ARC Book Review: The Pentrals by Crystal Mack


WARNING: There may be some spoilers ahead~ Even the synopsis has spoilers. I tried very hard to keep my review very vague, but some parts may escape me. If you do not want to read any spoilers, then jump over to the OVERALL and rating part.

Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page

Title: The Pentrals
Authors: Crystal Mack
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Apologue Entertainment, LLC
Series: The Pentrals #1
Format: eARC
Acquisition: Netgalley

Purchase at: Amazon

Picture your life without free will. 
No choice. No voice. No personal direction. 
For 17 years, it’s the only path I’ve known. Always a follower, never in control, I am an afterthought, burying my impulses as I bend to the whims of another. I dream of someone taking notice-of falling in love and being kissed. But I probably never will. 
My name is Antares. I am a Shadow.
Deep in a secluded canyon lies Talline, a metropolis of mirrors filled with forces called Pentrals that outline our very existence. Antares, Pentral Class Two, took an oath to act without influence—to echo without opinion. But in a cruel twist of fate, she must watch as Violet, her person, encounters a tragedy that will change both their lives forever. When Violet starts making careless choices, Antares can no longer remain a silent silhouette. She won’t allow lost friendships, broken hearts, or those mysterious menaces looking out from the glass to tear apart Violet’s very being. In doing so, Antares unknowingly crosses forbidden boundaries and ends up illuminating a darkness much deeper than her own.


The Pentrals won me over mostly for its writing. I think that the first chapter was simply brilliant. It opens with the narrator of the book just seeing things and watching. It talks about the beautiful place where they are situated. It talks about this girl, Violet. It simply warms you up and shows you all these things. And then it hits you hard at the end of the chapter. I’m not sure if I should expound more on this because the beauty of Crystal Mack’s writing lies in all the surprises within the book. I was glad I started it without reading the synopsis because I just loved how the whole thing progressed.

The Pentrals are all the shadows and reflections in the world. They used to be people, but when they die, they are stripped of all of their human life. And they are assigned to be a pentral. It can either be a punishment or a  chance to redeem one’s self. Since the story revolves around a low class pentral, it’s quite hard to tell more about this world. But from what I have seen from this first book, I think that it has been thought out really well.

The conflict in this book lies on the mirripulation of the mirror pentrals. They are distorting the reflections of the people of Talline, which greatly affects the self-esteem of the citizens. The Pentrals particularly focuses on Antares, Violet’s shadow, who finds out that there is more to everything, and she must find out what is going on and fix the whole problem.

I think my favorite parts in  the book are the talks about the beauty of the scenery and art. Violet is an artist and she incorporates a lot of color and vividness in her works, while Antares considers herself a performance artist to be able to form the right look. Talline is also set in the Grand Canyon, which is such a beautiful place even in pictures. I’d love to see it for real someday. Not only that, but the buildings and such are all made up of mirrors or reflective material, which gives off the impression that it is a beautiful and sparkling city.


OVERALL, The Pentrals is a brilliant book where shadows are more than shadows and reflections are more than reflections. Crystal Mack is a very sly writer because she made me want to keep on reading what happens next. There were a lot of surprises and cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. Even the end of this book leaves me wanting more. Sadly, we have to wait a lot longer for the sequel. Also, I love how the story was set in a sparkling city in the Grand Canyon. The whole concept and story of this book was really interesting, and I recommend it. It tells a tale of love, friendship, and conspiracies.



P.S. Thanks to Apologue Entertainment, LLC and Netgalley for my copy~


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  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.

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