(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
Despite this book containing first and third person POVs, I still found this fairly easy to read. There was a nice combination of fantasy and science fiction in this book, I felt. Although the caracters were introduced in a list format (which I really don’t feel works), for the most part, I found them quite well-rounded characters… though I felt Keira was a bit too cliched; and I forgot that there was a third boy in the group, because Ben wasn’t referenced at all for one scene.
I liked the tribe that Alex and the others ran into. I think I would have liked a bit more background of them spending time together before they were transported to the other planet, since a lot of what could have been foreshadowed was dumped into the book right when it became relevant – such as Ben and Alex both having first aid training. Even when it was revealed that Ben had first aid training, there was no mention made of Alex having had the same… and I think that detracted from the story in many ways.
I did feel that more than just Keira were a bit cliched, too… such as the bad boy who’s actually not that much of a jerk; and the quiet, clever girl. It was good to see more of Alex, rather than just have her come across as the typical new girl… but I think seeing the other characters through her eyes had something of a detrimental effect.
The descriptions of the different types of animals were pretty creepy, but I did feel a lot of sympathy towards the tribes. In some ways, I also felt sorry for the jaguars. Since I only saw one side of the story, I would have liked to know more sides of the situation they were in.
I did notice that the villain wasn’t really well-defined. He just came across as the typical Evil Overlord… complete with killing/maiming his underlings. The more interesting villains are those who believe they’re justified… and I saw no evidence of that.
Kumani was a fairly interesting character and someone I would have liked to see more of. I also would have liked to learn more of Alex’s connection with Goden… and more of the Brotherhood and how they fit in with everything.
I would really like to read the second book in this series at some point in the future. I felt this was an entertaining, easy read… and it would be really good to see more of the world and perhaps learn more about the different people from stories and how they’re connected to all of it.
About The Book
SPIRIT LAKE (Spirit Lake #1)
by Tamar Hela
Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Publication: April 14th, 2015
Published by: Cosby Media Productions
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25313505-spirit-lake
Six teenagers from Northern California are assigned a seemingly innocent group project for their sophomore English class. Little do they know, this project will take them on a journey out of this world—literally. Cantelia appears much like Earth until the kids realize magic is as plentiful as the wildlife surrounding them. What’s at stake is much more than they can fathom, especially since they are part of an ancient prophecy. A dark and evil ruler is enforcing a curse on the tribes people of Sikuku Island—the same place where the kids have been transported. Now, they must help the islanders break the curse if they ever want to see their own planet again. Join Alex and her companions as they learn there is so much more beyond their comfortable lives in Pollock Pines and its legendary lake, Spirit Lake.
About The Author
Tamar Hela is a writer and editor from California. Since the age of ten, many of her teachers have encouraged her to pursue a career in writing fiction. Tamar has always had a knack for words, loving the art of storytelling. As a musician and artist, she understands the importance of captivating an audience through various mediums, but especially loves using words to create visual images for readers. When she’s not writing, editing, drinking coffee, or traveling somewhere cool, she can be found curled up with a good book.