Title: The Keeper of the Stones
Author: M.J. Webb
Series: Jake West #1
Published: September 29th 2010 by Authorhouse
Page Count: 288
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Shelf: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When fifteen year old Jake West and his best friend, Ben Brooker, help Jake's grandfather clear his attic of the junk he's collected from his years of travelling, the boys discover an old chest containing a beautifully carved wooden box. The box contains a set of five mysterious stones and, when they erupt to emit a bright beam of light, it sparks an epic journey which will lead Jake into a dangerous world and to the discovery of some strange family secrets. The future of our world and countless others now lies in the hands of a fifteen year old boy. If he can't protect the stones.
The descriptions in this novel are clear and to the point. They also fit with the writing style. There is no disconnect in the writing between the conversations, narrative, and descriptive sections. Also, the author uses the correct terms when fitting and explains what needs explaining. My biggest issue with the descriptions was that, although you learn a great deal about the lay of the land, you never really learn what it looks like. Throughout the novel as a whole there is a flow that leads the reader from one point to the next very smoothly. The tone of the story changes based on the event at hand, but it never becomes disjointed.
All of the characters are unique, personable, and well developed. I enjoyed that the heroes comically go about fulfilling their quest. The protagonist’s plight puts coming of age in a whole new light, or perhaps light show would be a better description. You also cannot help but feel a little sorry for Ben who is basically just along for the ride. The differing speech patterns used for characters really helps to distinguish who is talking without a lot of “he said, she said” moments.
This novel was the perfect setup for the series. There is just enough background information that you know what’s going on. You learn enough about the future to want to find out what happens, but not so much that you don’t need to come back for more. It’s the perfect balance. I also quite enjoy the fact that the reader learns why there is a Keeper in the first place. There are no large holes in the history of the story.
All in all, this is a very fun novel. It was very action packed with everyone always doing something, and not everyone always doing the same time. However, who did what, when, and how remained clear throughout the entire novel.
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