Official Review: The Singing Stones by C.M. Ryba

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Kendra M Parker
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Official Review: The Singing Stones by C.M. Ryba

Post by Kendra M Parker » 25 May 2018, 12:01

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Singing Stones" by C.M. Ryba.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Singing Stones by C. M. Ryba is the second book in a supernatural science fiction series for children. Seth and his two friends, Luke and Cecily, live and attend school in the Midwest in the not-too-distant future. These children all have special abilities that allow them to participate in what is called the Resistance. Seth is a prophet, Luke is a healer, and Cecily can communicate with animals.

As a part of the Resistance, these children work with some of their teachers to protect people and the environment from Professor Maldron and the Institute, an agency that performs experiments on people and the environment in order to find new energy sources. In his search for alternative energy sources, Professor Maldron has even unwittingly begun tapping into a supernatural realm and engaging “Fallen Servants” in his experiments. Conversely, Seth and his friends in the Resistance work with “Servants of the One” to counteract Professor Maldron's plans and help those who have been hurt. Specifically, in this novel, the children help a town and the surrounding wildlife when the Institute's experiments begin to cause illnesses in both the people and wildlife.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a fan of children's literature, I am glad that I have found this gem of a series. Even though the children are only about 11 years old, they make a point to think about their choices throughout the book, and they are not afraid to ask for help or guidance from the adults when things get hard or they make a poor choice. I like to see this thoughtfulness encouraged in children, especially at this age, and I enjoyed watching our heroes as they grew and learned from their mistakes. Plot lines move very well and keep the reader engaged throughout the book. The amount and quality of the science contained in this book cleverly put one foot into the science fiction genre, while the supernatural elements keep the other foot firmly in the supernatural genre. I felt the author was well informed and unafraid to research either science or supernatural elements.

The only fault that I can find with the book is that the vocabulary might be slightly advanced for the typical 11 year old. That said, the author uses the words well, so the context clues would likely allow a child to understand the words most of the time. I have also found that eReaders also make it so easy to look up words that this may not be an issue for a child enjoying this book on one of these devices.

Ryma definitely wrote this book for a Judeo-Christian audience. Choosing where to place one's faith acts as a major theme throughout the book. Readers that have enjoyed books by authors such as Wayne Thomas Batson or Bryan Davis will likely enjoy this one as well.

While The Singing Stones does take a moment to remind readers of the action in the first book in the series, Servants of the One, I would still recommend reading the first book before diving into this one. Most of the initial character development happens in the first book, and readers that skip that one may miss out on some of the connection to those characters.

The Singing Stones earns a solid 4 out of 4 stars. Only a handful of minor typos existed in my review copy, showing that the book was professionally edited. I enjoyed reading about these engaging, thoughtful, and encouraging children that grow and mature throughout the book. As an adult who works with children, I think characters and stories like this one inspire kids to make thoughtful choices. Ryma chose major themes are appropriate for this age group and still provide something for an adult to consider, making this a great children's book for an entire family to enjoy together.

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The Singing Stones
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Laura Bach
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Post by Laura Bach » 05 Jun 2018, 09:23

Feels like The darkest minds by Alexandra Bracken, which I enjoyed. Anyway, the plot looks nice. Thank you for the review!

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 05 Jun 2018, 12:22

Laura Ungureanu wrote:
05 Jun 2018, 09:23
Feels like The darkest minds by Alexandra Bracken, which I enjoyed. Anyway, the plot looks nice. Thank you for the review!
That’s an author I’m unfamiliar with. I’ll have to check her work out sometime.

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Post by SamSim » 05 Jun 2018, 13:04

This sounds very well-executed, besides the possibility that some of the vocabulary might be over a preteen reader's head. I love the concept and, as a Christian parent of small children, I'm amassing a little collection of books for us to read together in our not-so-distant future. Thanks for recommending this one. Great review!
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Kendra M Parker
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Post by Kendra M Parker » 05 Jun 2018, 17:45

SamSim wrote:
05 Jun 2018, 13:04
This sounds very well-executed, besides the possibility that some of the vocabulary might be over a preteen reader's head. I love the concept and, as a Christian parent of small children, I'm amassing a little collection of books for us to read together in our not-so-distant future. Thanks for recommending this one. Great review!
I think you may really enjoy this one with your kids. I know that it is something I have put on my list to read with my own as they get a little bit older.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 06 Jun 2018, 03:05

Great review. It’s nice to see a chikdren’s book where the adults are helpful rather than obstructive.
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Post by liftedbooks » 06 Jun 2018, 04:52

This sounds like an amazing book with great characters. I enjoyed your review. Good job!

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Post by teacherjh » 06 Jun 2018, 19:38

Cool - sci-fi, supernatural, and a little environmentalism mixed in. I think I would love this one. You also don't find many children's or young adult books that show adults in a positive light. Kudos to the author.

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Post by Riszell » 07 Jun 2018, 05:31

I like reading children's book even though I am already an adult. This seems like intended for more mature read though, do I think it's perfect for me. Though I haven't read the first book yet, I'm think this can be read as standalone too.

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Post by KristyKhem » 07 Jun 2018, 10:26

Great review! This book sounds really interesting. I like the supernatural concepts in it.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 07 Jun 2018, 12:18

Helen_Combe wrote:
06 Jun 2018, 03:05
Great review. It’s nice to see a chikdren’s book where the adults are helpful rather than obstructive.
I liked that, too. I also liked that the kids had positive feelings toward the adults in the book. They wanted advice at times and got good advice. It was a very encouraging sort of book.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 07 Jun 2018, 12:19

liftedbooks wrote:
06 Jun 2018, 04:52
This sounds like an amazing book with great characters. I enjoyed your review. Good job!
I often think that my best reviews are for the books that I enjoyed the most. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy my review!

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 07 Jun 2018, 12:22

teacherjh wrote:
06 Jun 2018, 19:38
Cool - sci-fi, supernatural, and a little environmentalism mixed in. I think I would love this one. You also don't find many children's or young adult books that show adults in a positive light. Kudos to the author.
This really had a bunch of great elements and you picked up on those. On top of that, it was well-written, so it was a fun read overall.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 07 Jun 2018, 12:27

Riszell wrote:
07 Jun 2018, 05:31
I like reading children's book even though I am already an adult. This seems like intended for more mature read though, do I think it's perfect for me. Though I haven't read the first book yet, I'm think this can be read as standalone too.
I think you could read this as a stand-alone book. I actually read the first before I read this one, just because I don’t like getting into the middle and finding that I missed some important details from the earlier book. I also hate getting spoilers before I read the first. They were both quite good. They are also both on the KU subscription right now, so it’s a good deal if you have that.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 07 Jun 2018, 12:48

KristyKhem wrote:
07 Jun 2018, 10:26
Great review! This book sounds really interesting. I like the supernatural concepts in it.
They were a fun addition, but not over-done, which was a really nice feature.

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