January 20, 2014

24th Room: The Vale Legend - Christy Ellynby

24th Room book cover Christy Ellynby
24th Room: The Vale Legend by Christy Ellynby
Publisher: Matador
Publication Date: January 2, 2014
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thank you, Troubador!) || e-galley
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Jaxon and Shay Vale are 16-year-old twins, one of whom, due to their heritage, will be the future Lord or Lady of Vale Manor in England. In their eyes, this is a burden – and not one they are the slightest bit interested in. An old lady from a store in the village tells them about the manor’s secret: the 24th Room, which sits in the 5th Dimension, can be reached from a stairway that will take them on a journey through the amazing night sky. This room is like no other, and holds many surprises for Jaxon and Shay. (from Goodreads)

If I'm being brutally honest, I'm not sure what I should, or could, say about 24th Room. It was a short novel, so it was a fairly fast read. But really, and it saddens me to say this, it fell short of the potential I felt it had. As I've done previously, here's a list of what I liked and didn't like about this novel:

What I Liked

the 24th Room. Clearly, I'm a girl who enjoys exploring an author's vivid imagination through his or her books. Ellynby invented this awesome room where teens from all over the world can gather together. The room is filled with fun things, modern things and a pretty-sounding wall made of rainbowy, golden panels. There's also this garden filled with magical new creatures that's just outside of the room's windows. Sounds delightful, doesn't it?

What I Didn't Like

The characters were underdeveloped. There's nothing that truly sets either Jaxon or Shay apart. All I know about them is basically what's stated in the book's summary. Sadly, the lack of connection with either one of them - or any of the other characters in this book, really - prevented full enjoyment of this book. 

There was a lot of tell versus show. I'm afraid that this item speaks for itself. I felt like I was being told what was going to happen for most of it, which did nothing for getting me engaged in this story.

Honestly, when it comes right down it, my full assessment of 24th Room is as follows: there's unfulfilled potential here. While I could see endless possibilities - in the alternate dimension, in Jaxon, in Shay, in their friends, in this story - none of them came to life the way I would have wanted them too.


  1. Tell vs. show is probably the kiss of death for me, honestly. I love the sound of this one, but if the author simply dictates to us, I don't think I'd be able to get past that. I appreciate your honest review though, Alexa!

  2. Bleh. Unfulfilled potential is such a downer when you're reading a book!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  3. Bummer! This one sounded like such a unique story. I hate when an author tells and doesn't show. It makes it really hard to connect to the story and get into it. And characters that I can't connect with is the worst. If I don't feel like I know the characters, I probably am not going to like the book.

  4. There's nothing worse than seeing great potential in a book, only to watch it leak slowly off the page when it's never realized. Also underdeveloped characters are the kiss of death for me, especially if the book doesn't have other things to make up for that. Sorry this wasn't a great fit for you. Also I wrote a review last night for a completely different book that I set up similarly - What I liked and What I didn't like. I don't know if that's your typical model, but I like the way it's laid out in a concise manner. Also, I promise I didn't see this first!


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