Friday, July 26, 2013

Mary Baker and The Eye of the Tiger

Author: D.M Cherubim
Version: Ebook
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I stumbled across this book not too long ago while looking for a decent fantasy read. The GR's (GoodReads) ratings and reviews appeared promising, so I decided to give it a shot. One comment in general caught my attention: 

"All you Harry Potter fans searching for a magical experience need not look further than D.M. Cherubim’s novel, Mary Baker and the Eye of the Tiger."

Do not be mislead by the above statement. The book does share similarities with the Harry Potter series, but only a few. For example, Mary Baker, much like Harry Potter, is brought up in a dysfunctional and abusive household. Also, much like Harry, Mary finds her escape in a school for magic. One stark difference occurs when defining the term Magic. Instead of wands and enchantments like in Harry Potter, Mary's school focuses on using angels and spirits as a medium to God's powers. At first I was skeptical, but I found Cherumbim's concept on magic refreshing - non-the-less interesting. 

Very Brief Summary:
Mary Baker is a young girl who resides with her selfish, rude, "gold digging" bully of a mother. As such, Mary finds her life very unpleasant, but is able to withstand the harshness of her situation with the help of a flurry of unnatural occurrences. For example, Mary receives random gifts in the mail and flocks of black birds seem to follow her. She is finally able to escape life with her mother when a distant uncle, who she met only once and is not allowed to talk about, passes away. In short, the uncle leaves Mary a great deal of his assets, the Eye of the Tiger, and an explanation for the unnatural occurrences. Shortly after, Mary attends a school for white magic and learns how to use the stone that was entrusted to her.

The story itself was a little slow in the beginning and I found myself annoyed by Mary's constant crying. Her situation is sad, but having the main character cry every few paragraphs was a bit overbearing. However, the story redeems itself by picking up in both speed and action towards the latter half of the novel. With this said, there were a few things that seemed a bit off to me. For example, the antagonist's, Zad and Selina, were supposedly well established sorcerers, so how is it that a few first year students were able to hold them off? Also, I will admit that I was surprised by the ending, but not in a good way. I feel as if the author was in a rush to finish the novel and decided on the easy way out. 

As a side note, I began the story without realizing it was intended as a children's fantasy novel. Due to this, I found that it was almost too childishly cliche for my taste. However, after realizing the target audience, I adjusted my opinion.

 would recommend this story to anyone seeking a light read in children's fantasy.


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