Adventure (Teen), Fantasy (Teen), YA Fiction

The Blue Moon Narthex by N.J. Donner

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In order to deal with the loss of my laptop, I am borrowing a laptop from my graduate lab so that I can type up this review. True, I’m supposed to use it for work-related purposes only, but I’m sure this qualifies as work…. a little! Anyways, here is my review:

Since the beginning of time, Karmanic matter worked silently to balance the forces of good and evil. However, with greed growing in the world, Karma wasn’t enough to keep everything in check. As WW1 rages, the secret Karmanic Sovereign Legion have taken it upon themselves to assist Karma behind the scenes. When Cole McCarthy’s father dies in a train accident and leaves behind only an odd stone-shaped object, Cole finds himself thrust into the middle of a battle between good and evil. Joining him are his two best friends from school. With only this magical stone and some clues left in a letter, the trio must figure out a way to keep themselves and those they love safe.

This novel is definitely meant for middle school children. I would probably not recommend this for anyone over the age of 13. That being said, this novel was ridiculously similar to Harry Potter. I’m not even kidding you, it was like a knock-off, meh version of Harry Potter. While the story had some interesting concepts like shifting in time, and the force of Karma, the writing and the characters fell flat. I wish the author had spent a chapter or two at various stages of the story just developing things properly and with more detail, because that would have certainly made it all more cohesive. Also, there needs to be way more unique elements; the fact that it sounded uncannily similar to Harry Potter meant that I compared it to Harry Potter – and I found this book pale in comparison. I appreciate the effort that the author put into this story. However, there just weren’t enough redeeming qualities for me to give this book a positive recommendation.

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