The Fires of Calderon by Lindsay Cummings
Source: eARC via Edelweiss | Katherine Tegen Books
My rating: 2 of 5 stars :star :star
Publication Date: September 23rd, 2014.
After following a mysterious map into the woods and then under the woods, eleven-year-old Albert Flynn learns he’s a Balance Keeper—someone with special magical skills for fixing problems in three underground Realms at the Core of the earth. His new job is important; if the realms fall out of balance, the world above could be in great danger. Albert and his Balance Keeper teammates Birdie and Leroy arrive in the Core not a moment too soon. There’s an Imbalance in the Calderon Realm and it’s threatening to bury Albert’s hometown of New York City in a mountain of ash. The three must train hard completing mental and physical challenges, but above all, they must harness the power of their Tiles—unique superpowers given to each Balance Keeper. So far, Albert’s mastered the art of not mastering his Tile....With the situation in Calderon growing worse every day, can Albert, Leroy, and Birdie restore balance before New York is destroyed forever? Will Albert master his Tile before it’s too late?
I can't quite decide what to rate The Fires of Calderon. I'm hovering between a two and three star rating for this one. It was a good story, but a lot of it was predictable. The Balance Keepers are the people who keep balance in the Realms. Here's a quote that describes it pretty well:
“The Realms shift places. They could be in any place under the earth at any time. However, when a Realm becomes Imbalanced, it freezes in one place. Right now, the Calderon Realm is stopped under New York, yes, and it will stay there, wreaking havoc on the city, until Balance is restored."
(Loc 840 of eARC)
I did like the characters. I found Birdie (no, she's not an 89 year old woman) ;) to be the most interesting. The two boys, one girl routine is one that's been played an awful lot. Especially when the ring leader of the group is the one with the special-ist powers. It's just a storyline I can only read so many times, I think my expectations get a little more unrealistic each time because it takes more to impress me with these types of books.
There was enough creativity in this for me to enjoy speculating about the world and what it looks like in my head. The bully, Hoyt, got on my nerves a lot. Other than that I liked all the characters.
I think my favorite part came at the ending because it was very action-packed. I did find it a bit strange that the very last paragraph contained the introduction of a villian previously not alluded to in any way.
I would still recommend this to those adventure lovers who don't mind a somewhat familiar story. :)