Emerald Bound by Teresa Richards
Publisher: Evernight Publishing Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Full Length (233 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
A princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses. This is the sliver that survives of a story more nightmare than fairytale…
Maggie Rhodes, high school junior and semi-reformed stalker, learns the tale’s true roots after a spying attempt goes awry and her best friend Kate ends up as the victim of an ancient curse. At the center of the curse lies an enchanted emerald that has been residing quietly in a museum for the past fifty years. Admirers of the gem have no idea that it feeds on life. Or that it’s found its next victim in Kate.
Enter Lindy, a school acquaintance who knows more than she’s letting on, and Garon, a handsome stranger claiming he knows how to help, and Maggie is left wondering who to trust and how to save her best friend before it’s too late.
If only Maggie knew her connection to the fairy tale was rooted far deeper than an endangered best friend.
Magic isn’t always used with good intentions. Would you be able to sense when it was being used to do something terrible?
The world building was extremely well done. It involved complicated backstories for more than one character as well as a long and tangled history of the enchanted emerald. I always knew exactly what was going on, though, because the narrators spent so much time showing how everything fit together. This was especially handy later on in the plot when I needed to remember small details that had been briefly mentioned earlier. Thanks to the author’s spellbinding writing style, this wasn’t a problem for me in the least. If this is any indication of Ms. Richards’ ability to whip up such memorable scenes, I will be quite interested to see what she comes up with next!
My only criticism has to do with the romantic subplot. While I appreciated how much time was put into developing it, it never blended into the storyline the way all of the other subplots did. The characters involved in it had so many other things going on in their lives that I was surprised to see either of them showing interest in any sort of romance. The chemistry between them also didn’t gel for me because of how divided their attention was between the romance and the rest of their lives. This would have been a logical and satisfying premise for a sequel if the author ever writes one, but it didn’t make sense to pursue it so soon.
There’s something to be said for a mystery that doesn’t reveal many clues at first. I’m the kind of reader who enjoys being challenged when I’m reading this genre, so I was fascinated by the small number of clues that the characters had to work with in the beginning. It was nice to be able to concentrate on them for a while before any more hints were added. As much as I adored everything else that was going on with this book, figuring out the mystery was by far my favorite part of it all.
Emerald Bound kept me glued to the page from beginning to end. This is a great choice for anyone who enjoys modern twists on classic fairy tales as much as I do.