Hidden Gems: Quest for the Great Diamond
By H. K. Boughazian
3 out of 5 stars
Gem’s parents are made of beautiful and colorful minerals, but Gem’s skin is plain gray rock. She is teased for her gray skin and leaves mineral school to go to the rock school where she tries to fit in. But when her rock friends find out that her parents are minerals, Gem loses her only friend. She sets out on a quest to find the Great Diamond, and ask him why she was born as a rock. She is joined by other misfits searching for answers, and they travel through exciting adventures across the country, until they discover the truth about rocks and minerals.
I loved the premise of this story! The world building is phenomenal, and so detailed with plants, people, and animals all made from different stone and crystals and minerals.
The characters are cute and I liked their friendships. The plot has good pacing and a simple storyline that is just right for a children’s book.
The best thing about this book is the fantastic design and illustrations. There is a cool map at the beginning, and the end papers are a colorfully illustrated list of all the types of rocks and minerals. I loved flipping to the end papers to see the color and texture of each gemstone and crystal described in the story. It made the story so special!
However, the writing has a terrible problem with “telling” instead of “showing”. I was never immersed in the story, because the writing is always pointing out the obvious or “telling” what the characters are thinking and feeling instead of “showing” it.
There are about a dozen plot holes that annoyed me, and the characters act in unnatural ways that made the story unbelievable. For instance, they are specifically told to stay away from a certain dangerous lake, but they go there anyway. Why don’t they just walk around it? Why? Apparently, they are dumb. For some idiotic reason, they must cross the lake. Why? No reason. They find a way to cross the lake, but worry about falling into the poisonous water. The narrative says, “Soon they were having so much fun, they forgot all about what would happen if they fell in. … they landed on the opposite shore, relieved not to have fallen in.”
How could they be “relieved” if they forgot to be worried? That doesn’t make sense. It’s a complete contradiction!
The writing is full of contradictions and plot holes like that. The plot is sometimes poorly organized and needs a little more careful thought to smooth out those inconsistencies.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I think a child would probably not notice the plot holes.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts and are not influenced by anyone.