Tuesday, 14 April 2015

What is a Thunderstone anyway?

Sneaking out at night, driving without a license, and falling for a guy weren't things fifteen-year-old Jeni expected to do while visiting Lake Itasca, Minnesota with her family.  The guy, Ice, turns out to be the local medicine man;s apprentice, and when he tells Jeni she's connected to the spirit world, her first instinct is to run.  But after Ice's stories of a mythical underwater monster - that Jeni allegedly released - prove true, she realizes it;s up to her to contain the beast.  Jeni must first convince herself that she's able, and then save the locals, Ice, and ultimately herself.

Initially this story did not grab me and I am not a huge fan of insta-attraction or even developed love elements.  I am now going to sound like my mother.  When I was a teen/young adult we did not have this in our books and I think they were all the better for it.  It meant that instead of spending time on setting up a love story the author got on with the plot – remember the famous five or the secret seven?  None of those had a love element.  Don’t get me wrong did read novels with love elements eg Little Women and that Judy Blume book that was the rage when I was 13 but they were few and far between and I have been reading for a long time! Anyway then all of a sudden everything took off and I read the remainder of the book in one sitting.  There are so many Native American legends and this is just one.  I do feel that the mythical side of the story was down played and so much more could have been made of the medicine man/apprentice relationship. Jeni is meant to be 15 years of age but she acts so much more mature than that which I suppose is OK as most American teenagers not only act older but look so much older than their years.  When I was 15 it took all I could do to look at the object of my affection/crush and if they even looked as though they were going to talk to me I would shyly retreat  In short unlike this vivacious self-assured teenager, I was socially awkward preferring my girlfriends or even my own company.  During the course of the novel though, Jeni discovers that she had hidden depths of courage, intelligence and confidence.

Yet, I can understand that Ice acts older as he has greater expectations on him given his apprenticeship.  I would have loved to have seen more of this apprentice master relationship, especially what happened on the vision quest.

I did like the angst and indeed the humour of the love hate relationship between Jeni and her cousin Tyler, who I think is my favourite character.  In the end Tyler turned out to be rather more dependable than expected. All that said, although the story was somewhat predictable, remember the dreams, It did have me invested enough in the story to want to know what would happen when; a) Jeni finds out about her family history and; b) when Ice and Jeni meet up later when he is a story teller.

Due to the simplistic language and plot line I would recommend this to my English as a Foreign Language students both the adults and young learners.

Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rated this 3 stars on Netgalley and 'It was OK' on Amazon (3 stars) and Goodreads (2 stars).

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