James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra
by Colm McElwain
Alongside his friends Ben and Mary Forester, James Clyde must protect a powerful diamond from falling into the wrong hands.
A strange and sinister man dressed in black is also pursuing the diamond and will stop at nothing to obtain it. James and his friends set off on a perilous journey to return the diamond to its rightful place. But they are being hunted every step of the way by the relentless man in black and his blood-thirsty army.
Outnumbered, James finds he must use the power of the diamond to escape their clutches - or become another victim of their murderous quest.
So begins a journey that will transport them to an alternative world where they must confront the mysterious man in black for a final, winner-takes-all battle...
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sometimes fantasy can be real, magical realms can become true and the life of simple children can change forever. James Clyde is an eleven-year-old boy who doesn’t suspect he is more special than he can imagine. After being abandoned by his grandfather, he has grown up under the care of strangers. Christmas at his grandfather’s house is a tradition and he waits for that moment with excitement. However, when a mysterious man starts asking for him and evil creatures put his life in danger, he and his friends will face the adventure of their lives.
James and his friends, Ben and Mary, are amazing children. Brave, likeable and sweet, each one of them is special for some reason and brings something different to the story. Their innocence and determination for doing what is right moves the story. Friendship, honor, honesty, solidarity and more are some of the values the book reminds us of.
A book that present us a vivid and colorful world, described in a way that allow us to imagine the different scenarios in detail dragging us to a complete and believable place. The language is attractive and creates a reading atmosphere that is almost magical. It also has short chapters that give the story a fast and natural rhythm.
This is a story with all the elements of a fantasy middle grade book (magic, evil forces, fantasy and dark creatures), however, the book is so good that any adult would enjoy it. The solid background and the excellent writing style will assure you a great reading time.
The story leaves some things unresolved which could explain a sequel. I really hope there is one in the future because I would love to read more about James Clyde and Orchestra.