Many thanks to N.N. Light, Amazon Vine Voice Reviewer and Verified Influencer for this wonderful review of the audiobook of Golden Healer. @NNP_W_Light #audiobook #review #NextChapterPub @NextChapterPb
Title: Golden Healer: The Curse of Time, Book 2 Author: M. J. Mallon Narrator: Kerri Hiebert Genre: Coming of Age, YA Fantasy, YA Book Blurb: I didn’t think my life could get any weirder, until the dreaded rollercoaster…. Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings. Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder, a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers, Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened, and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again. As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be? A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Golden Healer is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal. NOTE: this book contains mention of self-harm, mental health issues, and alludes to the potential dangers of sexual attraction, which may trigger younger/sensitive listeners.
N. N. Light’s Review: Story Impressions –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. Narrator’s overall voice – Kerri Hiebert’s voice has a personality all her own which she applies to the various character voices. It has a smoothness and lilt I thoroughly enjoyed. Does the narrator fit the characters? Yes, Kerri Hiebert fits the characters. I’m astonished at how well she evokes the different characters. Narrator’s reading style –Kerri Hiebert has an relaxed reading style but with enough dramatic flair to keep the listener entranced. Narrator’s impact on reading experience –Kerri Hiebert has an intrinsic ability to draw a listener/reader in without any effort. The scenes are so well narrated, I had to stop what I was doing to focus on the story. Narrator’s pacing –Kerri Hiebert’s pacing is flawless, blending fantasy, mythology, coming of age themes with ease. Audiobook flow – Kerri Hiebert lets the audiobook develop naturally through the use of dialogue, action, and world-building. What makes this audiobook unique –Kerri Hiebert and M.J. Mallon partner up to bring readers/listeners an engrossing YA fantasy adventure. The plot is full of intrigue which adds to the enjoyment while listening. Kerri’s narration brings Golden Healer to life. Would I recommend this audiobook – YES! One-click this audiobook right now.
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.
“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.
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. Highly recommended.
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.
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.
Great news, the Bloodstone Audiobook is live and available to buy and listen to via various paid as well as audiobook subscription options on Amazon. It will also be on Itunes. The narrator Kerri Hiebert did a fabulous job of narrating.
It has been well received with a great bestseller top 100 rating in Amazon UK under the category Coming of age Fiction For Teens.
Also I have a limited amount of free acx promo codes – US and UK – for those who might not want the free trial but are keen to listen and review. Let me know if you would like one – email me, or comment below.
Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.
When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, perplexing stranger.
With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?
A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology, or the world of the paranormal.
TRIGGER WARNING: this book contains mention of self-harm, mental health issues and alludes to the potential dangers of sexual attraction, which may trigger younger/sensitive readers.
I hope you are staying safe and indoors if you are in the path of the storm. Take care,