Saturday, June 3, 2017

Book Review: The Ravenstone: The Secret of Ninham Mountain

This is a series that involves spotlighting wonderful Children's literature in both publishing worlds. This is a once or twice a month feature. Feel free to check out the series here. 

This is such an interesting and cute little book. I love books full of adventure. This is technically middle grade, but it could be classified as young adult. This is one of my favorite novels that I have read lately. This is such an imaginative story.

One thing that is important to mention is the writing style of this book. I found the book simple and easy to read. Kids will get introducted to some challenging and educational vocabulary. They will be entertained and it will keep their interest. At the same time the book is not at all inapproprate, or belittling to the young reader. ``

The plot in this story is rather interesting. Without giving away everything to the plot we see the characters Nadia and Aidan find this artificat, and then figure out it can help them time travel. They come across a wizard, who explains a quest that they must go on. Basically the whole point is to learn how to solve problems, do your research, ask questions, and really solve mysterys. The point of view of this book was really different I thought. The book actually switches between both of the characters Nadia and Aidan.

Let's talk a little bit about the characters, Nadia and Aiden are 13-years-old twins. There isn't many stories that involve twins, so this added some interst. The twin relationship is explored and developed quite nicely in this story. Aside from these two main characters we really don't dive deep into any others.

They do exsit though, you have Heather, their older sister. We get to meet their parents, and grandparents, but I found myself wanting to have those relationships explored a bit more. Overall the characters are very realistic and interesting. They seem like real people due to the authors including some intersting character flaws that add some depth to the novel. 

The time traveling aspect does interfere a bit with the world building in this story. It is set in a few locations. First in present time in the United States, there is some interesting information about locations in this part. They the travel back in time. The authors made sure to explain the locations, the when and why, which creates cotinuity in the storyline. 

One issue I found in this book was that the authors kind of spelled things out a little bit, and I do understand it is a middle grade novel, I just didn't feel like somethings needed to be explained so much. Kid's aren't dumb. 

The biggest and most obvious downside to this book was the serious lack of diversity in this book. I found it to be basically only one Indian woman, and the rest were just white, of course these are the major roles and nothing besides more traditional relationships. 

Overall this was a great book.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange from the author for my honest and completely unbiased review. All thoughts are my own.

Links for purchase: Amazon // Indigo 

Goodreads Book Description: 

"You were born to this path! This quest is your fate."

Imagine a raven appearing out of thin air and guiding you to an exquisitely carved icon that glows with ancient light and pulses with shamanic power.

This is how the adventure begins for Nadia and
Aidan Shaw, thirteen-year-old twins, who live
in idyllic Cold Spring, New York, on the banks
of the Hudson River. Armed with the power of the Ravenstone and their own special gifts, they embark on a harrowing quest across centuries, at the bidding of a mysterious old shaman. They must depend on their courage, their faith in their friends, and luck. Or is it destiny?

If they succeed, what they bring back could
change the course of human existence.


"Solomon and Carey's imaginative storytelling sweeps you into a fascinating tale of mystery and adventure. Young twins Nadia and Aidan stumble upon an ancient power that could help their family in the future, or trap them in the past forever." ~ Linda Zimmermann, successful author of 30 books about hauntings, the paranormal, and mysterious stone sites.

About The Author: 

Diane grew up in Oregon, and says she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t singing. Her father gave her a guitar for Christmas when she was 13, and she taught herself folk and country styles, and started to write songs. At 19, believing her first talent was acting, she headed off to England, determined to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. 

But life can take some funny turns. Before she could arrange an interview, she was literally “discovered,” playing her guitar and singing to a small, private, New Year’s Eve party at a London hotel.

A BBC television producer was there, a screen test followed, and the result was a network primetime series of variety specials! “The Diane Solomon Show” of the late 70s, was a great success, and she quickly became a regular on British TV, with other specials of her own, and numerous guest appearances, including several Royal Gala Specials. She recorded 5 albums, appeared on countless radio shows, TV hosting, and musical theater productions. She headed four major UK Theater concert tours of her own, toured with Glen Campbell on three European tours, and opened for a major Kenny Rogers’ tour in 1991.

But then life took another turn, this time not so fortunate. She was diagnosed with the infamous M.E., or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and for the next three years was too ill to walk across the room unaided. For a total of seven years she struggled with half a life. In the darkest hours songwriting was her saving grace, and the title cut of her new CD, “Good Things Don’t Come Easy” was born of this troubled time. With the help a brilliant German homeopathic system of healing, plus nutrition and herbs, she regained her health. Diane was so impressed with these alternate therapies that she has since gained degrees in both nutrition and homeopathy, achieving a doctorate degree from the British Institute of Homeopathy. She practiced nutrition and homeopathy for fifteen years, using a combination of nutrients, herbs, homeopathic remedies, and diet and lifestyle recommendations.

Now focusing on writing, Diane lives in beautiful southern New Hampshire. She has just finished a middle grade mystery/fantasy novel with her husband Mark Carey, entitled "The Ravenstone: The Secret of Ninham Mountain," published Oct 1 2016. 

She has written several non-fiction books 

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