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Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals

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Author: C. Toni Graham

Published: September 20th 2012 by Balboa Press (first published September 17th 2012)

Format: Paperback , 266 pages

Isbn: 9781452558271

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An ordinary school day in Middlefield turns into a mystical tale filled with endless adventures of magic, fairies, flying horses, and danger. A modern-day saga of four young teens who find themselves trapped in another realm-"The Otherworld"-where they must abide by an evil druid's bidding or risk endangering the lives of their loved ones and the magical beings they have b An ordinary school day in Middlefield turns into a mystical tale filled with endless adventures of magic, fairies, flying horses, and danger. A modern-day saga of four young teens who find themselves trapped in another realm-"The Otherworld"-where they must abide by an evil druid's bidding or risk endangering the lives of their loved ones and the magical beings they have befriended.

30 review for Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals

  1. 4 out of 5

    Robin Morgan

    I actually won a KINDLE copy of this book from the author through a giveaway she had on Amazon and the following is my honest opinion. Given all of the Christian and other genre books I’ve been reading and reviewing recently, I found this book by C. Toni Graham to be a refreshing and enjoyable change. The fantasy genre this book belongs allows readers to escape the mundane existence they live in and be transported to a realm where phantasmagorical occur on a regular basis. One thing is usually ce I actually won a KINDLE copy of this book from the author through a giveaway she had on Amazon and the following is my honest opinion. Given all of the Christian and other genre books I’ve been reading and reviewing recently, I found this book by C. Toni Graham to be a refreshing and enjoyable change. The fantasy genre this book belongs allows readers to escape the mundane existence they live in and be transported to a realm where phantasmagorical occur on a regular basis. One thing is usually certain in stories where the protagonists, in this case Conner, Jake, Seneca, and Shayna, accidentally enter a portal get transported into an alternative universal/realm where the portal closes immediately behind, leaving them trapped with no apparent means of returning back home, and Ms. Graham doesn’t disappoint her readers in this regard. And what brought these protagonists to be thrown into this situation had been their science teacher, Ms. Bridget who had sent them and their classmates into a nearby park, to gather various bits of elements, with them assigned to gather moss. The fantasy realm in which they got transported into where there is a familiar ever-present conflict between good and evil, forcing them to endure an adventure that fraught with danger at practically every turn; where they wind up being forced to follow the demands of an evil Druid or chance jeopardizing their loved one’s welfare and those of the magical individuals, they’ve made friends with. Ms. Graham’s writing adds a uniqueness to what might have been an ordinary storyline, by capturing her reader’s interests and keeping it to the end with a page-turning story. Will good triumph over the evil which exists in the realm of Fionia or will the deadly magical war continue? Will our four protagonists return to the human world safely or will they accept their fate as the defenders of the Otherworld with the magical they’ve acquired since arriving in the realm of Fionia? For having given her readers in this first installment of a two-part saga, I’ve given this book and its author, Ms. Graham 5 STARS.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals, by C. Toni Graham, is a Teen/YA book, but I’m way past that age, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Four classmates, Jake, Conner, Seneca, and Shayna, are on a school assignment when they’re transported into the Realm of Fionia, a strange, yet lovely, place where magical creatures dwell and adventure and danger abound. I loved the characters, so well-written, and their developing friendship. I found myself cheering them on throughout their journey. It’s a fun rea Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals, by C. Toni Graham, is a Teen/YA book, but I’m way past that age, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Four classmates, Jake, Conner, Seneca, and Shayna, are on a school assignment when they’re transported into the Realm of Fionia, a strange, yet lovely, place where magical creatures dwell and adventure and danger abound. I loved the characters, so well-written, and their developing friendship. I found myself cheering them on throughout their journey. It’s a fun read with twists and turns and surprises. I’m excited to read the next book in the series. Highly recommend.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin Setty

    5 absolutely fantastic stars! What an epic ride! This is first rate fantasy, and I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves mysticism and fairytales. The author transports us to a magical land with intriguing magical elements and creatures. C. Toni Graham's writing is perfect, with just the right amount of description and emotion. And this was an emotional story. At its core, this tale is about friendship. What an excellent cast of characters to spend some time with! Conner, Jake, Seneca, 5 absolutely fantastic stars! What an epic ride! This is first rate fantasy, and I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves mysticism and fairytales. The author transports us to a magical land with intriguing magical elements and creatures. C. Toni Graham's writing is perfect, with just the right amount of description and emotion. And this was an emotional story. At its core, this tale is about friendship. What an excellent cast of characters to spend some time with! Conner, Jake, Seneca, and Shayna were all unique and interesting in their own way. They are just the right group to go on this adventure with! I thought the author did a wonderful job crafting the world and keeping the magical elements but also making sure the characters were real and flawed. Now, to get my eager hand on the next book in the series!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paisley McNab

    While working on a field assignment for a tyrannical biology teacher, four teens find themselves transported to another realm called “The Otherworld.” With the lives of their loved ones at risk, the group must navigate this unknown territory—filled with magic, fairies, and flying horses—to defeat an evil druid. It was impossible to read only one chapter at a time! I loved that the chapters were quite short, yet action-packed and propelled the plot forward at a quick, steady pace. Definitely a pag While working on a field assignment for a tyrannical biology teacher, four teens find themselves transported to another realm called “The Otherworld.” With the lives of their loved ones at risk, the group must navigate this unknown territory—filled with magic, fairies, and flying horses—to defeat an evil druid. It was impossible to read only one chapter at a time! I loved that the chapters were quite short, yet action-packed and propelled the plot forward at a quick, steady pace. Definitely a page-turner! Additionally, it was very obvious that a lot of care went into the writing, editing, and typesetting of this novel—it was practically flawless! It’s always enjoyable to read a book that is cleanly typeset and virtually free of grammar/spelling errors. There are elements of Celtic mythology threaded throughout the story and non-stop action from start to finish. Because of this combination, I would recommend this book to fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series—including young fans who are entering the YA age bracket and are looking for a book with more sophisticated vocabulary. (Speaking of which, the vocabulary is one of my favourite parts of this book—it really is beautiful!). The ending set up for the second book nicely; I’m glad I already have the second one and don’t have to wait to find out what happens to the Dominion of Four! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’m giving this book 4 out of 5 stars because I was hoping for a little more world-building. The primary focus was on the character development and the dialogue between the characters, which are both done well, I just didn’t have a clear picture in my head of “The Otherworld” as a result.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sue Hammans

    I was lucky to have received a signed copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads 'giveaway' :-) Thank you C.Toni Graham Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals was a great read and I was a bit sad to have finished it so quick, so now I'm interested to read any other books by this author. The story kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to know what was going to happen next. The landscape and characters were described in such a way, it was a joy to visualize and inspiring for me being an artist I was lucky to have received a signed copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads 'giveaway' :-) Thank you C.Toni Graham Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals was a great read and I was a bit sad to have finished it so quick, so now I'm interested to read any other books by this author. The story kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to know what was going to happen next. The landscape and characters were described in such a way, it was a joy to visualize and inspiring for me being an artist, it made me want to draw. All the characters had been well thought out and had specific roles that I imagine many readers will identify with especial those of the same age as the main characters. The book was full of mystery and action and easy to read. I particularly liked the book having lots of short chapters as it meant I could read the story in stages, where a natural break in the story occurred. I wished more books did this. I think this book will appeal to people who like magical adventures but as one of the characters was also an Indigo Child and the subject of auras being attacked I'm sure that it will be great for young people who are aware of New Age themes. A lovely book that I would recommend. Beautiful cover too!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Henry

    I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and I was sad to finish it! This is a book for any age not just young adult! I will be finishing this trilogy without a doubt!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Veda Stamps

    A sophisticated, magical story that fantasy fans will devour C. Toni Graham brilliantly blends realism with the world of fantasy in her YA novel, "Crossroad and the Himalayan Crystals." This is an entertaining tale of four teenagers who shift into the "Otherworld" magical realm. I love the realistic theme of a diverse group of friends adventurously working together to overcome evil. This mystical tale is full of adventurous fun with great characters like Jake, Seneca, Shayna, and Connor. Highly re A sophisticated, magical story that fantasy fans will devour C. Toni Graham brilliantly blends realism with the world of fantasy in her YA novel, "Crossroad and the Himalayan Crystals." This is an entertaining tale of four teenagers who shift into the "Otherworld" magical realm. I love the realistic theme of a diverse group of friends adventurously working together to overcome evil. This mystical tale is full of adventurous fun with great characters like Jake, Seneca, Shayna, and Connor. Highly recommend.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Valery

    Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals by C. Toni Graham, is geared toward the YA and teen crowd but still may appeal to anyone older as well. You will thoroughly enjoy this fantasy tale as you follow a group of friends, Jake, Conner, Seneca, and Shayna. These kids are well fleshed out characters, each with their respective flaws, some more than other, but all are good kids. When they are transported into another realm, the story changes rapidly. On a school assignment, they are transported to a Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals by C. Toni Graham, is geared toward the YA and teen crowd but still may appeal to anyone older as well. You will thoroughly enjoy this fantasy tale as you follow a group of friends, Jake, Conner, Seneca, and Shayna. These kids are well fleshed out characters, each with their respective flaws, some more than other, but all are good kids. When they are transported into another realm, the story changes rapidly. On a school assignment, they are transported to a place called Fionia, where there is an abundance of magic creatures. While a lovely and mystical place, it is dangerous too. This book is a great combination of fantasy, mystery and adventure. The plot keeps you engaged due to its fast pace, the setting is beautiful, and the characters are ones you will get attached to as well. Great book and highly recommend.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robin Woods

    Delightful, well-rounded characters in a fabulous fantasy world. Clean and fun. Appropriate for 5th grade and up. More of a review to come!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jo-Anne Vandermeulen

    The Next Big Teen Mystical Fantasy Adventure!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laney S.

    This book kept me on the edge of my seat. Every chapter created a new twist that I never saw coming! The book was beautifully written. I absolutely recommend reading it!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chess Desalls

    4.5 stars Enjoyed!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    I can't begin to say how amazing this was!!!!!! You can't help but get excited Everytime something new begins and new secrets are revealed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    MomLuvsBooks

    Great school field trip adventure! This YA fantasy whisks away four teens on a wild trip they were not expecting! Along the way they meet some very interesting characters all while trying to find their way back to the field trip they were suppose to be on😎. This book is great for all ages & is part one of this duology series😃. Great school field trip adventure! This YA fantasy whisks away four teens on a wild trip they were not expecting! Along the way they meet some very interesting characters all while trying to find their way back to the field trip they were suppose to be on😎. This book is great for all ages & is part one of this duology series😃.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tree

    A Magical Book Reminiscent of All the Children’s Fantasy Books Out There! Jake and his family are new in town and everything’s just not going right for him. First of all, he and his mom almost knock over some girls at the local grocery store. Then when he was walking to school from his new home, he glimpses his next-door neighbor, who is a Tinkerbell look-alike, also doing the same. As much as he wants to catch up to her and get acquainted, she seems to be hurrying along as if avoiding him at all A Magical Book Reminiscent of All the Children’s Fantasy Books Out There! Jake and his family are new in town and everything’s just not going right for him. First of all, he and his mom almost knock over some girls at the local grocery store. Then when he was walking to school from his new home, he glimpses his next-door neighbor, who is a Tinkerbell look-alike, also doing the same. As much as he wants to catch up to her and get acquainted, she seems to be hurrying along as if avoiding him at all costs. At school in Biology class, Jake sees this neighbor of his also in it along with a new friend of his, Conner, who is an athlete like him, and one of the girls he saw at the local grocery store, Shayna. (His neighbor’s name is Seneca and is said in the book to look like a fairy but is contrasted by her gothic clothing.) It was in here that Jake gets to meet the very mean Ms. Bridget who groups all four of them into one group in order to go to a nearby park to gather samples of elements that are said to be found there. Once Jake, Seneca, Conner, and Shayna go further into the park, they enter Fionia, a magical realm of talking swans, fairies, winged horses, and druids. And their magical adventure begins! I found this book to be very similar to all the children’s fantasy book that I have read in my lifetime. This reminded me of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia books where 4 children also cross into a magical realm and become nobles there. In the same way, Jake, Seneca, Conner, and Shayna are prophesied by Fionia to be the ones who will overthrow Ms. Bridget a.k.a. Brigara the villainess. This book also made me think of British author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books where there is a slew of magical creatures in it. I loved this book as I was reading it because it was fast-paced and very coherent. I found the magical creatures, the arions (winged horses) to be so beautiful and divine and really wished they were real. I think the history and mythology of Ireland is the basis for this book and it has made it all seem like an ideal location for a vacation one day. I think that European country is magical and its people just do resemble the magical characters that we see in the media, and that’s a compliment! Haha. I recommend this book to all those who have enjoyed the aforementioned children’s books in this review. I think it should be read by all age levels as there are no offensive words and subject matter in it. If I was to rate it I’d gladly give it a G rating for all audiences. I applaud the author, C. Toni Graham very much for her gift of storytelling and her knack for fantastical elements found in here. I have read the second installment in this series last year and now this. I am glad that I have read this one as it was long overdue. I tell you that I enjoyed it so much hopefully some Hollywood producer comes across it and decides to give it a film adaptation. Okay, have a nice day and be sure to get this. I guarantee that it will not be a disappointment. Cheers!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Re:Views

    Jake and his family are new in town and everything’s just not going right for him. First of all, he and his mom almost knock over some girls at the local grocery store. Then when he was walking to school from his new home, he glimpses his next-door neighbor, who is a Tinkerbell look-alike, also doing the same. As much as he wants to catch up to her and get acquainted, she seems to be hurrying along as if avoiding him at all costs. At school in Biology class, Jake sees this neighbor of his also i Jake and his family are new in town and everything’s just not going right for him. First of all, he and his mom almost knock over some girls at the local grocery store. Then when he was walking to school from his new home, he glimpses his next-door neighbor, who is a Tinkerbell look-alike, also doing the same. As much as he wants to catch up to her and get acquainted, she seems to be hurrying along as if avoiding him at all costs. At school in Biology class, Jake sees this neighbor of his also in it along with a new friend of his, Conner, who is an athlete like him, and one of the girls he saw at the local grocery store, Shayna. (His neighbor’s name is Seneca and is said in the book to look like a fairy but is contrasted by her gothic clothing.) It was in here that Jake gets to meet the very mean Ms. Bridget who groups all four of them into one group in order to go to a nearby park to gather samples of elements that are said to be found there. Once Jake, Seneca, Conner, and Shayna go further into the park, they enter Fionia, a magical realm of talking swans, fairies, winged horses, and druids. And their magical adventure begins! I found this book to be very similar to all the children’s fantasy book that I have read in my lifetime. This reminded me of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia books where 4 children also cross into a magical realm and become nobles there. In the same way, Jake, Seneca, Conner, and Shayna are prophesied by Fionia to be the ones who will overthrow Ms. Bridget a.k.a. Brigara the villainess. This book also made me think of British author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books where there is a slew of magical creatures in it. I loved this book as I was reading it because it was fast-paced and very coherent. I found the magical creatures, the arions (winged horses) to be so beautiful and divine and really wished they were real. I think the history and mythology of Ireland is the basis for this book and it has made it all seem like an ideal location for a vacation one day. I think that European country is magical and its people just do resemble the magical characters that we see in the media, and that’s a compliment! Haha. I recommend this book to all those who have enjoyed the aforementioned children’s books in this review. I think it should be read by all age levels as there are no offensive words and subject matter in it. If I was to rate it I’d gladly give it a G rating for all audiences. I applaud the author, C. Toni Graham very much for her gift of storytelling and her knack for fantastical elements found in here. I have read the second installment in this series last year and now this. I am glad that I have read this one as it was long overdue. I tell you that I enjoyed it so much hopefully some Hollywood producer comes across it and decides to give it a film adaptation. Okay, have a nice day and be sure to get this. I guarantee that it will not be a disappointment.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Grady

    ‘They knew they must accept their fate as the Dominion of Four’ California author C. Toni Graham is both an inspirational speaker and an author, this book – CROSSROADS AND THE HIMALAYAN CHRYSTALS – served as her publishing debut in 2012 and was awarded the Silver Medal for Young Adult action novels. The success of this book opened the door for the trilogy to continue. Writing for the Young Adult audience is a challenge, especially these days when manipulation of the social media on all available d ‘They knew they must accept their fate as the Dominion of Four’ California author C. Toni Graham is both an inspirational speaker and an author, this book – CROSSROADS AND THE HIMALAYAN CHRYSTALS – served as her publishing debut in 2012 and was awarded the Silver Medal for Young Adult action novels. The success of this book opened the door for the trilogy to continue. Writing for the Young Adult audience is a challenge, especially these days when manipulation of the social media on all available devices competes for attention away form reading. Toni has successfully solved that resistance by making this novel so rich in characterizations – both from his world and ‘other’ places – and lets her story spin with gossamer effervescence that proves addicting. Very succinctly Toni shares the stage setting for her story – ‘An ordinary school day in Middlefield turns into a mystical tale filled with endless adventures of magic, fairies, flying horses, and danger. A modern-day saga of four young teens who find themselves trapped in another realm—“The Otherworld”—where they must abide by an evil druid’s bidding or risk endangering the lives of their loved ones and the magical beings they have befriended.’ Enhance that setting with vividly imagined characters and the awards the novel has won are easily recognized. Among the many actors in this story is Brigara whom we meet in the opening lines – ‘Brigara fought back with everything she had, and it ultimately took all three of them to bind her powers. They could feel her energy surround them. The power she possessed was like nothing else they had ever encountered. Their restraint spell was holding her securely, compelling her arms to be held tightly behind her back and her ankles to be forcefully bound together. She spit and screamed in their direction. She struggled and thrashed her head wildly, causing her stringy, long dark hair to fall across her flushed sweat-drenched face. She was extremely thin, almost skeletal in appearance, yet her body flexed and contorted relentlessly with vigorous intensity. Her dark eyes were wild with fury, and each member of the council made certain to avoid fixating on them, as she was skilled at hexing dark charms with a mere glance.’ That degree of energy is sustained throughout this absorbing fantasy – a novel that easily becomes visual and enchanting. Toni’s ability to transport high school kids to another realm (Fionia) populated with magic and strange forms is rendered with beautiful prose and imagination. Her writing is first class and leaves the reader fueled for the next installment in this trilogy. Recommended

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jo-Anne Vandermeulen

    Unable To Put-Down YA Mystical Fantasy Adventure!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dogandbone

    Four classmates, Jake, Conner, Seneca, and Shayna, are on a school assignment when they embark on an amazing journey after being transported into a mystical and magical realm, where magical creatures live and danger awaits. The Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals is a fantastic book where I escaped into a fantasy world for a while. A great read that kept me wanting to turn the page! I totally recommend reading this book, not just young adults but I think any age group.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emerson

    The Otherworld may seem like a dream come true, full of magic and magical creatures, nut it can quickly turn into a nightmare when an evil druid threatens to hurt those you love if you do not do their bidding. This story is a wonderful fantasy adventure for young adults. The story is engaging, full of adventure, and fantastical. The world that Graham has created is full of beautiful imagery and delightful imagination. The characters are unique, fun, and full of life. The four main characters esp The Otherworld may seem like a dream come true, full of magic and magical creatures, nut it can quickly turn into a nightmare when an evil druid threatens to hurt those you love if you do not do their bidding. This story is a wonderful fantasy adventure for young adults. The story is engaging, full of adventure, and fantastical. The world that Graham has created is full of beautiful imagery and delightful imagination. The characters are unique, fun, and full of life. The four main characters especially show a lot of depth, and I loved watching their friendship develop over the course of the story. I was completely enchanted by this book and look forward to continuing on with the series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cup and Saucer

    Don’t be put off by the YA label of ‘Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals’ by C. Toni Graham, it is a novel that all fans of fantasy fiction will enjoy. The book is magical, ethereal, and really exciting, following the journey of a group of teenagers through “The Otherworld”. They meet a whole host of fantastical creatures - some who look to help them and some who would seek to destroy them. Will they make it through “The Otherworld” alive or will they become the victims of the evil Druid who t Don’t be put off by the YA label of ‘Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals’ by C. Toni Graham, it is a novel that all fans of fantasy fiction will enjoy. The book is magical, ethereal, and really exciting, following the journey of a group of teenagers through “The Otherworld”. They meet a whole host of fantastical creatures - some who look to help them and some who would seek to destroy them. Will they make it through “The Otherworld” alive or will they become the victims of the evil Druid who tortures the realm? I really enjoyed the story and meeting all of the amazing characters and creatures. It was well written, full of feeling, peril, and adventure.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pegboard

    C. Toni Graham weaves intensity and mystique into her paranormal fictional novel, Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals. Fours unlikely high school students are paired together for a biology assignment that requires them to search for nature specimens. When they get turned around, they end up wandering into a different realm and there is no returning to the world they knew. Jake is the new kid in Middlefield; he is caring, but able to take charge. Shayna is pretty and popular, having to rely on C. Toni Graham weaves intensity and mystique into her paranormal fictional novel, Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals. Fours unlikely high school students are paired together for a biology assignment that requires them to search for nature specimens. When they get turned around, they end up wandering into a different realm and there is no returning to the world they knew. Jake is the new kid in Middlefield; he is caring, but able to take charge. Shayna is pretty and popular, having to rely on her wits and logical thinking is something new to her. Conner loves football and struggles with patience. Seneca battles with connecting with other since her family moves a lot. She is very intelligent. This group faces many trials with the creatures of the world they are in, along with each other.   I found C. Toni Graham a captivating author. Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals is full of mystery as the bizarre creatures despise the teens in their realm, but pretend them from finding their way home. This novel has the elements of brilliant young adult fantasy; excellent writing, diversified characters, and an exceptional plot. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series; Crossroads and the Dominion of Four.         

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jo-Anne Vandermeulen

    The Next Big Teen Mystical Fantasy Adventure!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephen R.

    This fantasy novel is the first venture into Young Adult fiction for C Toni Graham and the first in the saga. It follows the developing friendship of four teens from different social circles, who find themselves in unusual and mystifying circumstances. The characters have depth and are thoroughly believable; the good guys have relatable flaws, while the bad guys have some redeeming features. The book is paced well so that the characters' backstories unfold as you become more and more invested in This fantasy novel is the first venture into Young Adult fiction for C Toni Graham and the first in the saga. It follows the developing friendship of four teens from different social circles, who find themselves in unusual and mystifying circumstances. The characters have depth and are thoroughly believable; the good guys have relatable flaws, while the bad guys have some redeeming features. The book is paced well so that the characters' backstories unfold as you become more and more invested in them. These are the types of characters you miss once the story is over, though fortunately, in this case, there are more books in the series. Though this story is aimed at a middle school audience, it will appeal to a wide range of readers, young and old. It is enchantingly written, captivating the reader and taking them on a spellbinding ride, which they won’t soon forget.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Monica Reents

    As an adult who still enjoys reading young adult titles, I sometimes find myself starting with a bit of hesitancy as to whether or not I will be able to connect to the story and/or the characters. This was one of those times when I felt hesitant, but it didn’t take long to realize that I was enjoying the story! I was impressed with the writing and at how well the characters were developed. I enjoy reading about characters (good or bad) that are given realistic qualities, flaws, charms, a sense o As an adult who still enjoys reading young adult titles, I sometimes find myself starting with a bit of hesitancy as to whether or not I will be able to connect to the story and/or the characters. This was one of those times when I felt hesitant, but it didn’t take long to realize that I was enjoying the story! I was impressed with the writing and at how well the characters were developed. I enjoy reading about characters (good or bad) that are given realistic qualities, flaws, charms, a sense of humor, or whatever the situation calls for and these characters have all that in spades! I love the mix of magic, fantasy, and realism. What an adventure! Highly recommend!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Honey Bee

    Four classmates, Jake, Conner, Seneca, and Shayna, are on a school assignment when they embark on an amazing journey after being transported into a mystical and magical realm, where magical creatures live and danger awaits. The Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals is a fantastic book where I escaped into a fantasy world for a while. A great read that kept me wanting to turn the page! I totally recommend reading this book, not just young adults but I think any age group.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Island Rose

    If you are looking to escape to another world for a few hours, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals by C. Toni Graham. In the super fantasy novel, four teenagers that wouldn't usually be friends, must find some common ground and band together when they are suddenly transported from school to a mysterious realm known as The Otherworld. There is danger lurking in the magical realm and the classmates must face it head-on if they are to protect each other and If you are looking to escape to another world for a few hours, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals by C. Toni Graham. In the super fantasy novel, four teenagers that wouldn't usually be friends, must find some common ground and band together when they are suddenly transported from school to a mysterious realm known as The Otherworld. There is danger lurking in the magical realm and the classmates must face it head-on if they are to protect each other and the new friends they meet along the way. It is a great novel about friendship, which features magical creatures, beautifully described scenery and a great plot that - not to sound cliched - really takes you on a journey. Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals is exciting, with plenty of adventure and intrigue - perfect for YA and adult readers alike.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    I received copies of the first two books of this trilogy to review. We start with Jake who has just moved to a new town and is starting a new school and, like most of us I’m sure, hoping that he won’t feel completely out of place. His day is going better than expected until he has biology where the teacher seems to take a particular disliking to him for no apparent reason. At the end of the lesson he gets put into a group with three other students: Conner, Seneca and Shayna. They are given the tas I received copies of the first two books of this trilogy to review. We start with Jake who has just moved to a new town and is starting a new school and, like most of us I’m sure, hoping that he won’t feel completely out of place. His day is going better than expected until he has biology where the teacher seems to take a particular disliking to him for no apparent reason. At the end of the lesson he gets put into a group with three other students: Conner, Seneca and Shayna. They are given the task to collect certain samples which have to be turned in the next day so they head out straight after school. However, collecting the samples doesn’t quite go to plan because they somehow stumble through a portal to the ‘Otherworld’ with no way to get back. As they travel through this strange, magical land, they find out that their biology teacher isn’t just a teacher and is using them to get what she wants. If they don’t do what she tells them, they will never get home and their families will be under threat. I feel as though this book would be much better suited to younger teenagers or even kids and due to that I unfortunately didn’t get as drawn into the story as I’d hoped I would. The writing sometimes feels a little stilted and there was a lot of telling rather than showing so I didn’t feel like I could connect with any of the characters but there were a couple of great twists that added interest. I also felt like the POVs should have been separated out more. It can get a bit confusing when there’s no break between each character. I’ll still be reading the second book but ultimately I think this should be aimed at a younger audience.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals is the first book in a portal fantasy series based around Celtic mythology. It's a fun, pretty quick read about 4 teenagers drawn into another world where they are key players in a centuries old struggle against an evil druid. This reads like a middle grade or early YA story, but I would recommend it for a higher level reader since the language can be pretty advanced. I enjoyed the world the author created here and the adventures that the characters have for Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals is the first book in a portal fantasy series based around Celtic mythology. It's a fun, pretty quick read about 4 teenagers drawn into another world where they are key players in a centuries old struggle against an evil druid. This reads like a middle grade or early YA story, but I would recommend it for a higher level reader since the language can be pretty advanced. I enjoyed the world the author created here and the adventures that the characters have force them to grow and learn more about themselves and each other. There were parts of the story that I really loved and some interesting side characters. The ending definitely could have been shortened. We get a very extended scene with the villain explaining herself and the teens reacting, which was quite a bit longer than it needed to be. It does set you up to wonder how things will work out in book 2. There was also a big reveal at the end of the book that didn't really make sense in terms of the timeline of the story. The druid had been cast out of her world for a very long time, which didn't work with the timing of a very spoilery revelation. Overall, I thought this was a promising start to a series. I would recommend it for readers aged 11-14 with advanced vocabularies. I received a copy of this book for review from the author at BookCon.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Luis Humberto Molinar Márquez

    [English Review + Reseña en español] Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals by C Toni Graham Balboa Press. 2014 266 pages. Genre / Thematic: Young Magical Fantasy Novel A simple team homework for the Biology class turns for Seneca, Jack, Shayna and Conner into a fantastic adventure in a parallel world, in which they will be forced to decipher puzzles, develop new skills, overcome mortal dangers among magical creatures and fulfill the incredible destiny that has been imposed on them. This novel propose [English Review + Reseña en español] Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals by C Toni Graham Balboa Press. 2014 266 pages. Genre / Thematic: Young Magical Fantasy Novel A simple team homework for the Biology class turns for Seneca, Jack, Shayna and Conner into a fantastic adventure in a parallel world, in which they will be forced to decipher puzzles, develop new skills, overcome mortal dangers among magical creatures and fulfill the incredible destiny that has been imposed on them. This novel proposes a typical fantastic adventure aimed at young readers: a quartet of teenage protagonists is forced to live with fantastic characters, magic, beautiful landscapes full of danger, unexpected revelations about their origins and about their possible destiny, and a great unelected challenge who promises to change their lives forever and create strong ties among them as a team. The stability of an entire world depends on the decisions and actions of these teenagers, but also the security of those whom they have left behind. The reading is simple and the plot takes us on an accelerated current that heads without dykes towards its destination, stumbling and collecting important information during the journey. The characters, representative of the genre, have little time to develop, since towards the end of the book and after a rather brief confrontation with the enemy, it is clear that the adventure is just beginning. As the first part of a fantastic saga which possesses a rather youthful narrative character, this novel marks the beginning of a larger adventure in which big things could happen. For now, the reading has been pleasant, without surprises, direct and enjoyable. ------- Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals por C Toni Graham Balboa Press. 2014 266 páginas. Género / Temática: Novela juvenil de fantasía mágica Un simple trabajo en equipo para la clase de Biología se convierte para Seneca, Jack, Shayna y Conner en una aventura fantástica en un mundo paralelo, en el que se verán obligados a descifrar acertijos, desarrollar nuevas habilidades, sortear peligros mortales entre criaturas mágicas y cumplir el increíble destino que les ha sido impuesto. Esta novela propone una aventura fantástica típica dirigida a lectores jóvenes: un cuarteto de protagonistas adolescentes se ve obligado a convivir con personajes fantásticos, magia, paisajes bellos pero llenos de peligro, revelaciones inesperadas sobre sus orígenes y sobre su posible destino, y un gran reto no elegido que promete cambiar sus vidas para siempre y crear fuertes lazos como equipo. De las decisiones y actuación de estos chicos depende la estabilidad de un mundo entero, pero también la seguridad de aquellos a quienes han dejado atrás. La lectura es sencilla y la trama nos embarca en una corriente acelerada que se dirige sin diques hacia su destino, dando algunos tumbos y recogiendo información importante durante el trayecto. Los personajes, representativos del género, cuentan con poco tiempo para desenvolverse, ya que hacia el final del libro y tras un enfrentamiento más bien breve con el enemigo, puede comprenderse que la aventura apenas comienza. Como primera parte de una saga fantástica con un carácter más bien juvenil, esta novela plantea el inicio de una aventura de mayor envergadura en la que podrían ocurrir cosas de gran peso. Por lo pronto, la lectura ha sido agradable, sin sorpresas, directa y disfrutable.  

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