Busy school days don’t leave me with much time to read and relax, so when my boys have a break, one of the advantages is that I have a little more time to read. Recently I was offered a copy of a middle-school novel called Journey to Rainbow Island, the first novel from author Christie Hsaio, and as a lover of fantasy fiction, I decided to see what it was like.
With a beautiful island, a mysterious young heroine, plenty of magic and a dark dragon, this book had all the elements of fantasy that I normally love. I expected a somewhat simplistic plot as the book’s suggested reading age is 8-12 years. But even a few chapters in, I had a feeling the suggested age wasn’t terribly accurate. The plot is certainly basic enough for younger readers, but the language is so flowery that I can’t really imagine it holding a child’s interest for long.
The storyline had all the elements of success in my opinion, but the needlessly descriptive writing caused the book to fall flat and the hyperbole that filled the book’s pages also led to some rather unexpected and easily avoidable errors. If there’s one thing that quickly pulls me out of a story, it’s a mistake in spelling or grammar. It’s the reason editors are so important and coming across more than one error while reading was unpleasant and ruined what flow the story did have. [Read more…]