Tomb of Truth by Courtney Anz

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“It can grant life to someone in great need.

Or power to someone of great greed.

I trust you to protect it.”

— Courtney Anz, Tomb of Truth

          Fun, it was. Short, it was. Recommended for a more middle-grade audience, it was. While reading this novel, I had to put myself in a younger mentality. Only then was I able to truly see the creativity and humorous adventure that Courtney Anz has written and given for her audience to dwell in. Tomb of Truth is the story of Marina, a young teenager with fiery passion for seeking the truth; and also for fencing. After accidentally uncovering a hidden treasure among her mother’s belongings, Marina, unknowingly, set a course straight into Chinese history. However, she doesn’t know that this journey is bound to teach her valuable lessons about lying, friends and family. Her decisions, as reckless and care-free they were, blasts her into the depths of Xi’an, as well as the very dark corners of her families past. Will Marina and her family come out of this grand trip out of their homes untouched or will the past contaminate a family living in ignorance?

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“Where do the monsters begin? Are they really, forever locked away in our minds?”

— Courtney Anz, Tomb of Truth

        Tomb of Truth is filled with various events that will definitely invite readers to a bubbly world of teenagers. It’s only after realizing how long it took the book to reach its climax that I understood that I wasn’t the target audience. Nonetheless, I’ll give credit to the author in depicting a great protagonist that managed to keep me entertained throughout her wild, wild actions. Marina was without a doubt a character with a sense of justice and who wishes only to seek the truth. Be that as it may, every other character felt very flat or stereotypical. There was no real character development and they essentially served a more practical role, whenever they had a moment to shine. In fact, I never felt attached to any of the characters, but I still managed to laugh at some of the more far-fetched moments. Coming back on my previous point, Tomb of Truth did feel like it started off slow. I had the feeling that the author wanted readers to connect with the characters more than to focus on setting up the climax. It really did take almost half the book before things started to spice up. If anything, Cuki (one of the antagonist) was definitely a burden to read about. A huge focus was put on her relationship with Marina’s sister, yet this very relationship was quickly destroyed to bits without ever taking the time to take into consideration any of the consequences (especially psychological).

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“It’s all my fault. I couldn’t just tell the stories — I had to keep believing in them.”

— Courtney Anz, Tomb of Truth

        This debut novel to a series (Marina’s Secrets) is a fantastic novel for middle-grade to very young adults. Essentially funny, Tomb of Truth still had its moments where the author attempted to have readers question Marina’s decisions and reflect on the idea of lying. Courtney Anz even manages to tackle pollution in China discreetly. Kudos on that. Marina and friends also reserve great potential for the author to exploit in her future novels and I’d definitely love to see what direction she’d take upon reflection on feedback’s received. What was quite stunning, but very comprehensible when you take in the idea of entertaining your readers, was how the book dramatically shifted into a realm of fantasy towards the ending. It felt like every character, specifically villains, had a quick transformation; within seconds they all removed their masks and portrayed personas that you couldn’t have expected, ever. It was like seeing little mouses running around before they transformed into dual-wielding ninjas with bazookas on their backs. Even one of the plot twists had this humorous tone to it that you couldn’t help but giggle at the thought of it. Tomb of Truth is a great book and should definitely be read to kids. They’ll be craving for another chapter. And another one. And another one. And another one.

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My overall rating: ★★★★☆/

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3 thoughts on “Tomb of Truth by Courtney Anz

    • transhaan says:

      Thanks Derrick! Hey, I say we’re all young at heart, so who knows. Maybe it’s exactly what you need; a light-hearted, humorous and fantasy novel! 😉 Just kidding. I’d definitely recommend you the next book I’m going to review. #suspense

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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