Opal Charm: The Path to Dawn (Volume 1) by Miri Castor (2016)
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade/YA
Page Length: 408 pages (electronic copy)
Opal is a young girl living in Dewdrop, a bustling suburb southeast of New York. Life is a constant struggle for her, until she befriends newcomer, Hope Adaire. With the girls’ friendship slowly beginning to grow, Opal’s life begins to change in mysterious ways, as the secrets of Hope’s enigmatic life begins to unfold.
In the process of taking new paths and unveiling truths, a new world is discovered and with it, the discovery of a Gift a power that can make Opal stronger than she ever imagined. Yet with every truth, lies must be shattered. Now, when Dewdrop and the new world is threatened, this temperamental teen with too much emotional baggage, must learn how to control her Gift, and protect everyone living in her world and the new one—or face the consequences of unmasked truths.
The Path to Dawn is a coming-of-age story geared towards young adults and teens. It is a story that should make one question the power of truth and lies. (description from Goodreads)
The Path To Dawn is a novel about a student, Opal Charm, who is trying to finish her last year of junior high. Opal is kind of a loner and keeps to herself at school mourns the loss of friendship with her best friend Aaron. At home she’s constantly on edge because of her bossy older sister, her mom’s neurotic tendencies, and her dad’s strict nature. On top of that, her family still mourns the loss of Jermaine, her older brother. Opal soon finds out that her birthmark is full of magical powers which will change her ordinary life forever.
Opal seems to be a very sad and anxious young girl, but having the fate of another universe will have that effect on you. She finds out that she comes from a magical and powerful lineage of beings, plus she’s finally starting to socially integrate herself into her school and home life. She’s knows she’s messed up on many ends and wants to make up for her errors of pushing loved ones away. By the end of the novel the obstacles that challenge her help her to overcome the errors of her past and she becomes a much stronger person!
This book was easy to digest from page one! I had so much trouble because it was so engrossing. The characters seemed relatable and authentic, there is a lot of diversity, and the plot flows smoothly. I enjoyed seeing the characters develop over the course of the novel as well as their personalities. Aaron and Opal’s friendship is not without its kinks, but it is solid. After patching up their friendship, they pick up right where they left off. I admired Aaron’s character so much because he’s such a supportive best friend and her does a lot for Opal.
As for the world building, the exposition of the realms and the names of people from the other universe were a bit confusing at times. A lot is explained in a few of the chapters (in the middle section of the novel) and I felt that it could have been spread out so it wouldn’t be so confusing. But I did like that Castor takes her time explaining Opal’s back story rather than jumping headfirst into all of the action.
If you’re looking for a novel full of action/adventure mixed with a coming of age story, Opal Charm is the story for you!
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