Monday, November 14, 2011

Manifest

This is the first book in a paranormal series for teens about a Krystal, a fifteen-year-old who moves to a small town in New England with her mother, following her parents' divorce.  She feels very disconnected being in the suburbs after growing up in New York City, and she is depressed and upset about her the divorce.  The fact that her mother is already with someone new, someone who feels he has the authority to boss Krystal around despite the fact that he is not Krystal's father, only makes matters worse.  Then when Krystal starts seeing the ghost of a boy from her school who died before she moved up from New York, things really get strange.

There were things about this book that I liked - I really liked the fact that Krystal is black - and part Cherokee - because there aren't many books in this genre that do not feature white heroines.  The supernatural element was interesting, too, something a little different from the usual vampires and werewolves that proliferate the pages of YA fiction these days.

But as much as I really wanted to love this book, I just didn't. Aside from the fact that the book is written in the present tense, which is something I have personal issues with, the characters simply weren't very real.  Krystal did nothing but whine and complain and be rude to the people around her.  She was so negative and self-involved that I could barely bring myself to finish the book.  Plus she just wasn't very bright.  She receives suggestive, overtly sexual text messages when she knows there is a local sexual predator on the prowl - and people have been killed by this person - but she doesn't tell an adult?  Argh!  The writing was at times awkward and uneven, with punctuation and grammar issues, to the point that I kept getting yanked out of the narrative to reread sentences over again in order to figure out what the author was trying to say.
"I don't want to go," I say in a voice that sounds sulky and juvenile - I mean elementary-like.
and
While me, on the other hand, can't stand to be in the house Janet works so hard to create and walks around with enough friction in my mind to fill a psych ward.
Seriously?  What does that even mean?  I found myself getting angry that, as paranormal YA novels featuring minority teens are rare, shouldn't such books be even better than the norm?  Shouldn't standards be even higher for such books?  It is not good enough to have a lovely, slick cover and a good marketing campaign - for any book, particularly books for young readers.  I wish I could say that this first book stands head and shoulders above its peers, but sadly, I can't.

Books in the Mystyx series:
1. Manifest
2. Mystify
3. Mayhem
4. Mesmerize

Manifest (#1 in the Mystyx series) by Artist Arthur (Kimani Tru, 2010)

Also reviewed at:
Charlotte's Library "... although this first book of the series was somewhat uneven, the second book promises more -- Krystal's grown up somewhat, and I know longer want to shake her, and the paranormal plot is about to really get going!"
Do Not Disturb My Books "I felt disconnected from the characters while reading the story. I felt like there was so much devoted to the story itself but the characters were left out of that."
Insert Book Title Here: "I really enjoyed this one. It had romance, supernatural powers, friendship, twists, turns, and mystery."

2 comments:

  1. I am not thinking this is worth my reading, but maybe once the series gets going it will change my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've come across some glowing reviews of further books in the series, so it may be worth looking into. I have so many other books on my list at this point that I'm doubtful I'll continue with this series, though.

    ReplyDelete

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