Friday, October 18, 2013

Katrin's Chronicles by Valerie C. Woods

Do you know what book Katrin's Chronicles reminded me of? It was Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator. While the plot and setting of the books are very different, they have common elements - the protagonist is a young girl, there are mysteries involved, and yes, paranormal powers are involved.

In Katrin's Chronicles, the titular protagonist (unlike Gilda Joyce), is not the one that has the most powers. She has some, but the gifted one is clearly her older sister J. Dyanne. Combined with a keen sense of observation, it makes J. Dyanne a detective that can rival any professional detective. In fact, in the very first case - we see how that even with minimal use of her powers, she solves a kidnapping case.

And with that case solved, both sisters realise that there's more to their family that meets the eye. Under the tutelage of their Grand Anne (their grandmother), the two girls, particularly J. Dyanne) try to master their powers. Complicating things are a string of cases that draw them into the heart of what could be a huge political scandal.

What I liked about this book was, simply, the pacing. It was very well-paced and I never got bored with it. And though it includes many details from 1968 (or at least, I felt like I was really there), it doesn't get bogged down with too much detail. And since this book is targeted at Middle Schoolers (I'm guessing that's around Secondary School for Singaporeans), it's likely to catch and keep their attention.

But, there was one thing that I didn't really like - and that was the narrative style. I understand that Katrin loves words and is good at writing, but sometimes the writing felt too fake - but I think that's because it's hard to write in the voice of a young, gifted writer. But after a few chapters, I got used to it and it became a non-issue for me.

This is definitely a book that I would recommend.

Note: I received a free copy of this book as part of Enchanted Book Promotion's blog tour in exchange for a free and honest review.

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