‘Race you!’ Eve took off down the wide footpath that led to the town centre and main beach, her long black curls bouncing madly as she ran. She could hear her friend Oscar sprinting after her. It didn’t’ take him long to catch up.
‘Face it, Eve,’ Oscar teased, ‘you’ll never beat me!’
Eve scowled as Oscar overtook her. He could be so annoying!
Even though she felt as if her chest might burst, Eve managed to stay on Oscar’s tail.
They raced each other the four blocks from Eve’s grandmother’s house to the sleepy main street of Marigold. Oscar reached the low stone wall above the beach ahead of Eve. It’s holidays and Eve and Oscar were planning a swim. But a sudden rain shower sends them (and Eve’s grandmother Silvie) racing for shelter inside an odd shop. While they look around Eve discovers a crystal and she and Oscar are whisked off on a magical adventure. They find themselves in a jungle full of tigers and other creatures. This world is shrouded in darkness and the jungle is dying. If they ever want to return home, they have to solve the mystery of the growing darkness.
Eve and the Fiery Phoenix is a second title in a new series from New Frontier, with a third due for release late in 2015. The two main characters have quite different interests but it is in working together that they achieve success in their adventures. Eve’s story begins in the contemporary world, but they are transported to a more magical place with the help of a crystal. Their quest is important for the world they visit but imperative for them to return to their own world. Eve is a proactive hero and Oscar an able sidekick. Recommended for newly-confident readers ready for a short novel.
Keepers of the Crystals 2:Eve and the Fiery Phoenix , Jess Black
New Frontier Publishing 2015 ISBN: 9781925059441
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller