Review of ‘Black Diamond (McLean Twins Book 1)’ by Jennifer Loiske (November 2014):
** I received a free copy as a prize in a contest **
“Black Diamond” by Jennifer Loiske, is a slightly dark paranormal story with several unique elements that enables it to stand out in the crowded miasma of the genre. While it is primarily a tale of good vs. evil, it is also one about loss, betrayal, and discovery. These elements allow Ms. Loiske to not only scare her readers, but to do so without resorting to overtly graphic descriptions or details. She is an author who understands the idea of less is more.
Other than a few early scenes the entire story takes place in Greyman Hill, a sprawling English countryside estate that Ms. Loiske effectively populates with all manner of mysterious people and entities. In creating her setting, the author provides just enough information to tantalize the reader’s imagination and fill in the details.
The protagonists, Shannon and her newly discovered twin brother Ian, are likeable and reasonably well developed. While there are numerous bad guys and evil-doers, by far the most interesting is their father, who’s driven by a complex mixture of parental love and demonic evil. The dynamic between these three forms the core of the story and presumably the rest of the series.
As with most stories, not everything is perfect. While I was engaged in the action sequences, in some of them I felt more like a spectator than a participant. I had a definite feeling that the author was holding back a little something for the next installment of the series. As an author of several series I understand the need, but as a reader it seemed a little short. Clearly targeted at the YA market, this book is also appropriate for MG readers – especially those looking for something scary, but not graphically so.
Amazon link for Black Diamond (McLean Twins Book 1)