I met Andrea Pearson in person before knowing about any of her books – but oddly enough, that’s how I was with Brandon Sanderson too. What impressed me about Mrs. Pearson is the fact that she writes purely for eBooks and has made it work. I wasn’t terribly impressed with her “Discern” (earlier book review here), but was much more satisfied with “The Key of Kilenya.”
Maybe because this series is meant “for Children Ages 9-12,” which made it more adventurous and magical. Jacob (whose only dream is to start high school on the basketball team) is thrown into a magical universe of short magical people, fairies, and various monsters ranging from imps to god-like. They’re called different things and have different abilities to create the strange world.
Admittedly, it took me a while to get into it. You jump right in with a steep learning curve and Jacob is unwillingly pulled into a quest for a lost key that can open any door and take you anywhere (including other universes). Similar to “The Hobbit,” it’s the adventure of the journey that’s the most interesting. I didn’t really care for the history (every chapter begins with a journal entry from a prince who took the quest last generation), as it didn’t really lead to anything in this book, but I get the feeling it’ll be more important in the following books. By the way, this is book one in a series of six.
Small Spoiler Alert: The series was the next part that interested me most. Jacob gains some magical abilities and (unlike many other children’s series) he gets to keep them when returning home. So, even though this story’s climax and ending fell a little flat, I’m interested in the next book, to see how he uses his abilities in our world.
Rating: ***3 Stars*** It was well written, especially for an Indie eBook, with good character development, setting descriptions, and okay plot. For the partially anti-climactic ending, I’m not jumping to read it again, but might look up book 2.