Stone Bearers (1)
Summary from goodreads: There’s a war going on and humanity is the prize.
Caught in a battle between two supernatural forces, five junior high students are killed. But Constance, Jonathan Avery, Maria, and Danielle return from the dead — and they’ve changed.
They each carry a piece of a soul stone and with it they have extraordinary powers. Now they can summon weapons from thin air and even start fires with their minds. With these powers comes a connection they never wanted, and coming back from the dead hasn’t wiped away the grudges between them. When one of them loses themselves to the power, they are soon caught in a battle against themselves and an enemy that wants to make sure that this time they stay dead.
I found this book much easier to get into than Burnt Children, which surprised me as I had expected it to be the other way around when I first received this book – once again, this proves first impressions can be wrong. It was an engaging MG-YA read with interesting characters and a flowing narrative style. I love that Washington starts off with the universal and realistic topic of being bullied and then goes into the more fantastical world. It was a really nice way of setting up the premise and made the book extremely easy to get into from the outset.
The characters were realistic and I liked that they didn’t start out friends from the outset but were pulled together and didn’t always get on. I am definitely interested to find out where the next book takes us. There were a couple of confusing aspects that have already been picked up by other reviewers, however these flaws do not outweigh the novel overall.
I think that this novel shows a lot of promise and while it could be tightened in places, is a decent read.
Summary from goodreads: In Meli, if you’re born with the wrong magic the Purifiers rip it out. They’ll etch a black flame into your skin, labeling you a Burnt Child. Elaria is one of those Burnt Children.
She’s not allowed to handle magical items and the only thing she can do is work with dangerous rokas stones that are likely to explode at any moment. But Elaria has a secret. She can see magic.
This rare ability draws Elaria to a strange locket that holds a dangerous mystery surrounding the leader of the Purifiers and a conspiracy that could change all of Meli. Soon, Elaria is hunted by Purifiers, befriended by a murderer, and haunted by the ghost of the very woman who doomed the Burnt Children fifty years ago.
All Elaria wants is to find a place to belong. But with a strange power growing inside of her, she realizes she must choose between saving herself or saving the world.
I would like to start by saying that I absolutely loved the concept of this novel so I was so excited to receive it for review. I think because I had such high expectations, I found it harder to get into than I perhaps had anticipated. In the first few chapters, we are introduced to a plethora of names, concepts and a whole new world which I struggled to get my head around. On one hand, this was refreshing as in dystopian fiction I recently have become quite tired of tedious world building for the first hundred pages, that said I would liked a little smoother introduction to the world as I found it really hard to get into and at several points I abandoned the book.
The book improves if you do persevere with the novel, however I must admit that I personally felt distant from the book. This may not be the author’s fault but my own due to my own preconceptions of what sort of book this would be. Certainly, I would say this is more fantasy than dystopian and so if like me, you read the summary and expected a dystopian novel, be prepared to have these preconceptions challenged. I must also say Washington uses language very well within her writing which suggests to me that perhaps this book was just personally not for me at this point than the book itself being a problem.
If you love fantasy novels and aren’t fazed by being thrown into a world straight away then this is worth checking out.
I received both of these books for free through the Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Goodreads Group R2R and am very grateful to the author and group for this opportunity.