Book Review: Crystallum – Laney McMann

25649108Title & Author: Crystallum by Laney McMann

Genre:  Young Adult- Fantasy, Romance

Release Date: November 2015

Series: The Primordial Principles #1

Publisher: Booktrope Editions

Source: ARC via the publisher

Description: Kadence Sparrow wasn’t born a devil’s child—she was turned into one. Now, she’s hiding from the truth, and running for her life.

For years, Kade’s true nature has lurked behind an illusion, so when her dad gets another job transfer, she knows the drill: no close friends, no boyfriends, and most importantly: don’t expose what she is. Ever. Keeping secrets is easy. Lies are second nature. So is the loneliness—and the fear, but when the Shadows attack, and Kade meets Cole Spires, she could expose everything she’s trying to hide.

As one of the Celestial Children, Cole lives by an oath: defend the Ward, protect the Primordial race, guard the gateways, and stick to his own. Everything else is a distraction, and besides, he’s lost enough. Cole’s job is clear, and no one his age does it better. So, when he meets Kade in a club downtown, he assumes she just wants his attention. Most girls do, but Cole soon realizes … Kade isn’t like most girls.

The children of heaven and hell are living among us, fighting an age-old war. And falling for someone from the opposition is not an option. But a chance encounter between Kade and Cole will blur the rules, as Kade’s journey to keep her truth hidden catapults them together and into a web of lies, forcing her to not only face the demon inside her, but to answer the hardest question of all.

Which is thicker—blood or water?

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Crystallum is the type of book that is amazing in theory with its intricate plot twists, large cast of characters, heavily detailed backstory and emotionally compromised main character. Unfortunate the care taken to craft such a unique and dynamic world fell flat when put on paper. For this review I felt it better to break this down into likes and dislikes.

Things I enjoyed

  • Unique fantasy elements
  • Good twist on the age old angles/demons races
  • Use of Leylines as magical portals
  • Witty dialogue
  • People can turn into birds (how cool is that?)


Things I disliked

  • We are given zero backstory at the beginning and left confused until about 30% into the book.
  • More plot holes than swiss cheese.
  • The plot twist at the end. It came off as overly dramatic but when you think about it the book could have survived without it. All it did was confuse me and make me read the same paragraph over and over.
  • Super ridiculous insta-love in the characters
  • Use of violence to serve as a focal point between the two factions
  • More useless violence that was extremely confusing and unwarranted (fighting over Kade multiple times.)
  • Overused forbidden love where everything is perfect and amazing and nothing could ever go wrong for the two
  • Using a minority (gays) as a plot tool to try and further push Kade/Cole farther apart by tying similarities between their forbidden romance and Kade/Coles. (Seriously I would have loved them more if you didn’t try to make it all about Kade/Cole and instead explain their own romance.)
  • Multiple POVs that got VERY confusing fast
  • Dialogue gets confusing when 5 or more people are talking
  • Kades only fault in this book is she is a total klutz and falls all the damn time


Final Thoughts

As you can see there was more bad than good. It just did not do anything for me. I could not connect with the characters at all. When things happened I was left completely clueless and confused. I really wanted to like Kade but her Mary Sue tendencies rubbed me the wrong way.  All the boys wanted her, she was overly powerful, good looking, shy and clueless. The only fault I could find was that she trips and falls all the time. Like every chapter. Which is used to further reinforce her damsel in distress character and Cole saves her further proving he is the hero/perfect for her.

Paper recommendation tag

This would be a great book for fans of fantasy and paranormal if its kinks got worked out. Until then I’m going to simple say to stick on the side of caution when approaching this one. You might enjoy it more than I, if so great! Or you might find it just as cumbersome to read. I would be willing to give the second book a shot to see how the story develops.

Goodreads Amazon | Laney McMann’s Webstite 


7 thoughts on “Book Review: Crystallum – Laney McMann

  1. Aww, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this book! The cover is so pretty, and I’m really interested in leylines after reading Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys. Insta-love really grates on my nerves, though, and those are some really solid reasons for your dislike.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really want to read The Raven Boys! I’m glad to hear they use leylines in that books because they are really interesting. It’s a shame a book with such a beautiful cover wasn’t the best story but I’m glad to have given it a chance.


    1. Yea they can turn into normal birds or this huge human bird hybrid that reminded me of Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle. The idea was really unique but just not executed well.


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