Review: The Secret of the Scarlet Stone by T.L Clarke
Blurb from Amazon:
The Adventure Begins……
My name is Gabrielle Martin. And before I discovered that the scarlet pendant I received on my thirteenth birthday was not just any ordinary pendant but a crazy weird talisman and lifeline to my supernatural powers; the only major thing that I cared about was starting my freshman year at Vineswell Academy. But that was way before finding out that everything that I had known about my life was a lie….essentially smoke-and-mirrors designed to hide the truth about my powerful supernatural legacy.
Random: Oh my Spanish, what happened to you?
I don’t think I’m the intended audience for this novel. The main reason is the characters
are younger than what I usually read; they are thirteen years which I identify as middle school. It is not that time for serious conversation and the books is evidence of this idea because there is nothing serious going on.
Gabrielle is the main character who is thirteen and did I hate her. She is bossy, self-righteous, and judgmental so a typical thirteen year old. She believes she can do no wrong and her beliefs and assumptions are always on the mark. Her problem is that she doesn’t have an inside voice so anything rude that should be a thought is actually spoken. She has three roommates-Rosalinda who Gabi immediately labels as “Princess Rosalinda” because Rosalinda is a spoiled, rich girl. It is Gabi who immediately is on the assault and constantly criticizing Rosalinda for anything she does and says. Yes, Rosalinda is spoiled but that is not reason enough to be mean to her. Zora is the second roommate and she is the smart one of the group. Jessica is the meek one of the group, she is shy and cowardly (to an extent).
The entire novels takes place during one night that is a quest to find the mystery of why all the girls have the same pendant. It is well detailed and it is adventurous but quests are meant to show character growth and it really didn’t show that. Gabi is the clear leader of this quest, Zora is the brain and she solves all the clues, Jessica is scare and Rosalinda complains the entire time. Never are the roles exchanges. The end of the quest was disappointing because I still don’t understand what is the legacy of the girls. Their families were involved and it seems to be a generational thing but I’m not sure as to why them. They do remind me of witches though. What started the initial quest is not answer but we are given a villain so that’s a plus. Either way, the quest as interesting as it was, it’s not a real quest because the character don’t really learn anything new about themselves.
The biggest problem I have with this novel is the blatant misuse of the Spanish language. Rosalinda is Spanish (from Spain) so she throws in a few Spanish phrases, all of them incorrectly. She says “Gracias, las muchachas” which translates to” “Thank you, the girls” and it supposed to be “Gracias, muchachas” which means “Thank you, girls.” The word for spider is wrong; Clarke spells spider as “arena” which actually means “sand.” It is clear that Clarke does not speak Spanish because the mistakes are simple but Clarke should have double-checked with a Spanish speaker before creating a character who is going to speak Spanish. It chips away the author’s credibility when such mistakes are obvious.
In the end, it is a clean novel (there is no cursing) and if I was thirteen, maybe I would have liked it more. The novel was just not for me but it was all right.
41st in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, Self-Published, First in A Series, Why Buy the Cow?