Book info

Crystal Doors (2009)

Crystal Doors (2009)
Rating
3.67 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0316010553 (ISBN13: 9780316010559)
languge
English
series
publisher
little brown and company
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Crystal Doors (2009)
Crystal Doors (2009)

About book: Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.comFourteen-year old cousins Gwen and Vic Pierce are almost nothing alike. Where Gwen is serious, scientific, and analytical, Vic is fun-loving, spontaneous, and outgoing. Older by a mere five hours, Gwen likes to think of herself as the one in charge. Vic likes to use his love of fun to rile his cousin up. Since they both live with Carlton Arthur "Cap" Pierce, Vic's father and Gwen's uncle, things often times get interesting. Gwen's father, Reginald "Rip" Pierce, was Uncle Cap's twin brother. And her mother, Fyera, was the sister of Vic's mom, Kyara. The two brothers met the two sisters on a dig in the Yucatan Peninsula and were instantly smitten. They soon married, and Gwen and Vic arrived on the same day, only hours apart. Now Gwen's parents are gone, victims of a mysterious car accident. Even Vic's mother, Kyara, is no longer in the picture, having vanished into thin air two years ago only one week after the death of Gwen's parents. Now it's just Cap and the cousins, and the three attempt to make the best life together that they can. Gwen and Vic are raised almost like brother and sister, with Cap as their father. Although Gwen sometimes feels guilty for this new "family," her dreams of one day being a marine biologist keep her reaching towards her goal. After a nearly disastrous trip to Ocean Kingdoms, the kids are surprised by Cap's strange behavior. He informs them that their family will be leaving the very next day, to avoid danger. Having no idea what he's talking about, Gwen and Vic spend a night of fitful sleep wondering what's gotten into their uncle and father. They awake the next morning to a solarium full of mirrors, crystals, and prisms, and suddenly their world gets a whole lot stranger. Gwen and Vic find themselves falling through the light that Cap has created, almost as if it were a door. And when they land, they're no longer in a place that they recognize. The kids have come through a crystal door and ended up on the island of Elantya, the center through which all crystal doors unite. Although both bewildered by this new place and uncertain as to how they'll return home, Gwen and Vic are both excited by the people they meet on Elantya--Lyssandra, an interpreter and a telepath; Ali el Sharif, a novice at the Citadel who comes from the flying city of Irrakesh; and Tiaret, a young warrior girl who came from Afrik to also study at the Citadel. As Gwen and Vic learn that the Elantyans are in the midst of a war with the Merlons, vicious creatures of the sea, they realize that getting back to Earth may be the least of their problems. The two teens will have to work together with their three new friends to protect Elantya from its enemies--and one such enemy might just very well be someone within the Elantyan's own midst. The first in a trilogy, CRYSTAL DOORS is a highly entertaining contemporary fantasy that readers of all ages will enjoy. I look forward to reading more about life in Elantya, and finding out the reason that Gwen and Vic were brought there. A great read that you'll definitely enjoy!

I got The Crystal Doors audio book forever ago and it takes me such a long time to get through audio books compared to physical books. As much as I enjoy being read to, sometimes I just want the book to be finished so I can go onto something else. This was one of those books.The Crystal Doors is a middle grade book I would say aimed at ages 10+.The book follows fourteen year old cousins Gwen and Vic as they are accidently thrown into the strange world of Elantya and desperately try to get back home.Through their struggles they discover magic and make new friends. When the peaceful island life on Elantya is threatened by sea creatures Vic and Gwen fight alongside Elantyan residents to help them save their small island.Along the way they also uncover a few secrets about themselves.I enjoyed probably the first half of this book, after the halfway mark it just seemed to drag on.I don't know if that would have been different if I wasn't listening to it as an audio book. It seemed like after the halfway mark there wasn't really anything new or surprising in the book. As a reader I pretty much learned everything I needed to know in the first half.Besides that, the story line in the book is really good. I haven't really read a lot of middle grade books, but I did enjoy the story in this one it wasn't like anything I had ever read before.I likde the whole concept of the Crystal Doors and how they open into different worlds. I'm guessing if you carry on with the series you will discover these other worlds.I really liked all the characters in the book, which is strange for me. Usually in books there is at least one character I don't really like. The characters themselves were well thought out and each had their own personalities and traits which helped bring them to life.I'm not entirely sure if I will be carrying on with this series or not, it's not a series I will be going out of my way to try and find. I enjoyed this book, but not enough that I feel like I desperately need to go out and buy the next book right away.
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Reviews
Lyndsey
Okay FINE. This book isn't actually about a blonde chick with a door to an alternate universe in her head, but the plot line is just as equally contrived.Gwen and Vic are our two protagonists, and they are also "twin" cousins. This means that their dads are brothers, and their moms are sisters. Yeah - two brothers married two sisters and each couple had a child. I'm not sure if I should be creeped out by that. In fact, I found myself thinking about it often throughout the book and whether or not it should be weird. I don't think it should, but for some reason it seems like it would be.So, the kids inadvertently stumble into their Uncle/Dad's alternate universe machine and discover a whole new world. The inhabitants of this world are at war with a race of beings called Merlons. Dun, dun, dun...When I was in middle school, I loved the Young Jedi Knights series (which would make an amaaaaazing TV show!!) that was written by the same authors. It's fair to say that I was obsessed. Now, I'm not sure if I was just to blinded by thoughts like "COOL JEDI TRAINING!!" to see the sad truth about it. The writing is rife with overused and unnessecary words and breaks off topic so easily that it's ridiculous. Maybe this was fine for me during my peak ADD years, but now I need a lot more.Obviously a juvenile book, The Crystal Door is full of cliches, adjectives, adverbs, words like cerulean and magenta being used to describe the sky and the ocean, evil things, cheesy dialogue, and many other marks of books targeted to younger readers.In it's entirety, it was fun, cute, and quick, but not a world where I would want to spend a huge amount of time. So it's a good thing that these books are short.However, it was funny at times and might make a good choice if you are in the mood for a middle grade book!
Rachel
Vic and Gwen are cousins, born just five hours after each other. Gwens parents died in a mysterious car accident and Vics mother dissapeared when he was small. One day Vics father accidentally transports them throught the crystal door and into another world where Gwen and Vic are stranded, unable to return to Earth.I picked this book up because I needed something to read and this looked interesting so I wanted to see what this was about. This is actually a pretty good book and I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book. Who is Vics mother?I finished this book because it's really good and because curiosity made me want to find out who is the traitor. This was actually a really good book. The story was good and the style that the author used to write this book was really good too although the plot didn't have enough depth to it. I was clear who was the bad people and who were the good people right from the start.I would recommend this book to Aloka because she might like the action in this book.
Aelvana
Gwen and Vic, "twin cousins" born five hours apart, are still recovering from the death of Gwen's parents and the disappearance of Vic's mother. Gwen is sunk in her grief, but Vic tries to go at life full-tilt---until an unexpected accident lands them both on the other side of a crystal door, clear in another world. Now in Elantya, an island nation, they must figure out a way to get home . . . if they can survive long enough to do so.This was rough, but readable. After a somewhat bogged down beginning which tries to introduce a lot all at once and paints Gwen as a real downer, the story quickly picks up its pace and doesn't let up. I really liked Elantya. It's filled with a number of neat little gadgets and creatures, even if most of them only get a quick glimpse.The ocean theme is carried well throughout the book, from the beginning in an oceanic fun park to the various facets of the island nation. Magic is heavily tied to crystals, and works by a combination of symbols, physical ingredients, and words. The doors between worlds and their associated Keys are a good way to explain not only how inter-world travel is possible, but also how it might be prevented. And I'm fond of shapeshifting, even if it is only the bad guys who get to have all the fun.On the less enjoyable side, the book suffers from some puzzling plot decisions. Why, if the enemy is an underwater race that has just sunk a trading vessel, do people think it's a good idea to send students out on an old training ship without any real preparation for being attacked? And it's painfully obvious who the villain is since it's the only person who isn't nice to the main characters.Overall, this is a rather predictable story, but the world is engaging. Gwen and Vic clearly have some destiny going on, but their powers have yet to show themselves (the potential test at the end was interesting, but no one really explained how you go from lighting up a crystal to determining that means you can train as a Key, or have telepathic powers, or whatnot). This does set up a series, but the plot wraps up for the most part. I rate this book Recommended.
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