Note: I received a digital copy of Crystal Dreams from the author for review consideration.
After my last, somewhat disastrous attempt at reading fantasy, I was a little afraid to pick up Crystal Dreams. I was so pleased to find this book was not a stereotypical fantasy! (Maybe it’s only high fantasy that I dislike?)
In this book, Kat is a normal high school student, struggling to fit in. She goes on a walk in the woods and discovers a door surrounded by crystals–the same crystals Kat has been dreaming about for years. When Kat goes through the door, she discovers a whole new world, where she has belonged all along.
In Crystal World, there are six colors of crystals, which years ago shattered and fragmented the groups of crystals. Everyone in Crystal World belongs to one of these colors, and the color of your crystal signifies the skill, or power, that you will study. These skills were the best part–think Hogwarts Houses, if each House had a special magic power that could only be performed by the students of that House. These skills ranged from creating illusions with the mind, forecasting (or fortune telling), healing (again with the power of the mind), communicating with animals, working with the elements, and speaking directly into someone else’s mind.
Kat finds out that she’s not the only one who just found out that she belongs in Crystal World. There are six of them whose parents were murdered and who were sent to the Real World to be raised by adoptive parents until they could be brought back to their true world. (Conveniently, each of these six have a different crystal color, allowing them to start breaking down prejudices between different color groups.) The group of six includes Kat’s long-lost brother, her brand-new boyfriend, and the son of the man who is said to have murdered Kat’s father. Throughout the school year, Kat and her friends work on learning to use their powers, exploring Crystal World, and keeping their friendships strong even though they all belong to different color groups.
My only complaint is that sometimes the story felt a little “young” and simple to be a YA novel. Kat’s vendetta against Ezno, the boy whose father supposedly murdered her father, is understandable, but is played somewhat one-dimensionally (is that a word?). I also wished there had been more information about Crystal World itself. We get a little information about the movies, card games, and clothes, but I wanted more specifics!
I’m excited to read the next book in the series. I have to find out what happens to Kat after her year in the Real World before she returns to Crystal World!
Rating: Pretty Darn Good