Life is a blast when you have your very own genie. But when Parker Quarry is shipped from sunny Los Angeles to live with relatives in a quiet New Hampshire college town and releases a 2,000 year-old jinn from an ancient canister "borrowed" from the university building where his uncle works, the biggest blasts comes from the millennia old power struggle he reignites.
I received an advance review copy from publisher via NetGalley. A HUGE thank you to
NetGalley & the publisher for this opportunity to read and review.
Easy, entertaining read that brings us a different twist on the origin of the djinn. I think this book is very close to being able to compete with Kerr's Children of the Lamp (COTL) series. So lets compare COTL and Rebels of the Lamp (ROTL):
TITLE: Rebels of the Lamp? I don't get the title. Maybe I missed a wink-wink or a quick one-liner. However, this title doesn't say much about the actual storyline or the characters. Are they rebels for opening the lamp? On the other spectrum, Children of the Lamp well describes the main characters and what the plot is going to be. Point goes to COTL.
HUMOR: This book did not have a lot of it. I never really found myself laughing at anything. Maybe a snicker here and there. But overall the tone of the book was more serious than lighthearted. COTL could make me laugh out loud. It was well balanced in its seriousness and its sarcasm. Point goes to COTL.
CHARACTERS: I think that the characters of ROTL developed very little. However, the friendship between Parker, Theo, and Reese was what developed. Parker more than anything else needed friends to help him open up and overcome his home-life situations. I like the trio and think they have a lot to offer as more books are released. Each member of the trio is very different from each other. Both Theo and Parker have mistakes they must learn to deal with and make up for. COTL's title characters in the twins also have this dynamic of being opposite sides of a coin. So I would say this comparison pretty even. COTL's characters, however, are djinn. ROTL's characters are mortals. The development of each group is going to be quite different. So I'd concede this to be a pretty even matchup. 1 point to each.
WORLD BUILDING: I loved ROTL's switch between Parker's life and the journals of Vesiroth. I loved reading about his struggles to overcome his grief and his developing magical powers. Meanwhile, we have Parker who is struggling to find his place in middle school. He has some pretty weighty home problems he's trying to overcome too. However, most of the story is about mortals discovering djinn. There is not a lot of depth when it comes to the individual djinn - even Fon-Rahm who I had hoped would have had more personality. Whereas COTL has a very vibrant and rich history to the djinn. I loved the different classes of djinn, the way their society developed, and the struggles to keep balance between the dark and light powers. I liked walking in the world of the djinn. Each character in the COTL series had a history which gave them depth. This point would go to COTL.
ADVENTURE: The plot flow was fast-paced. Chapter cliff-hangers made me want to keep going. There was good suspense to the plotline. This is the same with the COTL books. I would call this another even matchup. 1 point each.
ENDING: I remember the COTL series had a few deux ex machina endings that frustrated me. The stories of the COTL books were so well developed with multiple quirky characters and a full back story. Its downfall was when the endings were too simple. I felt Kerr did not push his characters enough at the end. They were pushed throughout the story and then given a free pass for a few of the endings. ROTL definitely offers no easy solutions for the kids. And its only through their sacrifices that they grow and succeed. That's what I really liked with the ending of this story. I also found the epilogue to be a great enticement for the next book. With an excellent main-story ending that gave us some heart and some ominous hintings as well as the dynamic epilogue, I'd say 2 points to ROTL.'
Final scores: COTL = 5 points; ROTL = 4. Both give us fun adventures revolving around djinn. Both are well-written with good characters. I think once ROTL develops the individual characters more (especially Fon-Rahm), its going to be pretty spectacular.
"Descendants of Avalon"
Released via Inklings Publishing
("The Forgotten" volume 2)
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse