tl;dr - This story has so much potential, but the beginning was kind of hard to get through. It was a little confusing, and the first half was a bit slow, but the end had much more action and was a bit more entertaining. [[MORE]]
Description (from Goodreads) As a sorceress of Kervanian descent, Kate Merin's reality has always been a bit more than the average human's. But her life is turned upside down when she and her two brothers, Albert and Micheal, stumble across a portal in the woods which transports them back to 465 BH (Late Cretaceous era). There, they find the earth inhabited by their ancestors, the Kervanians, a race originally from the far-off moon of Kervanis.
The three siblings must now team up with their predecessors in their quest to return home. Along the way, they face magic they never knew existed, brave dangers they never imagined, and discover things about themselves and their family that they never could have guessed.
Kate soon learns, however, that there were far greater forces than an old, faulty Portal working to send them back to the Cretaceous period, and that she and her family have been chosen to play a great role in a vast plan orchestrated by an extremely powerful being. The only question is: Will Kate survive long enough to fulfill her destiny while caught in the middle of a war spanning countless millenia and several universes?
So this was my second ever requested book review! Hurrah!
So this book has SO much potential, but for me it fell a bit short. Starting out the book, it feels like you jump into a story already in progress. And that is ok to do, if you adequately explain whats going on and why. We start out with Kate and her older brother Albert looking for their younger brother Michael in the woods. And it just felt like there should've been something leading up to that.
And then you never really get to know the characters. They felt kind of flat, and dry to me. You know that Kate is the middle child, Albert is the oldest and Michael is the youngest. But you don't really feel like you know them. At least, I didn't. There weren't really any anecdotes from their lives outside of explaining Kervanian magic and history. Michael, who is 9 if I remember correctly, apparently knows everything there is to know about dinosaurs? I mean, he has a LOT of information about them in a small kid that just seemed a little extreme for me. From knowing the time periods to all the different dinosaurs and their habits.... it just seemed a bit much for me.
And the first half of the book was just kind of.... dull. There wasn't much action. I found that there were many times that a simple sentences was too wordy, while other situations could've used more elaboration and further descriptions/explanations. For instance, there are the different titles for the different orders... but I still don't really get how that works. I don't really get what exactly the orders are, what their purpose is, or how those titles work. And it got seriously confusing after a while. Also, she adds on the last names far too frequently. That could just be a detail that bothered me and may not bother other readers, though.
The end of the book - the last 25% or so - really picked up though. It started feeling like it was going places and was getting interesting. Though one thing I still don't understand the purpose of is Familiars. I mean, they don't really do anything, do they? There doesn't seem to be much of a point. But maybe that is explored more in future books. I'm not sure. Oh and also, it was very.... science-y. Which don't get me wrong, I love science. But I feel like without having taken any physics classes, it would make absolutely 0 sense, and in that respect I was glad I had taken some Physics in college. Its like the explanation of magic was
Anyways. I wanted to love this story, but unfortunately it fell a little flat for me. Great idea, great general story, but it needs more explanations - especially if its supposed to be YA.