Monday, January 20, 2014

All About Middle Grade Review: The Serpent's Ring

The Serpent's Ring (Relics of Mysticus, 1) by H.B. Bolton, July 22, 2012. 232 pages. Source: author
Evan and Claire Jones are typical teenagers, forced to go with their parents to yet another boring museum ... thaGiant waves t is, until something extraordinary happens to make their day a little more than interesting. After following a strange little creature into a closed exhibit, Evan and his older sister, Claire, discover the Serpent’s Ring, one of the magical relics formed from the shattered Mysticus Orb. Purely by accident, they have awakened its powers and opened a portal to Sagaas, land of ancient gods.

Before the siblings can comprehend what has happened, the Serpent’s Ring is wrenched from Evan’s hand by an enormous fish and flown back to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea. Evan and Claire, accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, must retrieve the Serpent’s Ring before Aegir uses its immense powers to flood all the lands on Earth.
First Sentence:
Giant waves approached-closer, closer. 
So, I finally had a chance to read the first book in H.B. Bolton's Relics of Mysitcus series, which the author kindly sent me last year.

The world building and Even and Claire's adventure to save our world and Sagaas from destruction, paired with H.B. Bolton's writing combined to make this quite an interesting read.
What makes H.B. Bolton's writing so good in The Serpent's Ring is that she is able to capture that varying feelings that Even and Claire feel throughout the book. I also enjoyed seeing how differently each of her characters reacted to the same situation-from Evan's reluctance to Claire's excitement.

One of the things I'm looking forward to reading in book two is knowing more about the "shadow" master (as I've dubbed him) and what his overall goal is. I am most intrigued to know more since he was the one that helped to stir -up Aegir's anger towards the human race.

So, Even and Claire were not bad characters, but there were times when I just wanted to have some words with them. While it is easy to see how they would be scared stiff over the trouble Even got them into, I wish Even had been a little more willing to participate in saving the world. Although, his reluctance at first is dwarfed by the choice he made near the end of the book. What he does, at the moment when things are looking there worst made me happy as a reader.
Claire, now I liked her and then again I did not. While I enjoyed her gumption and adaptability when it came to taking things relatively in stride, there were a few times that she just bothered me. It's hard to pin down, but there was something about her I just did not like.*go figure*

One of the things I enjoyed most about H.B. Bolton's The Serpent's Ring would have to be the world and the way she brought the various myths from different countries together in one place. It was definitely interesting to see a book take advantage of more than one cultures mythological stories. It was also different since most only feature one per a book/series. What made it enjoyable for me is that while using all these various mythological tales, what that the author made it uniquely her own with some characters of her own design nestled into the known ones.

Even though I found myself enjoying The Serpent's Ring quite a bit, there were a couple rough points for me regarding how quickly Evan and Claire mastered the power granted to them by the Serpent's Ring. While I did enjoy seeing them overcome all of the obstacles that they got themselves into, there were points when they annoyed me a little. For one, it felt like it was too easy for them to master their new found abilities. Sure, their survival depended upon their adaptability, but, no one can honestly pick up a new skill set that fast. Would I have liked to see them struggle with these new powers a little, yes.
   Other than this one thing, H.B. Bolton's opening book to the Relics of Mysticus is quite the exciting read. I would definitely recommend this to readers 10+.

Final Verdict: The Serpent's Ring- Danger, adventure and an undersea battle makes for quite the thrilling first book in H.B. Bolton's Relics of Mysticus.

The Serpent's Ring earns 4 Griffins.

This book was received in exchange for an honest review. 

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