Stone Fever: Erebus Tales Book One
Iguana Books (2020)
Reviewed by Amy (age 16) for Reader Views Kids (1/2021)
In “Stone Fever: Erebus Tales Book One” by Norman Westoff, it’s the 24th century and a team of scientists venture to Antarctica to locate the precious mineral, Iridium. The mission is sponsored by a rich and powerful man named Sir Oscar Bailey, who may have ulterior motives for locating this rare element. The team is forced to crash-land their plane and the adventure begins as they are discovered by members of the Nomidar Tribe, who have their own reasons for uncovering a greater source of Iridium. Technology meets ancient customs in an exciting story full of science, culture, exploration, greed, betrayal, newfound alliances, and self-discovery to name a few.
I really enjoyed “Stone Fever” because it is very different from anything I’ve read lately. I like how the author mixed a modern technology-driven culture with an ancient tribal culture and how the two were able to learn how to communicate in spite of their many differences. I found the aspects of the Nomidar tribe to be fascinating and in many ways thought their access to knowledge through their ancient rituals to be greater than that of the 24th century elite scientific team with all their fancy gadgets. I loved the contrast between the two groups.
I do have to say it took me a while to settle into the actual method of the storytelling. Parts of the story are told directly by Keltyn (one of the scientists) and the rest seems to be told by some narrator. The flow was okay, but there were times when a chapter started out from Keltyn’s point of view where I asked myself, “who is this talking right now?” Even though Keltyn is one of the main characters, she didn’t stand out to me enough to be a lead character. All the main characters had their stories and Keltyn’s didn’t strike me as more significant than say Fay, who was trying to immerse herself with the Nomidar people or Joaquin’s journey to find his place in life.
“Stone Fever” is a clever blend of two civilizations in a sci-fi action adventure for young adults but I don’t think the audience is limited to that age group. It’s an action-packed journey that will be enjoyed by all age groups and I look forward to the next book in this new series.