Publishing Date: January 2014
Publisher Description: “The Room has one rule which you must never break or you will lose the privilege of the 24th Room – when it is time to go back, you must always return the way you came, never attempt to go down any of the other stairways…” Jaxon and Shay Vale are 16-year-old twins, one of whom, due to their heritage, will be the future Lord or Lady of Vale Manor in England. In their eyes, this is a burden – and not one they are the slightest bit interested in. An old lady from a store in the village tells them about the manor’s secret: the 24th Room, which sits in the 5th Dimension, can be reached from a stairway that will take them on a journey through the amazing night sky. This room is like no other, and holds many surprises for Jaxon and Shay. The legend of the room states, once they turn 18, that their memory of the 24th Room will disappear… But will it?
Review: WILL IT!!!???? I DON”T KNOW???? CAN IT???!!! MAYBE!!??? (insert SPOOKY VISION here). Since I always or most always start the review with the cover art, I will say that it is accurate as depicted in the novel. Although accurate, not appropriate for cover art as it encompasses boring to the nth degree.
So basically you have two teenage twins that sound like argumentative spoiled brats with mouthy negative attitudes moving to Vale Manor. See, the Vales established the 24th room that is in the 5th dimension (not the Band) and the new lords (two brats) are the inheritors. So Jaxon and Shay are twin asshats that are essentially enabled 10 year olds until the author says they are on the cusp of 17. Wow, didn’t see that coming. I think that was the biggest surprise of the novel, and unintended. There is this consistent liberal bludgeoning by the author to the effect “This magical room was created for all cultures and colors to come together in love and sharing so that we can begin to change the world. Most if not all the teensters here become world leaders to teach and provide……..” blah blah blah. If they are anything like Jaxon and Shay Asshat-Vale, run screaming for your lives.
What was really weird about this novella is 16 year old twins that talk and behave like 10 year olds. Calling each other dufus’, or having one brain cell, wearing mickey mouse pajamas, sticking fingers down throats to emulate disgust and other pre-pubescent antics that leave you scratchin’ your head. Everyone that is 16 years old behaves like they have gradeschool crushes. Shay behaves like spoiled vindicative clown-monkey when seemingly insulted. Yet is lauded in the end for her bravery and “unique personality”. Hey, I know, lets enable asshats to be jerks then hold them up on a pedastel. It is called creating sociopaths for the next generation. I think the author may have a deluded idea about what “teensters” are really about. Kind of the ol’ “veil not lifted from eyes” dealio. Maybe they just grow teenagers differently in New Zealand.
Dialogue is very fast paced, so much so that it trips over each other in a rush to finish. Besides the stilted dialogue, the scene development was average in that you were left to your own imagination in order to complete it. There are all these wonderful creatures in the garden but scant descriptions about what they really look like and where they come from. They are just “there” . There are no descriptions about what the Warlords look like, other than the main bad lord being really tall, dressed in black with a crystal in his palm.
The battle scenes had no descriptive elements and the main characters had the emotive capacity of a boll weevil. I can see this being read to a group of 8-10 year olds with some minor editing.