The Labyrinth of Time by T.W. Fendley (5 Stars)

This is a Teen/YA fantasy novel with a native/ancient American culture influence. The story is fresh and unique.

Jade is a sixteen-year-old girl that accompanies her grandmother to Peru on a tour. Her grandmother has always been interested in a certain culture/studies that she was first intoduced to by a Shaman from the region they’re visiting. Jade meets a boy her age named Felix and they have to work together to save the world.

So, that does sound a little cliche, but the story is well-written and weaves together a fascinating series of clues that lead them toward their destiny. I found the mixture of real culture and fantasy interesting. Some of the tale is complicated, though the author does a good job of reminding or explaining the various facets as you work your way through. I did find the first 20% or so a little slow because there’s a fair bit of background that you need, but once you hit the nighttime activities where they’re trying to find the Labryinth, the pace really picks up.

I think this could appeal to immediate pre-teens, as well; I think it might be a little complicated for those too much younger. The one thing that seemed odd to me was how extremely familiar with American culture, phrasing, etc. the people of Peru were. While I know this is the fantasy, I did find it just a little distracting, but I suspect teenagers and those that haven’t traveled internationally wouldn’t notice it.

All in all, this was a clever, well-written story with wonderful characters and an interesting glance at an alternate culture.