Posted by : Ruby Escalona Monday, May 23, 2011

Summary from Goodreads: When Josh, Michael and Beth Lotts catch sight of some mysterious lights one summer’s evening, they are drawn into a dense forest near their home where no one dares ever go. What they find there is incredible.

The Tree of Seasons is a doorway into another world. There are four kingdoms in this world, each forever stuck in spring, summer, autumn and winter and each with its own ruler. The tree and the world it conceals have existed for hundreds of years and have never been uncovered by anyone, until now.

The Lotts find that peace has been shattered in this magical world. One ruler, who bears a remarkable resemblance to their aunt is intent on power at all costs. She causes destruction and suffering that threaten to tear worlds apart. Josh, Michael and Beth have arrived just in time to take part in the battle that the other three kingdoms have to fight in order to survive.

Thoughts: The book had potential when I read the blurb - little did I know that I would be extremely disappointed whilst reading the book. Initially, the story had promise - it's like Narnia, only written by someone else. Kids finding a magical world where magical creatures live. But ugh, the narrative and how the story was progressing definitely is not my cup of tea. It was confusing, it was unstructured, and it was quite redundant on some parts. Oftentimes, I find myself scratching my head and had to read some parts again - definitely not something you'd want if you have lets say, a bazillion more books that you would have to read.
 
Character-wise - they definitely lack character. Yeah, the three kids are siblings, and yes, they will do everything to try and save one another, but please - I know that at the start most of these kids have their own problems and negative traits that they have to overcome but they became so annoying! Ugh. Definitely not loveable. The villains - well, come on. There's always supposed to be villains - they should be hated, they should be hard to defeat. The protagonists definitely encountered the antagonist more than once, but ugh.. they always manage to escape. Seems bloody impossible, if you ask me.
 
The illustrations - for a children's book, they're not appealing. Definitely not. I wish the illustraions were cuter, more appealing, more - I don't know, loveable.
 
So, despite all my negative comments above, I picked up this book [and paid bloody hell of a lot of money for it] just because it was written by Stephen Gately - an ex member of Boyzone [bless his soul]. It was the first children's book he wrote, and I think he left it unfinished because he died unexpectedly. It probably took the editors a hell of a lot of time trying to edit the book out. And I guess I could forgive the story - since it was probably still under development and was just rushed out in the market.
 
It took me a while to finish this book. I now refer to it as my "sleepy" book - because for some reason, it just makes me sleepy. I would read a few paragraphs or pages every now and again, whilst reading telly or while preparing to go to bed. Hmm.. Not a book I would devour in a few sittings.
 
Published: 2010
Available From: the Book Depository
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Book was: bought from the Book Depository
Rating: Horrid, but since it was written by Stephen Gately, I would be more lenient in my rating [2.5/5]

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