Friday, 9 November 2012

Review for "Curse of the Ice Dragon" by Tara West

Story Overview:

Marcus is a born into a family that each one of the male members seems to be cursed. His father has a curse upon his normally kind heart, his brother is cursed with a constant ailment and he is cursed with the hunter’s curse. Should he kill an animal for fun or cruelly, the Ice Goddess will send her dragon to kill him and for every creature he kills a member close to him will die. The only way to stop the curse is to travel up the Ice Mountain and plead with the Goddess herself.
Cover Page:  18/20

The book seems aimed at the YA market and the cover certainly portrays that. Personally I couldn’t judge whether or not the cover would appeal to a younger market. So I turned to my son, asked him what he thought of the front cover and I have never seen his eyes light up so much for a book. So why has it lost two marks? Because I think it undersells the value of the book and some of the characters.

Characters (and their development):  19/20

The characters are completely fresh. Marcus is an excellent character who you can both sympathize with and also hate at times. He is a deeply flawed character who comes through his adventure a better person, but it certainly is not an easy ride. I think at the beginning of the book as a reader I did want to hate the character, yet there was something endearing about him. As the story moves on he just warms more and more into your heart. Other characters are brilliant portrayed, including those of the brother Alec and Dianna.

Even the father is so brilliantly portrayed. At the start of the novel you can’t but hate him. But as I read the story I actually felt sorry for him and wanting to direct my feelings towards those that caused his anger.

The one person I think that could have had a little more development was the mother of the boys. I was sad to see that her emotion and character is overshadowed by so many other characters. It would have been interesting to see more from her considering the rather sensitive nature of her position.

Storyline:  19/20

The storyline is fresh and unique. At the beginning of the book you have a rich background with an established story which to be honest would be well than enough to pass as an okay novel. Then the writer twists the strings in the story and what comes out of it is something that has suspense, adventure and more twists and turns than a roller-coaster. I have to admit there were a lot of shocking twists which I did not expect and when I thought I had everything sorted out there was another twist. The novel has turned into something that is superb.

When reading this to my son, he found that the story was very engaging. He loved some of the action sequences so much that he attempted to recreate them. And I think if you can get a child to remember and then re-enact scenes you certainly have a good story.

Style:  17/20

The style is something that does well, but is not particularly special in any way that distances it from other novels. Although there are plenty of surprising twists and turns I would say that the rest the book’s style is the same as other novels in the genre.

Spelling and Grammar:  20/20

The writer has done really well to produce a flaw free book. One thing I will warn that sometimes you might think she has made a mistake, but in fact they are intentional words. The one that I would say stands out is the use of babe instead of baby or babies. It is not a mistake, but to a casual reader it may seem odd.

Conclusion:  93/100

This is a great book. There is nothing else to say about it. The story flows perfectly well and not only did I enjoy it, but so did my son. The twist and turns are brilliantly played out that it will keep you guessing whether or not the final picture has been revealed right up to the point that the last words have been written. And the characters are a joy to read about and watch develop.

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