Fantasy / Science Fiction
Published By: Little, Brown and Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I have long been a fan of the husband/wife writing team of Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson. My first introduction to their collaborative efforts occurred when I began reading the Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights series. I had already been a fan of Kevin J. Andersonís Star Wars work and was happy to discover that his wife had an equally enjoyable writing style and an intuitive grasp of the Star Wars characters, both the age-old favorites and the new Expanded Universe characters. Just recently, I discovered that the Moesta/Anderson team had created a new fantasy series called Crystal Doors. I simply couldnít pass up the opportunity to check it out.
What if you could open a door to another place, a fantastical place where magic and physics combine? When fourteen-year-old cousins Gwen and Vic Pierce set out on a journey with Vicís father to a sea adventure park, they never expected that this would be the last enjoyable time they would experience in their world. After an ďaccidentĒ that nearly kills Gwen, coupled with Gwenís parents mysterious demise two years before and Vicís motherís disappearance shortly after, Vicís father decides the children are no longer safe in their world.
Using crystals, mirrors and light fragmentation, Dr. Pierce opens a door to the magical world of Elantya, intending to travel with the children to this realm and hopefully keep them safe from harm. Unfortunately, the door closes immediately after the children pass through and Dr. Pierce is left behind. Gwen and Vic find themselves stranded in another world filled with strangers and a great many unanswered questions.
They soon discover that Elantya is a center of knowledge and a tremendous trading hub to various worlds via the use of crystal doors. The longer the Pierce children stay in Elantya, the more they unlock about their mothersí past. Unfortunately, the one place that Dr. Pierce believed to be a safe haven for Gwen and Vic might be the most dangerous place of all. Evil lurks in Elantya and the Pierce children must unite with their new acquaintances to vanquish it before they can even think of finding a way to return to their own realm.
Crystal Doors, the first book in the Crystal Doors series, is incredibly engaging. Once I had opened the novel, I found it hard to put it down. The more fantastic the adventures Gwen and Vic encountered, the more intrigued I was. I simply couldnít wait to see what would happen next. The mystery surrounding the parentage of the Pierce children was touched upon and we do have some idea that the mothers of these children were perhaps not from their realm. However, there are still questions left unanswered, possibly to be touched upon in the second or third book of the series.
I found the land of Elantya to be somewhat fun. A teaching world filled with magical possibilities - flying carpets, scrolls sprinkled with crystal dust that when read, cast spells, doors opening into different worlds, sages, monsters and so much more. This world is fantastic and I have the feeling that what Iíve read in Book I of the series is only the tip of the iceberg. If I know the writing team of Moesta and Anderson, there are many more surprises to come throughout the rest of the series.
I have discovered some similarities between the characters of this novel and those of the Young Jedi Knights series. I can see traces of Jacen Solo in Vicís character and thereís a bit of Tenel Ka in the warrior girl Tiaret. Fans of the Moesta/Anderson Star Wars novels are likely to notice these similarities and smile. I also noticed some parallels between our world and the world surrounding Elantya. The writers used locales that were familiar to us and gave them a fantastical spin. Africa becomes Afirik for example. Mythological and fairy tale creatures are brought to life Ė mermaid-like creatures are a reality in Elantya, carpets can really fly, and there is even a fairy-like character who plays a very important role in this novel.
Although this is marketed as a young adultsí fantasy series, I am far from being classified as such and I loved it. Anyone who enjoys science fiction and fantasy will enjoy reading Crystal Doors by Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson. I so enjoyed this reading experience I was actually saddened when it ended. Happily, I have two more novels from the series to enjoy!