Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book One) by M.J. Mallon

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.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I’ll start this review by openly admitting I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve read a wide range of YA books, and plenty of mystery and fantasy books to boot. Some YA books have leaned to the younger end of the scale while others have tended to the more grown-up end of the scale. Bloodstone found itself in a nice position. It engaged me, without ever feeling too grown-up for younger readers either.

Making a Mark by Paul J. Newell

Bloodstone follows Amelina, a teenager with a dark family mystery. A happy home was shattered when, one evening, her father walked out of the house and disappeared for some time. When he returned, he was a husk of the man he once was. He appeared to have aged far beyond his years and his vibrancy had gone. The family seemed to live under the cloud of a curse. Amelina, meanwhile, discovers abilities within herself, enhanced by crystals.

She encounters the mysterious and enigmatic Ryder. He excites her and scares her in equal measure. Unusual encounters and experiences befall her as she discovers the ethereal Crystal Cottage and the secrets of her connection to the many crystals that surround her. The more she learns of her abilities, Amelina also learns of the obstacles placed in her path. Obstacles she must overcome to lift the curse that seems to enshroud her family, afflict her friendships and shadow her young life.

I found myself at times becoming frustrated with the teenage naivety of Amelina, the childish ways of some of her friends, and the nasty games that Ryder played. But then I realised it was a great piece of narrative creation. The characters felt true to their ages. The fantasy elements were used nicely without ever becoming overdone. And for a young adult novel, it felt completely accessible for a younger audience, but still engaging enough for older readers. Bloodstone makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

My rating:

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