Today’s team review is from Robbie. She blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/
Robbie has been reading Bloodstone by MJ Mallon
Bloodstone is a fascinating book, beautifully written and full of mystery and imagination.
Amelina is a sixteen year old girl who is caught in a cycle of unhappiness. Her happy family life changed on her thirteen birthday. She can’t remember the details but “[her] mind, resurrecting buried memories from [her] thirteenth birthday: an imprint on glass, a charades card, and a young man’s beguiling voice bewitching [her].” Since that dreadful night when her father disappeared and returned months later an altered man, whose youth had been stolen, Amelina has been sad. Her mother changed on that day and became a harridan who works all the time and who cannot ever be pleased.
Amelina’s only ‘friends’ in her own home are self-harming Esme, an ex-school colleague who seemed to have the perfect life but is now trapped behind the mirrors in Amalina’s family home, and Shadow, her creepy black cat. Amelina does have some strong friendships outside of her home which are her saving grace.
The story starts with Amelina receiving a strange invitation to visit the mythical Crystal Cottage. On the same day, while out for a walk to think about this unusual invitation, she meets the mysterious and handsome Ryder to whom she is instantly attracted.
These two events trigger an unusual adventure where Amelina must take certain actions in order to save her father and restore the happiness of her family.
I enjoyed the character of Amelina. She had a troubled and difficult life with her disapproving mother and elderly and convalescent father. She just want’s her life to return to how it was before and she knows that her lot in life is poor compared to her best friends. I admired Amelina for being sensible and seeing the reality of her relationship with Ryder, despite her anguished state of mind and intense attraction to the man. I think this shows great strength of character and sends an excellent message to YA female readers of this book. I also liked the fact that Amelina looked for solutions to her problems and actively sought happiness. These are all positive characteristics.
Amelina has a gift for art and is given a magic art set by her aunt. The scenes involving Amelina painting with this gift are among my favorite in the book.
The following extract demonstrates the energy and mystery of the painting:
“As I dipped the brush into the paint, a gripping sensation overcame me. I painted in haste with a multitude of dissolving crystal paint flecks staring back at me from the canvas. A dark grey, bluish black, sinister tinge blemished the artwork. Shares of varying hues moved across the painting, competing for supremacy in a powerful duality of light and darkness.”
Ryder was a dark character and that was evident form his first encounter with Amelina. It was satisfyingly for me that Amelina did not succumb to his charms in a completely thoughtless and silly way. She kept her head and assessed Ryder’s behaviour even though it hurt her to do so.
The self harm references could be a trigger for some young readers, but they are skillfully and carefully handled so I think it is unlikely to cause distress. They are more likely to provide comfort, but that is just my opinion and I haven’t had any dealings with the victims of self harming.
An excellent and engrossing read and one I recommend to young adult and adult readers alike.
I didn’t think my life could get weirder, but I was wrong…
Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.
When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.
With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?
A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.