Conor and the Crossworlds: Breaking the Barrier (Book One)
Reviewed by Avery Largent (age 9) for Reader Views (6/08)
“Conor and the Crossworlds: Breaking the Barrier” by Kevin Gerard is a story about Conor, a ten-year-old boy who goes on an adventure with a great flying cougar and sees a few different ways his future could be. Despite this interesting concept, the book failed to catch my attention. With a disjointed adventure and poorly-used characters and ideas, this book misses the mark.
I had a hard time following the book in the beginning, because the author started the book amidst the final battle; then flashed back to explain how Conor got there. This is an interesting idea, but it wasn’t written very clearly and I found myself confused about who was who. I kept thinking: Why were these characters fighting? Why is Conor doing that? Who is that? I could easily imagine a reader giving up on the book during this fuzzy beginning.
Once the flashbacks began the characters became clearer. We learn that Conor started out his adventure quite like your everyday ten-year-old boy, except he was dealing with the loss of an uncle he loved. It’s obvious that he’s not particularly wise or courageous, but the author reveals very little else about him. My biggest complaint about Conor is that he seemed not to grow very much during his adventure. In the end, Conor seemed to have gained only a little wisdom from his mentor, Puragama, the great flying cougar. I did really like the character of Puragama; I love the idea of a flying cougar, and his wisdom and guidance was central to the story.
Conor’s adventures with Puragama were supposed to help him find out why his uncle died, but most of the possible futures didn’t apply to his uncle’s death or Conor’s grief. Not only did these adventures not make sense within the storyline, but they also didn’t have any real connection or flow. I was unmotivated to keep reading because each adventure was unrelated to the next.
I would not suggest “Conor and the Crossworlds: Breaking the Barrier” to my friends. With the poorly developed main character, disjointed plot, and confusing beginning, I do not plan to read the next couple of Kevin Gerard’s sequels to “Conor and the Crossworlds.”