Do you like YA fantasy books? If so, here’s a new one that I want to recommend. It is Golden Healer (The Curse Of Time Book 2) by MJ Mallon. I have known the author for several years through our blogs and interviewed her before.
Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this ebook through BookSirens in return for an honest review. As an Amazon Associate, I can earn from purchases made through the links below. This book has a self-harm disclaimer.
Golden Healer: A teenager with magical powers
Amelina Scott is the main character in Golden Healer. She seems like a normal teenager in many ways, living at home with her parents, dog, and cat. But she is quite extraordinary with special powers, thanks to the magical gifts she has received from Leanne. The crystals can do many things, each with its own abilities to help in some way.
The problem comes when Amelina discovers that her Bloodstone crystal is missing. Or was it stolen? She was entrusted with it, and now it might have fallen into the hands of someone evil (or something evil).
And so starts this fascinating book! Find out how Ryder fits into the equation, especially with the creepy vibes he gives Amelina. How are her friends and parents affected by the crystals (and the missing Bloodstone!)?
Is Amelina’s friend Jade in danger? What exactly is the Golden Healer that the book’s title is named after? So many questions! I won’t reveal any spoilers, but the Golden Healer is a great twist in the plot!
It’s ok if you haven’t read Book 1 yet
You likely noticed that the full title includes the words “Book 2.” But it’s alright if you haven’t read the first book in The Curse Of Time series by MJ Mallon. I haven’t, so I am a prime example. The first book is on my iPad, and I plan to read it soon, but when I was given the chance to read the second one for free, I jumped on it.
I found that enough of the first book was explained throughout Book 2 that I didn’t have a problem understanding what was going on. The author MJ Mallon shared details to help explain the family dynamics, for example, without spoiling anything for those who haven’t yet read the first book in the series.
Each chapter has a puzzle piece number to it instead of simply being “Chapter 1,” “Chapter 2,” and so forth. I liked that, especially with the start of each chapter also having a short poem to tease what is to come in the chapter. The poetic lines left me guessing and wanting more, so I often read more than one chapter in a single sitting. Clever!
Oh, and I can’t forget to tell you about Shadow the cat, as I’m a cat lover (we have three of them). Shadow is like a human character, and that was neat, as I often wish our cats would talk to me when I say something to them, lol.
Important themes in Golden Healer
Golden Healer has deeper messages within the fantasy elements. For instance, one character, Ebony, is a bully to Amelina’s friend Ilaria. She physically pushes and shoves Ilaria, as well as verbally abusing her. How author MJ Mallon handles the bullying issue, which is all too common with teenagers, might be enlightening for some young adults reading the book.
Other issues include anorexia and self-harm. Esme, a character who is caught in a mirror, has a butterfly project that offers a message of hope to those who self-harm. I didn’t realize the butterfly project is a real thing until I read Golden Healer.
The book has understanding notes, is never judgemental, and the author even includes links to resources for help. Yes, there is a trigger warning included in this book. That’s good so that you know heading into it what to expect.
A female character with many layers
Amelina is written well, with many sides to her. She has guilt, happiness, feelings of overwhelm, sadness, glee, and so many more emotions. She is a real teenager in these ways. Add in her crystals and the powers that they give her, and she is even more interesting to read about! Her spirit even leaves her body at one point.
Of course, I like when the hero is female, as I want to highlight how much we can be and do. As Amelina gains confidence, we, the readers, experience that happening along with her.
Unexpected and fascinating scenes
The rollercoaster that Amelina and her dad are on in one scene is unforgettable. It shows the limits you can go to and overcome.
Near the start of Golden Healer is a scene about crushing clowns in a box that also was original and fun to read. I think my favorite section in the novel was just over halfway through it when Amelina and her friends unwrap the magical chocolates from Aunt Karissa. It was fun, shocking, and so creative! I hadn’t read anything quite like that part before in a book.
I also like how the book is set in real places and tourist attractions in England. That provided a sense of reality amidst the fantasy plot.
Summing up Golden Healer by MJ Mallon
As you can tell, I liked this book a lot. It’s the second installment in The Curse Of Time series, but you can read it as a standalone novel. The magic and spiritual elements of the book are fun, with serious themes underlying it, including self-harm.
I have other books by MJ Mallon on my iPad and look forward to reading them. What are you reading?