Island Realm (Crystal Doors #1)
Gwen and Vic are cousins, twins in the sense that they were born only five hours apart. Their family history is shrouded in mystery. Gwen and Vics fathers are twin brothers, and their mothers are sisters. While their fathers were on an archaeological dig in Mexico, two sisters appeared out of nowhere and each fell in love with one of the brothers. This romance took a turn for the worse when Gwens parents died inexplicably in what was thought to be an accident many years ago. The most bizarre aspect of their death was that Vics mother disappeared shortly thereafter, never to be heard from again. Five-sided pendants that their mothers left them are Gwen and Vics only connection to their past.
After Gwens dangerous run-in with a sinister man at Ocean Kingdoms theme park, Vics father works tirelessly on an experiment with crystals that inadvertently whisks Gwen and Vic away to Elantya, a fantasy island world that serves as the portal to a plethora of exotic worlds. Vic prefers to enjoy their unexpected visit to this new world, while Gwen worries about how they will return home.
Elantya at first seems idyllic, a beach paradise, but the cousins soon learn that not all is as peaceful as it seems. Merlons, humanoid inhabitants of the sea, have grown increasingly hostile towards the people of Elantya and are on the verge of a full-scale war. The cousins turn their attention on how they can help their new friends in Elantya defeat the Merlons, with their sea minions and dark magic.
The book leaves you hanging, with numerous questions unanswered and no conclusion to the plot, forcing readers to pick up Ocean Realm, book two of the series, to follow Gwen and Vics journey,
While Crystal Doors is a suspenseful and fun fantasy book, it is nothing extraordinary. The customary battles between good and evil are sometimes a little too drawn out and predictable. Character development so far in this first book is lacking; however, it is still early in the story. The fact that Gwen and Vic know so little about their mothers, and yet never questioned Vics father about what happened is hard or me to believe. The story has not impressed me so far, but I am interested in seeing where the plot is headed in the next couple of books. I think the story has promise, and Im intrigued to see how Moesta and Anderson resolve the conflict in Elantya.
In my opinion, Crystal Doors is one of the best books I have read. Its has adventure and action as well as romance and comedy. The contrast between Gwen and Vic is interesting and I like the idea that Kevin J Anderson made each chapter a different cousin's point of view. I think its a good book and I have enjoyed it very much.