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Crystal Balls (Book) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 111
 
Genre: ,
 
Author: ,
 
Year Published:
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
2.5/ 5


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We liked?


A quirky sense of humor is evident throughout.

Not so much?


Tries to do too many things.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Crystal Balls is a quirky tale of four friends unexpectedly thrust into a mystical experience, and the zany ways they handle their new perspectives on life. While it is written with an obvious sense of humor, it tends to scrape the surface on many lives, rather than giving the reader a true look into one or two. It’s a short, easy read that amused me at times, but also left me wishing for more from it.

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Posted June 19, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

What do you get when you mix four dudes and a psychic?

To be honest, I’m still not exactly sure. Crystal Balls, by Bill Rogers and Steve Mueller, is a little bit of a lot of genres. It tries to be humorous, it tries to be mystical, it tries to be romantic, and it even tries to get a bit religious at times. In the end, it perhaps ends up being just a little too much variety – and not enough doing one thing well.

The story in Crystal Balls mostly follows four guy friends (Roger, Karl, Gregory, and Ralph) who, after finding a pamphlet in their favorite coffee shop, set off to visit a psychic. Instead of being mystified by the psychic’s abilities, three of the men instead find themselves floored by the revelation that Karl has psychic abilities. After being given such proof of the afterlife, each of them sets off on their own journeys to find out what it all means to them.

Gregory decides to become a born again Christian, Ralph finds solace in an alternative church, and Roger sets off to the casino with Karl – all the while pining for a girl he doesn’t feel he deserves. As you follow along on the men’s adventures, you are also treated to perspectives from the fake psychic, who has found her life changed by her experience with Karl’s abilities, and Sarah, the object of Karl’s affections. That is a whole lot of different perspectives and adventures for a book that is just over one hundred pages, and it ends up being just too many little pieces when one good story would have been a better choice.

Don’t get me wrong – the writing in Crystal Balls is interesting and for the most part, engaging. It is written with a humorous style that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I like that. However, there are just too many different “strings” being pulled in this book, and too many different story lines that get pulled together in ways that are just a little too pat to actually work. Perhaps if the book would have been significantly longer, so many different stories pulled into one would have worked better. As it is, I just can’t help but feel the book would have been much more interesting had it just stuck to Roger’s perspective.

Crystal Balls is a quirky tale of four friends unexpectedly thrust into a mystical experience, and the zany ways they handle their new perspectives on life. While it is written with an obvious sense of humor, it tends to scrape the surface on many lives, rather than giving the reader a true look into one or two. It’s a short, easy read that amused me at times, but also left me wishing for more from it.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)