Friday, 12 October 2012

Seeking Crystal by Joss Stirling

Pages - 258
Published in October by Oxford University Press.
The night my life changed began with eating a truly amazing dessert: raspberry cheesecake with dark chocolate sauce. My sister and I had just arrived in America from Italy and were both battling really foul jetlag, the kind where your eyelids need to be propped up with matchsticks and your head feels so heavy it threatens to nod off your neck. 
Goodreads Summary
Crystal Brook has always been the dud Savant in her family; paranormal powers just aren't her thing. Dropping out of school with a clutch of 'E' grades and no future, she lives in the shadow of her high-flying sister Diamond. On a trip to Denver, a chance encounter with the dashing Benedict brothers leaves Diamond head over heels in love and engaged to be married. Crystal, on the other hand, is unimpressed by their charms . . . in fact no boy can annoy her as much as Xav Benedict! Back in Venice, their families assemble for Diamond's wedding and a powerful enemy seizes the opportunity to attack. Crystal and Xav must join forces to save their loved-ones, unlocking a secret that, until now, has lain deeply buried . . .
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Oh now this is a really hard review to write. I really really loved the first two books in this series. I couldn't get enough of Finding Sky and Stealing Phoenix they were just so good, so it pains me to have to write anything negative at all about Seeking Crystal but I have to be honest and tell you how I felt.
I didn't completely hate it, not by a long shot. I think the plot for this book was utterly AMAZING; I was absorbed in it from the very beginning.  The secrets we discover about Crystal were pure genius. I can't wait to see what she does with her abilities in the future.  I loved the fast paced feel of the book, as the drama unfolded and set of at break neck speed putting all of the Benedict brothers in danger. The inclusion of Steve, the hot American action man/superstar was a welcome addition to the story and I only hope the Brad Pitts and the Jason Stathams of the film world are as wonderful as he is. The setting of Venice was gorgeous and descriptive, allowing me to fall in love with a place I have yet to visit. 
So you see I did enjoy the book, however I have a few gripes I feel I have to share. I can feel daggers being thrown at me by all the lovely loyal Benedict fans and I apologise in advance for my issues with this book.
Looking at it as a whole, I can see I have two overall problems with this book: timing and characterisation, which I have expanded on below.  
Firstly with the timing,  I struggled with the sudden development of the relationship between Trance and Diamond. I know that in these books 'instant love' is the norm;the Savants are supposed to find their soul finders and fall instantly in love, but I felt that it was a  little bit rushed and extremely unbelievable, almost corny in parts. I found myself cringing as I read it. I felt that it had been written too quickly in order to get it out of the way, so the main story of Crystal and Xav could emerge. I would have loved to have seen it progress a little slower. With all the relationships so far in the book, they have taken a little time to progress, so I felt like I was being short changed a little. Also as soon as Xav and Crystal realised they had found their soul seeker, it was dealt with swiftly in order to get back to the plot. I wanted more. 
As for characterisation, firstly,  I didn't warm to Xav at all. In the previous two books I had liked him, but in this one he grated on my nerves. He wound me up by calling everyone 'darling' and 'cupcake'. I wasn't overly keen on Crystal either. I felt her change from the dud clumsy Savant to the wisest, most needed Savant a bit too fast a transformation.  I was also surprised by her ability to make her own clothes within a few weeks of  her new job with the designer. 
I also had a problem with the characters I have loved from the previous two books. I wanted to see a progression within Sky and Phoenix, yet I felt nothing had really happened in their lives since we had last met them; they didn't really shine out in this book at all. I understand that this book isn't their story, but Crystals. However, it would have been lovely to see a bit of character development within their stories. 
I apologise to all fans for being overly critical. Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know that isn't my style at all. I truly think it is because I have my editing head on at the moment, that I am picking up on things that wouldn't normally bother me. I think Joss Stirland is a talented author and I honestly loved the rest of the series, I just felt this book was the weakest from the three.

For a more positive review please check out these 5 star reviews on other blogs.

2 comments:

  1. I also think that by the time you get to the end of series, there is a certain expectation in terms of the writing and having a big finale to finish off the series. Probably not a conscious expectation, but when you have enjoyed the first books in a series, I know I want a lot from the ending. i haven't read this series, but I'd still be interested in doing so. :)

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