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Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones (Zoraida Grey Series) Kindle Edition
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Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones starts out slow but, for those who persevere, a thrilling and magical adventure awaits!
I agree with some of the reviewers who say that the book starts out slow because it does; however, "slow" and "boring" aren't always synonymous with each other in the literary world. Since this is the first book of the series, I think it was appropriate for DuBois to take some time to develop the characters; especially since what Granny taught Zoraida about magic and Zoraida's self-doubt are crucial elements in the plot later on. Besides, Zoraida and Granny are interesting characters and the magic they practice is an interesting mix of herbalism, respect for nature, backwoods folklore, and old-fashioned common sense.
In contrast to Granny's and Zoraida's down-home styles is Zoraida's best friend, Zhu. Zhu is a completely non-magical character who is surrounded by a certain mystique because she seems virtually impervious to Zoraida's magic. Her calm exterior is often punctuated by witty remarks and a penchant for finding mischief. Her confidence and brightness are a perfect foil to Zoraida's cautious and insecure personality.
While the character development is amazing, it wouldn't make any sense without an equally compelling backdrop. From the backcountry in Arkansas to the rarefied air of the Scottish relatives in their castle, one gets the impression that Zoraida is in way over her head. I could almost feel the warmth of the Arkansas countryside in contrast to the damp, dank, and dismal atmosphere in the Scottish castle. The contrasts in the two settings really help set the tone for the task that Zoraida and Zhu are undertaking.
I found myself captivated by Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones. The plot ends with a cliffhanger, so I am eager to see what DuBois has in store for the next book.
The blurb actually does a perfect job of explaining what this book is about, so family intrigue, mystery, sexy but possibly psychopathic Scottish witches, magical stones, a creepy castle—you will definitely find all of those things in this story! And they made for a mysterious and fun read.
One thing I liked most was the main character herself, Zoraida. She was realistic and seemed to have her priorities straight. She made good decisions, she stayed focused on her goal rather than getting sidetracked by hot guys, and she was loyal to her granny (who raised her) and her best friend. Also, I know this is going to sound oddly specific, but there was one scene in which someone attacked her right when she got out of the shower and was still in her underwear, and I liked that instead of being all preoccupied and self-conscious in a life-threatening situation the way characters often are, she just fought back and didn’t worry about what she was wearing. She even had a bit of humor sometimes. She wasn’t perfect though, she just had the right good traits to be likeable.
The friendship between Zoraida and Zhu was nice too. I feel like I didn’t get to see a whole lot of it, but their friendship was clearly strong and portrayed in a positive way.
I also really liked the Scottish setting. I don’t think I had ever read any books set in Scotland, and I had fun doing the accent in my head ;-)
My only complaint is that the book was maybe a little slow-paced, but, as I said, it was full of mystery, and it seems like this was more of a setup for crazier things to come in future books. It did have its own goal and a plot and all that, but the book was still more focused on uncovering secrets and learning about the family history Zoraida didn’t even know existed.
So overall this book had some fun mysteries and secrets, a likeable main character, solid writing, and a bit of humor, and it was an enjoyable start to the series!
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight (link in profile)
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