*Purchased as part of #IndieApril*
Title: James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra
Author: Colm McElwain
Series: James Clyde #1
Read: May 2019
Rating: 2 1/2 Caffeinated Stars
Alongside his friends Ben and Mary Forester, James Clyde must protect a powerful diamond from falling into the wrong hands. A strange and sinister man dressed in black is also pursuing the diamond and will stop at nothing to obtain it. James and his friends set off on a perilous journey to return the diamond to its rightful place. But they are being hunted every step of the way by the relentless man in black and his bloodthirsty army. Outnumbered, James finds he must use the power of the diamond to escape their clutches – or become another victim of their murderous quest. So begins a journey that will transport them to an alternative world where they must confront the mysterious man in black for a final, winner-takes-all battle.
I picked up this book as part of #IndieApril, and I was excited to give it a chance. The description sounded like something right up my alley, and I’ve been reading so many romances that I figured it was time to take a break and jump into a good fantasy. James Clyde & the Diamonds of Orchestra is a mid-grade novel that grabs you from the start. Though it kept me entertained, I have to say I never felt a connection to any of the characters.
James Clyde was an interesting character, but I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at how “perfect” he was. He is an 11-year-old boy that bested a “master” swordsman. His two friends, Ben and Mary, were not memorable though at times James would have benefitted from listening to them. Many times he solely thought of himself and never took his friends and their thoughts and opinions into consideration. His version of compromise was him stating that he was doing something and that he needed their support. At no time did he think of anyone but himself.
The biggest thing that stood out in this book was that I was not the target demographic. The target demographic for this book was boys. This makes it hard for me to recommend it to my nieces because there were no outstanding female characters. It seemed that the only characters who were three dimensional were the males. I would have loved to see more interaction with the female characters and see more depth.
Though there were some significant faults with this book, I did enjoy part of it. The world that Colm McElwain built was exciting and had great potential. I enjoyed the fast-paced nature of the book, and I was entertained for the most part. Unfortunately, I wanted so much more out of it. When it comes to books, I read them for the characters and the plot and the characters were lacking to me.
18 thoughts on “James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra”
But don’t most kids think their heroes are or should be perfect?
Personally, I think that even in midgrade the heroes should have some faults. I love seeing character growth so when a hero is perfect it’s hard to connect with them.
I totally agree with you, I was just noting the tendency of the genre, the author may have been following the formula 😉
That is a very good point. I didn’t think about in a formula. 😂
Ouch, that last quote made me shudder. Books for boys should definitely have interesting, three-dimensional female characters. And vice versa. Didn’t think we still needed to point that out 🙁
That was my reaction too. I just stared dumbfounded at the page thinking that I couldn’t have read that right.
Bummer! I do like your star system though 🙂
This review takes me back as we reviewed it a few years ago. Pity it didn’t work for you. Great review.
Thanks! It had great potential, it just hit some of my pet peeves. 🙂
Thank you for the honest review. I kind of cringe when I see books that are intended for young boys that have no decent female representation in them. It doesn’t seem that healthy to read otherwise, at least in my opinion.
I completely agree. I want books with good characters and characters that I can relate to. When the only characters of note are males it makes it hard to enjoy it.
Great honest review! Hope your next read is better!
Thanks me too!