I found Crystallum in an amazon giveaway while researching authors for my Fantasy Character Cotillion. I always try to review books I received for free.
I work on a five star system, but rarely does a book get 5 stars, so 3 and 4 stars are a compliment.
On the cover: This book looked historical. It is not. It is present day.
This book is about kids in high school (I’m so happy it’s senior year) and there is typical high school drama, as to be expected. It’s been a long while since I’ve read something about high school aged characters.You were warned in the blurb (somehow I forgot), so no complaints. There is more than an occasional peppering of Latin throughout the novel. This reader earned a Magna Cum Laude on the National Latin Exam, so while that pleases me, I am in agreement that it was a whole lot of Latin (and I am not sure if the word order was sorted) and the history was so rich that it was a little hard to follow. The reason no one speaks Latin anymore is because word order, gender, and ending need to match the part of speech something is in a sentence. Can you imagine speaking that way fluently? Eek. Much harder than English (which is messed up anyway). I’d love to see an acknowledgement in which McMann gets Cole-like and says “I slaved over this Latin so you better enjoy it!”
I liked: The supporting characters’ twists, relationships, and personalities. Diverse and beautiful.
I wanted: A prologue that explained the alternate plane more. I’m still not sure what’s happening, but McMann will clue us in.
You will like this book if you like: Smart and cocky characters. They are intelligent, well-read, Shakespeare-quoting characters at the top of their class. You will also like it if you enjoyed “The Mortal Instruments”, because there are demons and shadows, and a hidden plane only Kade can see in a night club.
Remember: This is the first book in a series, which means you need to read #2 before you form a concrete decision about the series as a whole.