Review: Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis by Paula Berinstein

January 25, 2016 Mystery, Review 12

LolaReview

Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal CrisisAmanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis (Amanda Lester, Detective #2)
by Paula Berinstein

Blurb:
If only Sherlock Holmes’s great-great-grandson weren’t such a dork . . .

There’s a new student at the Legatum Continuatum School for the Descendants of Famous Detectives and Amanda is supposed to work with him. Scapulus Holmes is a descendant of the great Sherlock and he’s crazy about her. Unfortunately she thinks he’s a dork and would rather die than have anything to do with him.

But when the kids discover a dead body encrusted with strange living crystals, Amanda realizes she needs Holmes’s help. If the crystals fall into the wrong hands they could be used for nefarious purposes, and only he knows how to protect them.

Can the detectives keep the bad guys from learning the crystals’ secrets? It would help if they could figure out who the dead body is too. Only if Amanda and Holmes can find a way to work together can they prevent a disaster, and it isn’t looking good.

My Review:
Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis is a great sequel to the first book. Not only introduces it a new mystery for Amanda and her friend to focus on, it also continues a few plot lines from the first book, introduces the reader to a new character and has more of the same awesomness of the first book. The mystery aspect is very well done and I like how you can really follow the thinking steps of the characters and see how they come to certain conclusions. I did predict what the missing item was already before the characters figured it out though, but I didn’t mind that as I only figured it out shortly before they did.

The mystery is one of my favourite aspects of this series, there are multiple things going on and it’s unclear whether they are related or not and what’s going on and then as the story progresses we find out more and things start falling on it’s place. Beside the mystery there are also enough other sub plots going on, like relationships between characters, Amanda her e-mails with her film idol Darius Plover, Amanda her parents etc. I like how there is so much going on, but it’s still easy to keep track of everything. It makes for an interesting story and there isn’t a dull moment.

In this book a lot focusses on the orange crystals, the concept of the orange crystal was kinda fun and original, but I didn’t like the science behind it. There is a reasoning about how they came into being and it just didn’t make any sense and contradicts with what we currently know in science. I prefer it when things make sense and while I know it’s fiction I still prefer things to make sense and this didn’t. That explanation bothered me and got me out of the story for a bit. And knowing what they are, there is still scene towards the end involving the crystals, which made a feel a bit queasy. The big end scene also felt a bit anti-climactic for some reason, but I can’t really point out why.

The characters all seem to act a bit off in this book, there are things going, secrets and other things they don’t tell the others, but slowly we figure out what’s going on with the characters. It did feel a bit strange at times how some characters would act a bit out of character, but eventually it will make sense once you find out the reasoning behind it. I liked learning a bit more about all the familiar characters and the new characters in this book. Ivy continues to be one of my favourite side characters, but I also came to like Simon a lot more in this book. Simon is really smart and he and Amanda work together a bit more in this book and they become good friends. Holmes added some interesting tension to the situation and while I liked him, he also seemed a bit too perfect at times, although that changes later in the book.

Amanda has a lot to deal with in this book and she’s struggling a bit with all that’s going on. Her father isn’t the same after what happened in the first book, Darius Plover is e-mailing her and needs her help, the mysteries going on and then the new kid is the descendant of Holmes and that brings all her issues with Holmes into the spotlight again. She still struggles with some of her flaws and while she thought she solved some of them, these stressful situations bring them to the surface again. I thought it made her feel like a real character and I like that, she isn’t perfect and has her flaws, but overall she is a nice person who does her best. The only thing that bothered me a bit was the complete change in opinion she made about someone towards the end of the book. Her change seemed a bit too quick.

To summarize: this was a great sequel with both new plot lines and in a sense a continuation of the plot lines from the first book. I really liked the mysteries in this book and figuring out what’s going on and if and how things tie together. I did figure one thing out shortly before the characters did, but I didn’t mind that. It’s fun to feel like I am alongside the characters figuring things out. The focus in this book is n the orange crystal and while I kinda liked the concept, I didn’t like the scientific explanation behind it as it made no sense. And a scene towards the end felt a bit off to me due to what the orange crystal are and how they got used. I liked meeting some of the new characters in this book and getting to know the familiar ones more. Amanda is a great main character and she struggles with a lot of things in this book. There is a change in her attitude towards someone at the end that bothered me a bit as it felt too quickly. All in all this is a great series with enough interesting plot lines, mysteries and more personal things that are going on. I am looking forward to read the next book.

4-star

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What do you look for in a sequel?

12 Responses to “Review: Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis by Paula Berinstein”

  1. Sophia Rose

    Hmmm, so it had a lot of good going for it, but some stuff that pulled you out of the story, too. The first book was such a hit that it was probably tough for this one to top it. I run into that ‘sophomore slump’ once in a while when I get into a series. Sometimes it’s because my expectation level is too high, but sometimes its the book or a bit of both of those together.
    Hope book three picks up a bit for you. But it does sound like the mystery is still a solid win for you. 🙂
    Sophia Rose recently posted…To Be or Not to Be…Read TBR Pile Vote JanuaryMy Profile

    • Lola

      It was still a great book, but yes because I loved the first book so much it was probably hard for this one to top it. It was a great sequel and lots of aspects I like where still there, the science explanation just didn’t work for me. I hope I can read the third book soon as I am looking forward to see where the story goes next!

  2. Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

    “School for the Descendants of Famous Detectives” lmao, I love it! I like the idea of a plot continuation. Back when I was in school, I felt like children’s/middle grade mystery books that I use to read (like a to z mysteries) never really continued where they left off. You always make me want to delve back into middle grade books, Lola, which is something I haven’t done in YEARS. Maybe 2016 will be my time for exploring new chilren’s books 🙂
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    • Lola

      The concept is really cool with the whole school for the descendants of famous detectives and the author handles the concept really well. The plot continuation is really done well and in a sense this book is not only it’s own story, but also builds upon the story of the first one. I really like to read a MG book once in a while, as they often have a different feel from other age categories.
      Lola recently posted…Review: Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis by Paula BerinsteinMy Profile

  3. Alise

    It’s so awesome when a sequel doesn’t suffer from second book syndrome and introduces some new aspects to the story. These sound like pretty good mysteries! It sounds like the main character went through some development as well, although it’s a shame her thoughts changed so fast towards the end of the book. Nice review 🙂
    Alise recently posted…Review: Night Study by Maria V SnyderMy Profile

  4. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you enjoyed this one and that there was enough going on to keep your interest, but not TOO much where you couldn’t keep track.

    As for what I look for in a sequel – I suppose a continuation of what I loved from the first. Good plot, or great characters, or both. I think what’s a bummer about a lot of sequels is that not enough happens – well that’s usually if there will be a third or more books.
    Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted…Celebrate Valentine’s Day with UStar NovelsMy Profile

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