Book: The Crystal Key (The Wellspring Trilogy 1) by Robert Gronewold
Release Date: November 7th 2017
Tags: Young Adult / Fantasy / Love Triangle
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.
The sun has not shone in over a thousand years. Sixteen year old Felicity lives in a world where the Dark rules. Humanity stays to the Wellsprings, illuminated swathes of land where the light of eternal fountains keeps the skies bright all day long. But beyond that, the world is wrapped in eternal shadows, filled with monstrous Horrors who pray on the unsuspecting. When Felicity discovers that she is a Turnkey, a guardian selected to protect the Wellsprings, her life unexpectedly changes. Not only is she gifted with a magical Key with amazing abilities, but her fate soon takes her deep into the Dark, where with the help of a mysterious boy named Tobin she must survive astonishing odds. For it is soon that the Horrors begin hunting her, and a race to get home is only the beginning of her worries.
What drew my attention about The Crystal Key first was that gorgeous cover. I love these kind of covers and it almost looked like it was a graphic novel. But it for sure was a 400 pages novel.
The thing about The Crystal Key is that it starts out as so many other books do. We follow a main girl who has lost both her parents. She is being raised by a family friend (who is a good guardian at least) but has been keeping something from her. She has powers and her guardian is opposed to it (the reason is a bit flimsy to be honest). She starts training. That is the basic start. It is hard to move on from something like that. It tries to do this but the middle lagged and the characters couldn’t quite stand out.
World building wise I feel that it did have something very interesting and new. However it lacked very much in explanations. It felt like a very rough idea that wasn’t fully fleshed out in details in the actual story. It took me a long time to get a good grip on the wellspring, horror and turnkey bits. I just needed our main character to explain a bit more on it. It wasn’t like we were getting a huge bunch of other information or that things were that intricate. Certain things were also named differently, like the days and day and night itself were called different too. Yet I got the idea this was more so set in our world somehow? The idea of the wellsprings itself and the plot (and perhaps possible plot as I have ideas) are interesting. I’m curious in that regard to find out more.
As said, the characters couldn’t quite stand out. Don’t get me wrong, they were likeable. Felicitiy is a strong willed young girl who is willing to stand up for what she wants. She is relatively smart, but a tad impulsive on the heroics. But I still felt I was only scratching the surface with her. Like there was still a wall between us. I also have to admit that I get the feeling in parts that our characters were younger than 16, a lot and I can’t help but wonder if maybe this could have been better off as a middle grade writing wise. I just could not shake that feeling.
And yet there was a love triangle in the middle that I was best not pleased with. Don’t get me wrong, I can see her with both guys. But I initially thought that there was a cute relationship being set up there and then we get thrown this triangle with some not sharing and someone being the other person. And just no, so much no. The book did not need that.
Having said all of this however, I would like to read on with this series in the future.