Chris Keaton and Rick Taubold's The Mosaic was published in 2016.

Information about Chris Keaton and Rick Taubold:

Chris Keaton is an Air Force veteran living with his family in sunny Arizona. He began his writing journey as a screenwriter, but to reach a wider audience he's made the transition to prose. His main genre of choice is fantasy, from monsters to science fiction. To learn more about his projects check out his website, Chris-Keaton.com.

Rick serves on the board of directors of Silver Pen Writers (www.silverpenwriters.org), and he and his wife publish Fabula Argentea, a quarterly online fiction magazine. His weekly blog is Write Well, Write to Sell (www.writewell.silverpen.org). On his website (www.ricktaubold.com), you can delve into his past and read about his current projects and upcoming books.

Information about The Mosaic:

Twin girls discover a mystical world contained within a crumbling mosaic, and they must restore it before an evil witch seizes its power, even if doing so could tear their family apart.

Secrets. It all started while looking for secret passages. Chloe Tozier’s impulsive twin, Zoe, insisted that all old mansions had them. Grandma denied the existence of any here. Except for the boarded-up service elevator that she conveniently forgot to mention before the girls discovered it, the elevator that didn’t seem to go anywhere. They had been living in this private museum with their grandparents since the death of their parents during an archaeology trip to Egypt.

Mysteries. Why have a museum in a tiny town in the middle of Kansas when what’s on display is nothing unusual? Sometimes packages arrived wrapped in plain brown paper that the girls never saw again. Grandpa disappeared overnight and they haven’t heard from him since. And before going to Egypt their parents had mentioned something about a mysterious mosaic. Maybe Zoe was right about family secrets. Maybe it was time to dig further.

A REVIEW OF CHRIS KEATON AND RICK TAUBOLD'S THE MOSAIC

I'll start this review by saying that I'm glad I had an opportunity to read Chris Keaton and Rick Taubold's The Mosaic, because it's one of the most entertaining YA fantasy novels I've read this year. I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience that left me wanting more.

The Mosaic is one of those YA novels that can be recommended to young adults and adults alike, because its contents will please both readerships. It's an exciting and fast-paced novel with plenty of magic, because it has been written in the vein of classic YA fantasy novels. Depending on how you examine its contents, it can be classified either as fantasy or as urban fantasy.

I have a soft spot for this kind of YA fantasy novels, because I find them charming. It's great that Chris Keaton and Rick Taubold have written an engaging story and blended classic fantasy elements with modern storytelling, because it creates a compelling atmosphere.

Here's a bit of information about how the story begins:

Severin enters a building to steal and avoids the trap has been set for thieves. Soon he spots his objective: a piece of the Mosaic. Soon something goes a bit wrong and Severin accidentally releases Bacu, the Dream Reaper and the Witch Queen who have been in the Elf Queen's prison. He hopes that her unfamiliarity with the modern world will delay her... The twin girls, Chloe and Zoe Tozier, are spending the summer in their private museum in Riley, Kansas. Zoe thinks that grandma, Sintra, is hiding something. She is convinced that there's something hidden in the mansion. Chloe and Zoe have noticed that grandma gets packages, but they never see any of them again. One day they find a secret passage and decide to investigate it. Soon they find the Mosaic and learn about its power and find out about their own family heritage...

As you can see by this brief description about the happenings, there's quite a lot going on in this novel. I can reveal that this is merely the beginning, because the authors have much more in store for readers as the story begins to unfold.

I was surprised by how fluent and effortless the worldbuilding is in this novel, because the authors present readers with a fascinating vision of what has happened to the Magic Beings. It was interesting to find out what was revealed about the Magic World, the Elf Queen, the Witch Queen and the various Magic Beings. It was also fascinating to read about why the Mosaic was created and how important it was to repair it.

The characterisation is good, because the authors write well about the twins and what kind of a relationship they have. My first impression about Chloe and Zoe was that they felt a bit stereotypical YA characters, because Chloe was the sensible one and Zoe was the rebellious one, but fortunately their characters developed as the story began to unfold.

I enjoyed reading about the Magic Beings, because the authors made me marvel at their apperance and their abilities. For example, the dust bunnies were intriguing beings, because they could easily become quite a severe problem if allowed to multiply. The Sparrow was also an interesting and well-created being.

One of the best things about this novel is that it doesn't have any romantic elements, which have become the bane of way too many YA fantasy novels (I'm personally fed up with romantic YA fantasy novels, because most of them are anything but good and feature horrendous prose). It's great that the authors have concentrated on other matters than romance, because it makes a big difference to the quality of the story.

I like Chris Keaton and Rick Taubold's writing style, because they write good and solid prose. I've noticed that several YA novels have often been written in haste and too many authors seem to aim their stories at those who want instant action and little worldbuilding from their stories. Fortunately, Chris Keaton and Rick Taubold have managed to avoid these pitfalls and have paid attention to writing their story as well as possible.

If you're interested in YA fantasy and are looking for something entertaining to read, Chris Keaton and Rick Taubold's The Mosaic is a good choice, because it's charming entertainment from start to finish. It will charm everybody who allows themselves to be immersed in a good and fast-paced story.

My final words are:

The Mosaic is entertaining, fast-paced and well written YA fantasy!

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