Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Journey to Rainbow Island (Book Review)

I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes.  I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions in this post are my own.

From the publisher:
Yu-ning thinks her perfect life on Rainbow Island will never end—until a nasty dragon called the Obsidigon returns from beyond the grave. Now her beloved island is in flames, her best friend has been kidnapped, and the island’s Sacred Crystals have been stolen. To make matters worse, she must venture into the dark corners of the world to uncover secrets best ignored, find a weapon thought long destroyed, and recapture seven sacred stones—without being burned to a crisp by a very angry dragon.

With the help of her master teacher, Metatron, Yu-ning embarks on a dangerous journey to overcome not only the darkness attacking her home, but also the scars of sadness that mark her own heart. And while most people just see a normal kid, Metatron—and a few other unlikely allies—pledge their lives to the dark-eyed little girl with a magic bow and a crooked grin.
I don't read a lot of fantasy, so I don't have much to which to compare the New York Times bestseller (in the Middle Grade Extended category) Journey to Rainbow Island by Christie Hsiao.  However, I found the text to be well-written and rich in descriptive vocabulary, and I enjoyed the story.

I was interested to notice that the plot contains some elements that echo parts of Christianity.  Yu-ning communicates with One, a supernatural being who gives her wisdom and guidance.  She leaves a perfect life on Rainbow Island in order to travel through the dark world spreading light and love.  Many of the people with whom she tries to share the light are resistant, and in some cases that leads to their death.  However, all of this is attributed to magic.

My only disappointment with the book is the ending.  It seemed as though, in the last few pages, the author rushed to set up a cliffhanger to allow for a sequel.  I liked the book up to that point, so maybe I should imagine my own ending!

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