Title and Author: Alora: The Wander-Jewel by Tamie Dearen
Name of Reviewer:
Reason for choice of rating:
There's a lot of kissing/hand-holding, and the shower scene, which is fairly tame, but worth mentioning
This one was a fun, easy read. But while it did hold my attention, it didn’t quite make it up onto my list of favorites.
I liked this story. It just wasn’t quite my cup of tea. I’m not entirely certain why. The premise is unique and interesting, and the characters develop well. The world-development is very good and easy to follow. I probably would have enjoyed a bit more explanation of the world and a bit less time spent on the teenager worries/romance. The main character, Alora, has a “soulmate bond” with Kaevin, which means that they have to hold hands once a day or they will both become seriously ill and die. If they kiss, they “recharge” their magical abilities more quickly. While I appreciated the humor and the cleverness this brought to the story, I did get about as tired of the scenes where they kissed as Alora’s Uncle Charles, who raised her and has strict rules about dating. But that’s just my personal preference.
I also would have liked to see more development of the villain – who felt like he was evil solely for the sake of being evil, as opposed to having a solid motivation for his actions.
Because of the main character’s special ability, there is a lot of hopping all over the place. This is handled extremely well and I was never lost or confused about what was happening or where people were.
While I appreciated the characters reacting to weird and unfamiliar sights/experiences with acceptance rather than freaking out, I did feel at times that they accepted it too easily. It also felt like they weren’t taking the threats and the danger seriously, which made it hard for me to take it seriously as well.
The concept of the clans and the gifts was brilliant, and it was the best part of the story. I enjoyed discovering this magical realm with the main character. Unfortunately, since events transpired so quickly, I didn’t feel like I ever got to really bask in the wonder of this new realm.
Overall, I liked this story. I may even continue reading the series. But like I said, it just seemed to be missing that intangible, undefinable quality that turns a “good read” into a “favorite read.” I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult stories, portal fantasy (fantasy that has people crossing from “our” world into a fantastical, magical realm… aka Narnia), and stories that have a healthy helping of clean teenage romance.
Good for ages 13 and up. Excellent story for anyone who likes a lot of adventure mixed with their romance
Books and movies you would compare this to:
Kind of reminds me of a cross between Twilight (in a good way) and Shannara.
Did you have a favorite character or least favorite character?
Favorite character was probably Uncle Charles. I liked that he was very real in his worries, but also that he was willing to step up and help and do anything he had to in order to protect Alora, which is what I expected him to do.
Portal, Action, Adventure, Magic, Romance, Young Adult
Reviews by Readers
This blog features reviews of Fellowship of Fantasy titles submitted by readers.