Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Moonstone Series by Marilee Brothers


Okay so, this series started out with a lot of promise. It was an interesting concept with a tough, relate-able lead. The first books was full of potential. The writing was smooth, the characters were interesting and the plot was exciting. The only problems were slightly one-dimensional characters (Junior and Allie's two friends were very flat; they seemed to serve very little real purpose.) and a somewhat predictable plot (It follows the format of just about every other YA book and the magic involved wasn't as featured as I thought it would be.) But these problems didn't ruin the book. It was still a fun read. 

Book two was better. We got to know the characters better. The writing had improved and the plot became more unique. 

Then came book three...I'm not sure why the author tried to cram in so many forms of mythology together, but it got a little bizarre. That plus that addition of a third "love interest" made the third book a bit of a let down. 

And finally the forth book. Okay, so if book 3 was the overuse of mythology, book 4 was the absence. I felt like nothing significant happened until the final chapter. 

The series as a whole: 
The Unbidden magic series started off good. Just good. The characters were a little flat and the plot a little predictable, but overall I liked the series in the beginning. When a second love interest was brought in, I was fine with that, especially because it came in conjunction with an explanation of the whole Star Seeker magic. I thought that the way the love interests were switched[Junior leaving to Mexico to become a TV turned movie star to conveniently leave an open space for a new boyfriend (hide spoiler)] was a little strange, but at least the author was being original. 

My real problem in the series started in the third book, when the story line deviated entirely from the original mythology. In fact, it seemed like the series had skewed completely from its original start. First off, the entrance of faeries in addition to the Star Seekers. I don't mind mixing mythology, in fact I think it's awesome, but this didn't seem like mixing. It felt like the author piled on unrelated mythology and tried to make it mix with a hasty explanation, but didn't think it out properly and ended up failing to combine the mythologies smoothly. Second, the entrance of a third love interest was a little frustrating. I mean, it wasn't even done so that the various love interests throughout the series were handled well. It was more like Allie had one, dropped him; got another one; kind of dropped him; got a third one, rejected him; kind of got the first one back, really dropped the second one; and now she's in a weird on-and-off with the original, Junior. That's literally the story of Allie's lovelife in the first four books. It just didn't seem to fit right. It's like the author just made it up as she went along, rather having an idea of what was going to happen in the series. 

Then, in book four, things got even more bizarre. At the end of book 3, we randomly find out that Allie has a twin. Now, she suddenly now her name and needs her to fullfill the entire prophecy. Junior is suddenly back. A secret US government service if after Allie to exploit her power. And the whole Star Seeker business is long gone. 

It felt like the story line didn't fit, like the author had just strung it together without putting much thought into it. The mythology got mixed up; the love interests were jumbled; the entire plot felt like Frankenstein: pulled together with used parts. 

The good parts: Allie was a strong lead. Her mother was definitely an interesting character. Ms. Brothers definitely surprised me a few times. Some of the characters were truly lovable (especially little Chad). 

Overall, I would give the first four books a 3/5 as a whole. I enjoyed reading the series, I just didn't quite like the path it took. I'm not going to recommend it to everybody. I would only recommend it to those who like a conglomeration of chicklit, various mythologies, thriller, and drama. And only if they're looking for a quick, light, entertaining read. If you're looking for unique, magnificent books that go above and beyond the norm, this series isn't for you. It's a fun, light read and I would only say to read this series if that's all your'e looking for.  

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