to open things up a little. Some characters changed very quickly, or were never surprising, and the book when on a lot about how much everyone hated mixed-blood kids, only to drop it later. I don't like the feeling of floating outside the story, and I truly wish it had been more captivating.

Overall, I thought The Secret of Spruce Knoll was okay, but not a series I could really get behind and become a huge fan of. I don't think I'll be getting the sequels.

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