Nov 3, 2015

Crystallum (Primordial Principles 1)

Crystallum book cover

by Laney McMann
book review rating 2.5 out of 5

AS AN AVID reader of young adult books, I’ve had the pleasure of reading some of the most thought provoking books that completely captivate me, and redefine my understand of the complexity and maturity of this particular genre. Crystallum, by Laney McMann, did not have this effect. It fell rather flat.

Kadence Sparrow wasn't born a devil's child—she was turned. Now, she's hiding from the truth, and running…straight into the arms of Cole Spires. As one of the Celestial Children, Cole lives to defend the Ward and protect the Primordial race. When Kadence tackles Cole at club Crystalline, he assumes she, like most girls, just wants his attention. But, Kadence isn't like most girls.

Ms. McMann creates a unique twist to an age-old theme of angels versus devils. The idea that there are two races of Celestial Children—Primordial and Primeva—is interestingly different. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in the telling of their history, the magnetic and avian principles behind their supernatural strength, and the twists and secrets leading up to the very end.

Yet much of this creativity was sidelined in favor of teenage drama. High school crushes, jealous exes, irrational fights, and constant threats between the Primordial and Primeva were quite immature. Before long, I no longer felt that I was reading a young adult dark fantasy novel, but following the lives of angst teenagers.

The extensive use of Latin was quite intriguing…initially. I sense that Ms. McMann has an excellent command of this lost language. I enjoy author’s incorporating their own personal experiences into their books. But, in this case, I do feel that it was too much of a good thing. It grew tiresome. Halfway through the book, I no longer felt that I was reading a story; I felt that I was being tutored in Latin. Et Mortali Spiram. The Mortal Coil. Filios Daemoneum. Devil’s Child. Nefarius. Black Guards. And, that’s not even the half of it. Such an abundance of Latin didn’t feel critical to the story; it was distracting and completely lost its charm at the end.

Despite the lack of character depth and the disruptive foreign language lessons, I can see how (very) younger adult fans will be enamored to the irresistible Cole and mysterious Kadence, as they defy all odds to begin their passionate love story, whilst battling the forces of evil. The series has a bit of a rough start, but there is a lot of potential. I look forward to the characters maturing and the unraveling of more Primordial mysteries in Primordial Principles 2.

DISCUSSION: What was the last series you read with a slow start that concluded with an absolutely amazing ending? Do share.

{ I received this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and humble opinion. }

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