The Emerald Ring (Cleopatra's Legacy)
by Dorine White
But I have a few complaints, and more than a few questions:
1) It's not written well - weak and amateurish. Abrupt transitions. And flashbacks were poorly written; half the time I wasn't sure what was going on! Much of the story was like "This happened. Then this happened. And then this happened." Too many unanswered questions: Who is the "sister" cat in her dreams? Why is she having dreams? How did the gems get their power? Why is their only one Roman guy trying to get the gems? Where are his buddies? Why are they just now starting their search for the gems? Why didn't they start right after they discovered the gems missing way back in Cleopatra's time?
2) Character development is non-existent. Sara is completely flat. What's going on in her head? What is she feeling when she becomes a cat? Is she happy? Excited? Freaked? The other characters fare the same. I didn't even know that Heidi was "emo" until it was told to me after the Halloween scene.
3) Unbelievable explanations of how things came about or happened. My favorite was how Kainu got to Ohio from Africa - how he stowed away on a little 2-person plane to England undetected, then earned money to get to America (passport? underage-traveler? work visa?), and enrolled in school (transcripts? parental release? power of attorney?), stayed with a family there as a fake exchange student (this doesn't jive - who would allow a kid in their home with just a letter? How did he get the name of the family he wrote to anyway?). Anyway, this doesn't fly with me.
4) Weak denouement. Weak. Weak. I hate badly written endings, and this one is badly written.
I did appreciate the fact that there was no bad stuff - it's completely safe for kids to read. No swearing, which is nice.
This book needs some serious work. Thankfully it was short, so I didn't have to waste TOO much time on it. But tweens may enjoy it.
I will NOT be reading the next in the series.
I do want to thank Netgalley.com and Cedar Fort for the chance to review this book.