The Seeing Scroll by J.T. Grobler – Book Review

The Seeing Scroll by J.T. Grobler – Book Review

The Seeing Scrolls by J.T. Grobler

The Seeing Scroll

Author – J.T. Grobler
Publisher – National library of South Africa
Pages – 168
Released – 1st March 2021
ISBN-13 – 978-0620913850
Format – ebook, paperback
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
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Synopsis

“Stray too long where you don’t belong and the world you’re from could be forever gone.”

When police exhume her grandfather’s coffin, Gia Lance wants answers.

Instead, she discovers an enchanted scroll that momentarily throws her back in time, revealing fragments of well-kept secrets.

But whose secrets are they? Why were they kept? And what does it have to do with her grandfather?

Using the scroll, she sets off to find him. But is wise to trust an enchanted parchment?

Review by Julie

‘The Reading Scroll’ is the latest adventure by children’s author, J T Grobler. We see all the action from the perspective of Gia, a twelve year old girl who lives in rural South Africa. It is written in the third person and the past tense.

After a horrific car accident, in which her precious grandfather supposedly died and she was injured, Gia returns home from hospital with many unanswered questions. Did someone want her grandfather dead? What secrets was he hiding? Tantalising clues lead Gia and her lifelong friend and confidant, Vuyo, on a voyage of discovery which is fraught with danger. Is there a link between a key, a riddle, some blunderbuss guns, an enchanted scroll, a shipwreck and a Scottish earl? To find out if Oupie is really dead or if he is trapped somewhere, Gia and Vuyo must put themselves in mortal danger but it’s a price they are both willing to pay to discover the truth.

This fantasy adventure story is aimed at young teenagers and is a wholesome read with little to offend. I struggled with the first chapter as whilst I’m a fan of being thrown into the action, for me, the introduction to our main protagonists didn’t flow particularly well.

I found the pace a little jerky. Several times, at the end of a chapter, we were deep into a perilous situation and then at the beginning of the next, the two young adventurers were back at home in Polymead Grove and I feel the story lost a little momentum.

However, on the plus side, the development of the plot led the reader deeper into the mystery and I definitely wanted to know more. I enjoyed the descriptive passages of a place I know little about, from the flora and fauna of the countryside to the contrasting hustle and bustle of the city. I appreciated some of Gia’s offbeat humour and liked the connection between the pair. I loved her wacky dress sense and found her loyalty towards those closest to her, very touching.

The tension builds towards the end and we had some bitter sweet moments which were sensitively handled. Just when I thought things were drawing to a conclusion, the author threw another twist into the mix.

Apart from the pacing issues and the slightly shaky start, I enjoyed this book and think it will appeal to its target audience.

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Author Info

J.T. GROBLER The Seeing Scroll

J.T. GROBLER lives with her husband and daughter. She shares her space with two formidable Staffordshire terriers. Her dog of choice, but honestly, anything four-legged that lets her hug it surely has a kind soul.

When she isn’t writing, she’s probably strolling with her furry friends through the local farmer’s vineyards or dawdling along the beach. She adores boat rides, watching an active slipway and the wind on her face.

She also has a pair of African Grey parrots who love to jabber about what she said yesterday.

Her first writing job came from a third-grade teacher – 100 lines of “I must not eat in class”.

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