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Stone Voice Rising by C. Lee Tocci
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Stone Voice Rising

by C. Lee Tocci

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I borrowed this book from a friend. It sounded like an interesting fantasy story and I thought I would give it a read. Overall it was an okay story. Parts of it are very flawed, yet it is an intriguing idea. This book is definitely not a stand alone and seems to be mostly setting things up for the next book.

The book starts by going back and forth between the viewpoints of 6 year old Lilibit and 8 year old Todd. Lilibit can talk to stones and use them for magic. Todd can talk to birds and is very different from all children his age. After a short part of the story at these ages, 5 years pass. Now the story is mostly from Todd's viewpoint and, when Lilibit enters the story she is a tortured/diminished soul. Things are not all well in the world and it will be up to Lilibit, Todd and their friends to save things.

As I mentioned the initial part of the story takes place 5 years before the rest of it. After the 5 years pass, the story starts out mainly being told from Todd's point of view. Then the point of view switches willy-nilly as we hear from all of the different characters. This can get a bit confusing because it isn't always immediately apparant whose viewpoint we are hearing from.

The characters are okay, not all that engaging but they all have interesting backgrounds. The characters become more interesting as different stones claim them and lend them power. This book is mostly an adventure/fantasy type of story as the kids leave on a quest to find Lilibit's Kiva. But, it takes a while to get to the journey point. The setting itself is awkward because it takes place in the modern day world; yet there is this sub culture of stone speakers and Stone warriors. You are not ever really sure how this sub-culture interacts with the rest of the world.

I question this story as a children's book because of the violence that happens to Lilibit. They basically explain that she has been operated on without anesthesia and tortured everyday for 5 years, she has also been killed and rehabilitated and number of times. To be honest the whole concept was uncomfortable to me as an adult and definitely not something I would read to a child. It was weird because outside of this part the book would have been great to read to children, but since this background is so central to the story I would have to recommend this to older young adults.

The high point of this novel is the interesting way Tocci deals with magic. The stones are magical and have personalities all of their own. This is a very creative and interesting premise. Unfortunately Tocci never really explains how any of it works. Tocci also kind of throws in new humanoid races whenever it is convenient; they are never explained or seem all that well planned. Further books in the series might make the whole story seemed a bit more put together.

The writing style is okay. For the most part it is very readable, but occasionally it is a bit halting and is a struggle to get through. This whole book is about setting up the story, so the pacing is a bit slow at times and the story a bit boring. I wouldn't recommend this book to reluctant readers, but it could be a good read for young adult fantasy fans out there. The book doesn't resolve much and ends at kind of a cliffhanger. This is a bummer considering I haven't been able to find any information on the sequel to this book.

Overall it is an okay read. The creative magic system and perkiness of Lilibit as a character make it interesting. It also seems like this could be a really interesting world if we could just learn more about it. The rest of the book is somewhat flawed. The torture and violence are a bit much for it to be a children's book, but it is appropriate for young adults. After reading this book I don't feel a huge urge to check out anything else by this author. ( )
  krau0098 | May 24, 2010 |
Reviewed by Christina Tsichlis for TeensReadToo.com

STONE VOICE RISING by C. Lee Tocci is the story of Lilibit, a young girl who has lived with her aunts and listened to stones whisper for as long as she can remember. She has no idea that she is a major piece in a larger plan - until a stranger shows up one day to introduce her to a new and magical world she did not know that she was a part of. This stranger, Keotak-se, is a stone warrior who has come to take her from her home to a place called Kiva so that she can fulfill her destiny.

Her journey to Kiva, as one may expect, does not go smoothly. The trip is interrupted by Syxx, an evil being who masquerades as the head of a medical research team secretly devoted to discovering why Lilibit can talk to the stones. Held prisoner for years and experimented on, Lilibit eventually escapes, though she is only the empty shell of the girl she once was.

She is injured, scarred, and does not speak when she first escapes. Initially, one is left wondering if this is the same girl from the earlier chapters, something that is increased by the fact that they call Lilibit "Sarah" since she cannot speak. Lilibit finds companions and friends when she is placed in a group home with six children, who are unwanted by others and have created a family of their own.

With Todd, a thirteen-year-old boy who speaks to ravens, as their leader, the seven children set off to find Kiva, unaware of what this really means or where Lilibit's strength comes from. They meet fantastic people and learn to rely on and trust each other in the process. The question is: Will the people they meet, their growing strength as a group, and their bonds allow them to reach Kiva alive, despite Syxx and his team, and what will happen once they make it there?

This book surprised me with how young the main character is as the story starts out, and it may be a little hard for some teens to get into; at the start of the book Lilibit's thoughts and actions are decidedly those of a child. However, if they stick through the first couple of chapters to get the background that they really need and get to know Lilibit before the experiments, they will find the experience rewarding. Lilibit and her companions turn out to be very interesting people set in a unique world full of magic and intrigue. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
Stone Voice Rising was well written, with some interesting characters, and a well thought-out magical world. Like other reviewers have mentioned, it's hard to know exactly which age group this book would best be for -- I think the book may be too dark (especially with the torture and violence) for the average 10-12 year-old, but the book also doesn't seem to have the emotional depth to really draw in older readers. The pacing of the book is also odd in places, so I felt a little jerked in and out of the stream of the story as I read.

I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy the book at all, since I definitely did. At the end of the day, though, I couldn't think of anyone I would want to pass this book on to. I know lots of very different readers, of different ages, who enjoy all sorts of different types of fantasy -- and for every single individual, there are just so many other books in this genre that I'd recommend ahead of this one. ( )
  miki | Sep 10, 2009 |
I love fantasy and I love young protagonists, so right off the bat, "Stone Voice Rising" has two of the biggest elements that I look for. But it also has really wonderful characters, fun moments, a lot of suspense and more than a few laugh-out-loud moments.

The story's mythology is drawn on a hodgepodge of Native American lore that seemed confusing for a bit, until I gave up trying to fit it into any existing nation's heritage and just accepted it as a complete creation with little basis in history. But since I enjoy fantasy, this made the book more entertaining for me.

I also loved the characters. While Lilibit was interesting and Todd very likeable, it was definitely the "anti-hero" Jeff that I enjoyed the most. Those moments when Jeff and Todd go nose-to-nose reminded me of my brothers going at it.

The story doesn't end with all the loose ends wrapped up, and it leaves you wondering when the sequel will be coming out. I'll be watching for it! ( )
  CCCarnes | May 31, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0152062920, Hardcover)

Lilibit can hear what the stones are whispering. She is meant to be the earth’s new Stone Voice who will ultimately connect the planet with the universe. Her protector, a stone warrior, attempts to take her to the place called Kiva to fulfill her destiny--but they are intercepted by Syxx, an evil entity devoted to finding the source of Lilibit’s power. Lilibit ends up at a group home for unwanted children, damaged and near death. But she recovers and journeys to Kiva with the other children, bestowing upon them the stones that allow them to embrace their own powers, fight Syxx's minions, and save the earth.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:02 -0400)

In a world of whispering stones and corporate evil, Lilibit and six other orphaned children with mysterious powers battle a shape-shifting enemy and his helipcopter army to reach Kiva, a sacred place where Lilibit's destiny lies as the new Stone Voice.… (more)

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