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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra by: Colin McElwain BookReview

James Clyde and the Diamonds of OrchestraJames Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra 
by Colm McElwain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra is a pleasing, fictional mix of Narnia, Harry Potter, and the classic, Knights of the Round Table. With these favorite elements comes a fresh new tale from a debut author sure to capture the middle-grade reader’s attention.

James considers himself an average orphan, if there ever was one, with an old grandfather he looks forward to seeing each Christmas. His two best friends, Ben and Mary, also orphans, and James are a family (kind-of); and they look out for each other. When the psychic (who James believes might actually be psychotic) foretells that he and his family “are in terrible danger. I sense there is a man trying to find you. He’s trying to hurt you!”

When James, Ben, and Mary visit James’ grandfather, Wilmore, for Christmas—they learn that the psychic Belinda was extremely correct in her prediction. They are led on a chase to Orchestra, which he knew he recognizes from a painting and the stories his grandfather entertained him with each Christmas. When they finally find, what can only be described as a “secret portal to another world,” James learns of his destiny and will do anything to protect his birthplace.

As a young adult book, with the main characters in their pre-teens, I feel that kids would really relate to the story. The chapter where James, Ben, and Mary explore Orchestra is strikingly vivid and fun. It has plenty of adventure and action, including bloody battles that may be too intense for the elementary-aged reader but perfect for the middle-grades.

Even as an adult reader, I was entertained by the story and compelled to keep reading, not wanting to put the story down until finished. With the book ending on quite a cliffhanger, I do hope that there is another book in the works.

*This review was done for the author. In no way, shape or form did that influence my review.*

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