Saturday, August 2, 2014

Book Review: Sun Stealers by C.J. Bridgeman

Sun Stealers (The Spellweaver Chronicles Book 2)
By CJ Bridgeman
Publisher: CJ Bridgeman
Published: June 16, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

It’s tough when you’ve just found out that the weight of not one world but two is hanging on your shoulders. 

This is the life of Felicity Lucas. 

Her mother was the Spellweaver, the most powerful magic user of both worlds. Now that she’s gone, the title and the power have passed to her only daughter, a fourteen-year-old student at Greenfields High School. She has no choice but to learn the skills that her 
mother had, to weave magic like she did; she has to keep the mysterious ‘others’ at bay and stop a strange group of cultists bent on bringing down the sun. 

All of this - and she has exams coming up. 

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Sun Stealers is the second book in the Spellweaver Chronicles Series. Felicity has recently learned that she is the new Spellweaver of the Deepworld since her mother died in a car accident. Unfortunately, her mother never told her, or provided her with the training necessary for her to take up the position. Fortunately for her, she has Mr. Oakley, the school counsellor who is an old friend of Felicity's mother, who is also from Deepworld who is helping her to learn to learn to use the magic that Felicity was born with. Felicity's two friends Hollie and Jamie want to help her as much as they can and they just help to make life seem a little more normal.

Felicity is having trouble learning to use the magic that she is supposed to be gifted with. She feels like a failure. Every time she tries to use it, nothing happens. And that's bad because she knows she has enemies from the Deepworld who are going to be coming after her to kill her. She doesn't have much time to learn to control it. But somehow, when she needs it, she is able to wield the magic without having to think about how to do it.

When she reaches into the mind of another student who was bullying her and casts a fear spell on him to protect herself, Mr. Oakley decides to put her magic lessons on hold and Hollie admits to being afraid of Felicity. This leaves Felicity feeling very alone in the world. Into her life again walk her enemy Oliver, two tried to kill her before. But this time he wants her help. The Shepherds have been bringing the sun towards the earth; that was the reason for all the strange weather patterns that everyone had been experiencing lately. Soon the sun would be close enough for them to take all the power of the sun for themselves, and the earth, and Deepworld would be burned up. Oliver needed the Spellweaver's help to stop the Shepherds.

I enjoyed this second instalment of The Spellweaver's Chronicles. The story flowed along at a good pace and the story continued to develop the characters. The character of Oliver is a bit of a conundrum however. On one hand, he wants to kill the Spellweaver. On the other, he needs her to help him save the planet. Is he a good guy or a bad guy? I haven't made up my mind. He seems evil, yet on the other hand he saved Felicity's life. Maybe there's more to him than we know yet. I also think there's more to Mr. Oakley too.

What I don't understand is why Felicity's mother came to the surface and married a surface dweller, keeping secret who she really was. Felicity's dad seems totally out-to-lunch and perhaps a little uncaring about what is going on in Felicity's life. But then, he's never had much to do with her until she ended up coming to live with him when her mother died.

The dialogue in The Sun Stealers works very well and feels quite realistic and very British. A good thing, since that is where the story is set. I love to hear different accents from around the world and I can almost hear the British accents in the voices of the youth when they are speaking. Love it!

The only thing I'm not quite sure about, is this: If the Shepherds are from Deepworld, which is below the surface of the earth, and they are bringing the sun down to the earth to absorb its power, and that will melt the earth and destroy both the earth and Deepworld, won't that destroy the Shepherds too? If so, then what good did that do them? It seems they are rather crazy.

There's lots of action in Sun Stealers and several unexpected twists. Some of them will have you holding your breath, hoping for..... well, I won't say what, because that would be a spoiler, wouldn't it. (Sorry.)

There was no real swearing in this novel to speak of in this book for those that like to note those things. The closest anyone comes to profanity is Hollie when she says, "Oh em gee."  which took me awhile to figure out could be taken to be initials for some words which might be taken as swearing. I also noticed a few overlooked editing errors in this edition of the book, nothing too major, and certainly not serious enough to distract this picky reader from reading the book.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read and this book, suitable for middle school to teen readers\ receives a solid 3 out of 5. I'm going to be on the watch for book 3.

Thank you very much to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Claire Bridgeman is a secondary school English teacher living in Norwich, England, with her husband, their 1 year old daughter Pearl, their black fluffy cat and the fly infestation currently inhabiting the conservatory. She has written many books but it was only in 2013, at the age of 28, that she felt her work was good enough to be thrust upon the general public. She thinks it’s an awful shame that there isn’t more creative writing in the current education system of the UK and believes that every child should be encouraged to explore the wondrous depths of his or her imagination through an artistic medium.

Bridgeman loves all things fantasy.  Bridgeman hopes to tell human stories as much as fantasy ones, stories that deal with common, everyday themes and feelings like love, loss, grief, friendship and bullying. She wants to explore human emotion and experience using the fantasy genre, and with urban fantasy in particular, she feels that she has found the place to plant her stories and watch them grow.

Author Links

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