The Eye of the Crystal Ball
Kidlit / Fantasy
Ms. Boje reached out to me soon after I rebooted this blog and asked if I’d be willing to read and review her novelette, which is a term you don’t often see these days. The premise sounded intriguing, so I gladly accepted her offer. Then between traveling, Comic Con and other obligations, it took me two months to get to it. When I finally picked it up, I found an underdeveloped story that had a lot of really good, imaginative fun ideas hidden within. This really shouldn’t have been a novelette. There is so much crammed into the 130 pages that isn’t fully explored, making the story a mish-mash of quick scenes and rushed actions that is hard to get immersed in as the reader.
The Eye of the Crystal Ball is the story of Sara, a Romani gypsy (which I know is a bit redundant), who goes on a quest to find something that will cure her baby brother from the illness from which he’s dying. It’s a pretty simple idea, but Boje adds in scary monsters, a speed talking giant snail, spells, witches, telekinesis, hollow elves, and so many other things that this could easily become an epic children’s story if only Boje had slowed down and explored the potential of her ideas.