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In this second installment of The Keeper of Stones, Jake West and the gang took us again into the world of Rhuaddan via time travel. The Warriors of the Heynai immediately picked up from where the first book left. This time, Jake wasn’t only facing the dilemma of saving Rhuaddan and the fixing of the stones but he must also race against time to save Ben from the clutches of death. With this almost impossible task, Jake discovered another perk of being a Keeper, the ability to do time travel. Saving Ben was successful. But would Jake be successful in completing his quest for the stones?
Being a fantasy lover that I am, I have this obsessive-compulsive tendency to finish all the books in the series despite the fact that I was greatly disappointed with the first one. Maybe because I always see the silver lining ahead, that things would get better in the next one. With the Warriors of the Heynai, I am in a way glad that things were looking better as compared with the first book. Jake and the gangs’ adventures in this book were great. From the time travel to the breathtaking quests to the large-scale battles, everything was admirable. Such magnitude should have been hard to pull off but M.J. had done it gracefully.
The world building was absorbing. There were a lot of instances that I got lost in it relishing Rhuaddan’s beauty and its veiled horrors. M.J. managed to create a world that is at par with that of J.R.R Tolkien’s LOTR Middle-Earth. Every place was superbly described that navigating becomes a subconscious adventure.
The new creatures presented in this book are created with excellence and as such, perfect to give dignity to a wonderful place such as Rhuaddan. The zombie army and the Lords of Srenul were the ones who made a significant impact on me. They are just cool and wished that I have seen a lot of them in this book.
Though kind of impressed with how this book turned out, I cannot fully say that this greatly satisfied me. Most unfortunately, the elements that I didn’t like in the first were carried to this book. It was still full of verbosity. Creature description seemed a lot to take in. POVs were still crazily alternated that it was confusing. For the love of books, I understand that there’s a need for readers to relate to the characters but it doesn’t necessarily mean that readers should take a look at every character’s train of thought just to achieve that. This kind of approach has seriously given me a headache.
Moreover, almost every character gave me an impression that they were “trying hard Shakespearians” with all their melodramatic dialogues and thoughts. It really gave me the creeps and the ewwws. I understand that there’s a need for such a thing especially if it’s a moment of tension but if it’s done almost always, then I’m going to have to stamp my foot. Even the normal dialogues and interactions have it that everything seems off. For me, there’s always the right moment to deliver that melodramatic, tear worthy dialogue.
Also, the problem that I have with the character development from the first book reoccurred in this one. It was somewhat forced or something. Take Jake for example. He was described as an ordinary boy who is at ease and certainly loves to laugh. I didn’t see that. Instead, I saw a boy who instantly became matured and a total bore without even transition...that in-between phase before becoming a fully matured adult. And what really annoyed me most is Ben. He is just a retarded immature who loves to spew corny jokes. Immaturity can be fun if one knows when to strike. And using that as a premise to deliver a joke can be a hit or miss. But take my word for it, in Ben’s case that was a total miss… epic fail. Boom. The only person that I learned to like in this book is Zephany. But there is still a possibility that I’m going to hate her if she doesn’t stop talking in melodramatic tones whenever she has the chance to talk.
And before I start boring you, my dear friends, I’m going to wrap this review for now. If you like getting lost in epic battles of heroism or pursuing an action packed journey with winged horses or Medusa-like dragons or exploring a cosmic world of extra ordinariness, then this book is highly recommended.