Hey everyone! My first post of the month (and not last, unlike January, ha) is a tour stop!
Today I'm reviewing Melanie Abed's Anni Moon and The Elemental Artifact.
This post'll have the synopis, my review, a stellar 'Top Ten' Random Things list, author info, and a GIVEAWAY! (And, as always, lots o' links. :D)
If you want to check out the other stops, just click on the banner :)
Anni doesn't know about Elementals, Funk, Zephyrs, excited talking Bat-Rat creatures, and, least of all, Dragons. All that changes when her best friend, Lexi, is kidnapped and forces beyond Anni’s control trap her on a hidden, floating island in the Elemental world.
In a race against time, Anni sets out to save her friend. Along the way she finds allies among the Elementals, but she is also presented with a choice, one that might help save Lexi. If Anni agrees to an ancient, open-ended contract, will her sacrifice cost her more than she’s bargained for? Or will it land her in the middle of an age-old war between the humans, the Elementals, and the dreaded Fectus?
Anni Moon and The Elemental Artifact is a cute story filled with imagination and adventure.
This novel has a lot of potential. The story, the setting, and the elementals...it's all very creative, and I would've liked to see more specific details about this incredible other world. Maybe in the next installment? :)
One thing of note before I dive in: I don't read much MG, so I can't say this with any authority, but I felt the novel was more of an elementary read. I'll start with the 'likes' first...
Some things I enjoyed:
The pov switches between Lexi and Anni. Yes, switching heightened the suspense...but what I really loved about it was the fact that it was strictly friendship-based. I could count the novels I've read that don't have some sort of romance going on between the two pov characters on one hand. It was refreshing.
Lexi's pov. Ahh. Reading from her pov was like kind of taking a luxurious bubble bath because I liked her as a character and because, unlike Anni's side of the story, Lexi's was taut. The pacing was solid, the mystery intriguing, and the danger visceral.
Whiffle. I was on the edge of my seat with this character—good guy in a rough package, or bad guy disguised as a good guy in a rough package? Yeah, that probably doesn't make any sense to you, but my point is, he's an enigma throughout the novel. The revelation(s) regarding him were a bit of a let down in the end, but I *loved* the ride.
Prophecy. If you're looking for a shocking twist on prophecy, look no further. I was a little outraged about the affair...but I had to admit it was well played.
Some things I didn't enjoy quite so much:
Anni's pov. Anni showcases some of the best parts of the novel in terms of creativity (i.e. the Elemental world). Sadly, her story—which takes up the majority of the novel—is riddled with extraneous dialogue that slows the pace. I often wondered when the novel was going to pick up again.
Anni. I know, I'm picking on her (sorry), but I honestly couldn't stand Anni for the majority of the novel; she's rude, loud/obnoxious, and she listens about as well as some of my more rebellious children -__- (I work with 1-2 yos at a daycare. And j/k about the face--mostly; I love my kids. Even when they don't listen, they still crack me up...).
I realize these are more pet peeve things, so the fact that she's like this won't annoy everyone—case in point, one reviewer loved Anni, stating her way of thinking is “just so real”.
Normally background would help me relate better, but instead of evoking sympathy or helping me understand Anni, it left me feeling miffed. The melodramatic nature of what she endured/endures reminded me of Harry Potter...except, with Harry, I actually related and felt he was honorable and intelligent. I didn't think Anni was—or could be—either of these until about 2/3 of the book later.
Well, ok, there were these rare glimpses throughout, but it was difficult for me to connect with her train of thought/rationale most of the time. I might've blamed that on her age if it weren't for books like Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables.
All of that to say, Anni pulled through for me in the end, and though I can't say I'm fond of her, I do resonate with her for being courageous and determined. I tip my hat to the author for convincing me Anni has potential.
Anni Moon and The Elemental Artifact is a real gem (albeit an unrefined one).
There are many people who genuinely enjoyed this book and found it enthralling and relateable. I'm not one of those people, but you might be! You may never know if you don't try it for yourself. I'm willing to give the sequel a go...
Onto...Melanie's Random Things!
Top Ten Random Mythical Creatures
What a great category ^_^! I'm so excited I get to share this with you guys.
Here we go...
Personally, I'd love to see a Chocobo on that list. Oh wait. Chocobos aren't mythical.
Seriously, though, I had no idea what in the world a Naga or Piasa was, and figured I'd post a little info on them--
I about lost it when I saw the naga...I don't do sea serpents. It's just something about not being able to see into the water. *shivers*
According to Wiki, a Naga is a serpent-like creature who resides in rivers, sacred ponds, lakes, and caves. (No thanks. Ha) They are exclusively marine.
The Piasa, on the other hand, is so much nicer. *SNORT*
According to Brittanica, the Piasa is a bird. Alright, so far so good. You wanna know what the next line told me? It's a mythical man-eating monster bird that was 'known' to swoop down and carry off hunters.
Me: O_O I'm sorry, WHAT?!
Yeah, they're uh, known for being a little too friendly I guess ^_^'. Moving right along...
About the Author
In kindergarten my life's goal was to become a teacher who wore only pink and ate French fries all day long. Now that I've matured, my goal in life is to become a Miss Marple-Sherlockian-Jedi Knight--I'm totally serious, it's a real thing.
I love stories, and I've had the privilege of working in Hollywood for over a decade in many different capacities, working with celebrities, directors (I'm married to one, plus he's my illustrator), and a few executives (the head-honcho types that I can't talk about because I signed confidentiality waivers). I'm not sure any of these people would have hired me if they knew I had a closet full of mint condition Star Wars toys...
However, the life of a freelancer is not for the faint of heart. I've kept myself busy with my extracurricular activities, from skydiving to scuba diving, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a degree in Fine Art, an M.A. in Psychology (with a focus in Neuroscience), and a few other things that I like to keep top secret. ...Some people think I'm a spy, but I'll never tell!
| Twitter @Melanie_Abed |
| Website |
Onto the Giveaway...!
1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of Anni Moon & The Elemental Artifact
1 Winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card
Must be 13+ to enter