Author: Mark Morrison
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Rating: 1 Star (DNF)
Sarah and her twin brother Jon are heirs to an ancient magical realm and its most valuable treasure, an enchanted library. The library endows readers with the supernatural means of crossing into the uncharted inner-sanctum of the second dimension, inhabited with peculiar and sometimes perilous creatures.
The children are emboldened with a wondrous mystical gift that no other being has ever possessed. But fate intervenes and triggers a disastrous inter-dimensional war that disrupts the fabric of time and space spanning multiple universes, tearing destiny a new and savage pathway.
The two must rescue their world from a phantom hybrid alien race controlled by a demented dark-wizard, Jeremy Sermack. They will either assimilate or be exterminated.
Will they be the saviors the prophets spoke of, or will they retreat to the perceived safety of their distant homeland?
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I’ve read some really great Middle-Grade fiction this year, but sadly, TwoSpells by Mark Morrison wasn’t on that list. I just could not get into this book.
The beginning was slow. What should have been a fast-paced terrifying wrench off the side of the road as the family’s car drifted across lanes, well, wasn’t. The omniscient voice of the narration gave the book a sort of “backseat” feel – like the story was being narrated by a 3rd party over the radio, rather than by someone living in the action of the scene. There were several times the point of view switched from being centered on the main character, Sarah, to being a 3rd person narrator, or, being in the point of view of the parents. It was weird to have it constantly switching, and it softened the impact of any tension going on.
Honestly, I think any middle-grade reader would be bored trying to get through this book if the first chapter or two are anything to go by. It didn’t feel engaging, and I wasn’t particularly drawn to any of the characters – and I think, for the most part, this is due to the narrator’s voice and point of view. I think if this had been rewritten in the first person, to put the reader more in the head of Sarah, or omniscient but stick to one POV, rather than hopping around, it would have been better received. As it stands, it isn’t my cup of tea, and I don’t feel an inclination to push through it.