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Amelina Seems Like a Normal Teen, But She Has Magical Gifts!
Reviewed in Canada on February 6, 2023
Amelina Scott is the main character in Golden Healer. She seems like a normal teenager in many ways, living at home with her parents, dog, and cat. But she is quite extraordinary with special powers, thanks to the magical gifts she has received from Leanne. The crystals can do many things, each with its own abilities to help in some way.
The problem comes when Amelina discovers that her Bloodstone crystal is missing. Or was it stolen? She was entrusted with it, and now it might have fallen into the hands of someone evil (or something evil). And so starts this fascinating book!
Golden Healer has deeper messages within the fantasy elements. How author MJ Mallon handles the bullying issue, which is all too common with teenagers, might be enlightening for some young adults reading the book.
Other issues include anorexia and self-harm. Esme, a character who is caught in a mirror, has a butterfly project that offers a message of hope to those who self-harm. I didn’t realize the butterfly project is a real thing until I read Golden Healer.
The book has understanding notes, is never judgemental, and the author even includes links to resources for help. Yes, there is a trigger warning included in this book. That’s good so that you know heading into it what to expect. This book, which I was gifted, is the second installment in The Curse Of Time series, but you can read it as a standalone novel.
Review D. L. Finn
“Golden Healer” picks up where the first book left off with Amelina maneuvering through her teen years while embracing her magic as a Krystallos. Some of my favorite parts were the interaction with the girl in the mirror and Amelina and her dad. Not only did the plot take the reader on a rollercoaster, but there was also an actual one in the story. Many good characters all played into finding out more about the darker side, or shadows. Ryder is a character who could have an empathic side if he allowed it, but I did like how he developed in the story. Crystals and music added depth to Amelina’s learning quest. Her friendships are still strong and are tested with Ryder involved. There are some beautiful poetic parts, and I love the poetry at the beginning of each chapter. Although this book answers many questions, it also opened the door to new ones. I look forward to more stories from these characters.
Review Richard Dee
A fantastic continuation of the series
This novel carries on from where the first left off, straight into Amelina’s world of crystals and magic.
It was good to catch up with the familiar faces, Amelina’s parents, her cat, Esme, Ryder and all the others. As you might have expected, her life is still just as complicated and exciting as before. But now she has a new purpose.
There’s plenty of angst to deal with, as Amelina juggles being a teen with her new-found destiny as a Krystallos. Her relationships will be tested, people will not be what they appear.
Through it all, she sticks to her purpose. Emotions abound, expertly described and dealt with as Amelina’s fortunes wax and wane.
The mystical symbolism and magic in the story are brilliantly depicted.
Not only that, each chapter has a short poem to introduce it, giving clues and guidance as the plot develops.
A rollercoaster ensues, in more ways than one. I hope that a third part of this fascinating tale is on the horizon.
Review: Robbie Cheadle
Amazing fantasy creatures and gorgeous depictions wrapped up in an unusual storyline
Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2022
Golden Healer is the second book in The Curse of Time series and continues this unique fantasy story with its unusual and intriguing storyline. Book one ended with a happy environment after Amelina’s father was finally restored to his family at the correct age and Esme disappeared from the mirror, presumably to a better place. Book two starts with small but obvious indications that all is not as it seems and the issues involving both Amelina’s father and Esme are not adequately resolved.
The beginning is a bit slower moving as the author skillfully unwinds the reader’s beliefs that all is well and hammers cracks into the happy environment. The stage is set beautifully with fascinating and intricate scenes and dreams spun like a spiderweb from the author’s pen. Amelina’s first dream travel in this book has catastrophic results as while she is away from her body her bloodstone is stolen and this accelerates the cracks in her home environment.
This book is not an easy read and you have to concentrate as you read in the same way you would while reading a classic novel. It is worth the effort as the descriptions and concepts are outstanding and beautifully depicted.
There are a few stand out scenes for me in this book, as follows: the grasshopper in the meadow, the clowns in the café, and Aunt Karissa’s chocolates. For me, these were unbelievably imaginative and full of mystery.
Aunt Karissa features plays a small role in this book, introducing some welcome lightness and humour as Ryder’s darkness and power continue to grow. The reader learns a bit more about Ryder and his origins and homeland.
Another memorable feature of this book is that each chapter or puzzle piece starts with a tanka poem that hints at what is to follow in the chapter. The author is also an excellent poet and the poems were a lovely addition.
A few memorable quotes from this book:
“The grasshopper monster propelled time forward in a steady, slow, rocking motion, as if he was devouring our lives in seconds, minutes and hours as we gazed upon him.”
“Hello my beautiful reflection. You came! You always come when I need you the most. I have been so anxious listening to the troubles of this family which has become my family. What have you been doing? I see sweet flowers covering the red cuts on your left wrist.”
“”She opened the wrapper with trembling fingers. Inside, there was a small, round milk chocolate. It grew in her palm. the chocolate split into two halves, one half dark, and the other half white. In the centre, a dividing line moved form side to side as if whipping up the chocolate angrily.”
In conclusion, I would like to add that when I was a girl of 10 years old, I discovered the books written by Eva Ibottson. Every book of hers I read was a complete delight to me with its amazing fantasy creatures and gorgeous depictions of the lives of hags in dribbles and wizards in towers surrounded by mist. Throughout my adult life, I have search for an adult author who can invoke the same magical worlds and belief in magical creatures that I discovered in Miss Ibottson’s stories, and in this series by M.J. Mallon, I do believe I finally found an adult equivalent.
Review: N N Light
The author is a magician with words. She crafts scenes of sublime fantasy that are clear and easily pictured in the mind of the reader. The gift of description is also present. The scenes are very easy to understand, and the reader is swept into the story.
There is a real ‘arryesque feel to these stories. If you were a fan of the original wizard and his gang then you will be drawn to Amelina and her crew. Ryder is the ultimate character. The author was so able to capture the inner feelings of this character. It wasn’t more than a few pages when I loathed the existence of that waste of air.
Fans of the first book will simply love this book. This book carries on the craftily created story and takes it along an energetic ride to the end. Fans of this series will simply not be able to wait until they get their hands on the much-anticipated third book.
Her Rating: 5 stars
Wonderful reviews, Congratulations!!
Thank you Darlene. 😊
This is so cool! I was just telling a friend. today, how much I love audio books! <3
Oh do give it a go Annette! Both books in the series are out in audiobook. 😀
Great group of reviews, Marje 🙂 Thanks for including mine xo
Glad to do so Denise. x
Congrats, Marje, on release of the audiobook – and on those fantastic reviews
Thank you so much Toni. 💓 I am so thrilled. The narration brings it to life. Amazing!
Hi Marje, Fantastic, I would love to create my books as audio stories.
It’s wonderful. I love that the two novels are now out as audiobooks. 😀
Good for you for getting this done, Marje. I found audiobooks a big undertaking and have only done one of them. You go! And great reviews. Congrats!
Thank you Diana. So thrilled both are now out in audiobook. 😀