Monday, July 26, 2010

Manifest: A Mystyx Novel by Artist Arthur - Review

Manifest: A Mystyx Novel
Artist Arthur
Kimani TRU/Harlequin Romance
248 pgs./ARC

Krystal Bentley is trying to decide if she wants to join Jake and Sasha, two students with tattoos just like hers, and learn more about her powers as well as help Ricky, a ghost who appears to Krystal, "cross over".

The trio learn a little about their gifts from Pop Pop, Jake's semi-senile grandfather.  Pop Pop gives them vague details but drops a diary as he leaves Jake's room.  The diary, which belongs to Pop Pop's mother, details the developing powers of William, Pop Pop's brother.

As Krystal, Jake, and Sasha try to help Ricky they also battle with the usual drama: cliques, first boyfriends, and family problems. 

I thought Manifest was a little slow in, well, manifesting a story.  The plot moved forward but was bogged down by the author's repetition of the problem.  I would have liked to learn more about the background of the symbol they all have and what it could mean for the trio.  The characters were pretty flat although it appears that two of the following books, Mystify and Mayhem, will give us more information on Sasha and Jake.  Krystal was starting to develop towards the end as she learned the true reason her mother moved the family back to Connecticut.  I'm still not sure who Franklin is and why he chose Krystal to ask out but maybe that's something that will be expanded on in following books, too.

Manifest, being the first in a series, leaves us with some questions: How did the three really acquire their powers and how can they develop them further?  Since this is not the first generation of Mystyx where are the people who manifested before these three?  Shouldn't we be curious about the new girl? 

About the Author
Artist Arthur has been writing for over nine years but this is her first young adult novel.  She and her husband have three children and reside in Maryland.

A Few Questions
Is Artist your real name? Also, how did you guys find the model for the cover?
*Yes, Artist is my real, legal name.
I have nothing to do with the design of the cover beyond giving a character and sometimes a scene description. The publisher takes care of all of that. I just happen to agree wholeheartedly with their choice. (From me!)

Is the character of Krystal based on yourself or someone that you know? I'd like to know where you got the inspiration for such a headstrong, but young character.
*Krystal is a combination of myself and my daughter. We are extremely moody and stubborn, but once you get to know us you can’t help but love us. Ok, that might be exaggerating, but yeah, I drew a lot of my own experiences and feelings as a teenager and then on some moods I’ve seen my daughter in to create Krystal. (

My question is really for Krystal Bentley rather than Artist: Of all the spirits that have come to you, who evoked in you the most emotion? What emotion? Why?
*Carolyn Jamison, she was the lady in room 319, right beside my grandfather who was in 320. Carolyn said I reminded her of her granddaughter that she hadn’t seen in years because she couldn’t find her. I didn’t know where her granddaughter was either, but Carolyn said it was okay, visiting with me was like being given another granddaughter. That’s the sweetest thing anybody has ever said to me. (

Other than an author, what profession would you love to have, and why?
*I think I’d like to be a teacher if I didn’t have a fear of getting up in front of people. I’d like to know that I’ve taught someone something, that I’ve given knowledge they didn’t have before. To me, that’s a lasting impact. (

How do you write out your stories? Plan them? Let the characters decide? Or only when you have an "aha!" moment then you put it down?
*I’m a planner. I get the idea then I run with it. My outlines are usually about five pages long and that’s just on the characters, not actually the story. I know, overkill right? LOL (

Manifest Book Trailer

ARC provided by Online Publicist.

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