Blackstone. Mar. 2024. 350p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9798212276863. .
Gr 5 Up–This action-packed fantasy novel fails to make its mark. Seventh-grade protagonist Chloe, who is Black, is grieving the loss of her beloved horse and equestrian hobby. She feels like she has no support from her parents, especially her dad, who is struggling with anxiety and OCD-like behavior. Just when Chloe thinks her life can’t get more unrecognizable, a mermaid, dwarf, giant, and unicorn appear in her backyard. These fairytale creatures were driven out of their universe by forest fires and need Chloe and her father’s help to return. As they contend with a magical motorcycle gang, curious mortals, and car trouble on their journey to save the creatures, Chloe and her father must face their fears and traumas. Despite the adventurous premise, the novel suffers from poor pacing—the creatures arrive at the very beginning of the novel, prompting the quest and its nonstop action. The characters face obstacle after obstacle, which feels tiresome and repetitive. The pacing also severely limits opportunity for exposition, deep character development, and processing time for readers.
VERDICT A promising concept that unfortunately does not live up to its potential. Not recommended.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing