Book Review | The Queen of Blood

25036395Synopsis

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .

But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms. 

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.


The Queen of Blood is a fantasy YA book that follows the story of Daleina, an idealistic young lady who gets chosen to study at a school where all those who have shown “affinity” towards a certain type of spirit -that is, control some type of spirit- get to attend. Yes, in this world, queens are not chosen by hereditary means, instead, any potential heir needs to be trained at a school and learn to control the 6 different types of spirits that threaten the lives of everyone. 

In Renthia, where this story is set, everything has a spirit. The woods, the lakes, the air, fire, everything you can think of is made up of spirits. These spirits have always lived in harmony -more or less- with the elected queens, who happen to be elected by said spirits. Now, this concept was kind of illogical at first, because the nature of spirits is one of destruction and annihilation of anything that doesn’t involve them. They hate humans, and they would be more than glad to be able to kill everyone. So why on earth would they get to choose the heir that will become the next queen and check the spirits power? Because once a queen dies, the spirits enter this trance-like state where they are frozen and unable to do anything, not until the next queen gets chosen. Which in my opinion, I think it’s a cool concept. Both are able to survive if they work within the limits each side set upon the other. So of course, things start going wrong. Villages start getting attacked, and people are being killed off. So why isn’t the queen doing anything to prevent said attacks or to help the people she is sworn to protect?

Related image

The basic premise of the book is interesting; it’s unique, something that is rarely seen among the YA genre, especially if it is fantasy. It’s always the same plot, the same tropes, and I have to say this book did surprise me in that aspect. The world is made up of spirits who hate humans and are kept in check thanks to the powers of the queen, whose only job is to defend her people from the spirits and maintain order. Our MC is a breath of fresh air as well. Daleina is not good at what she does, she struggles with her power, she is not strong like the other students, and she never does things as she is supposed to. It is refreshing seeing a MC not nailing everything that she learns at the first try; it takes time before she can use her power well. But what really bothered me, is that we don’t get to see that! The book had so many time jumps, even within the same chapter, that we don’t get to see how her training went, how she was able to learn what was so hard for her to do, we just cut right into the future where she is in her last year of training and she has finally learnt how to control the 6 types of spirits. And that really bothered me, because the transitions between those time jumps were never smooth.

Besides the unnecesary time jumps, another thing that bothered me were the characters. I didn’t feel attached to ANY OF THE CHARACTERS. Not even one!! Because there were so many time jumps, and so much going on -but at the same time nothing happened- the characters felt completely flat, without any sort of personality whatsoever. We didn’t get to “grow” with the characters, or understand the choices they made. Even our MC felt flat! And don’t even get me started on Ven, the disgraced champion. At first I got some sort of Chaol vibes from him, which I loved, but by the end of the book I couldn’t help but wonder why was Ven being so fucking blind! He had known EVERYTHING since the very beginning, and still, his main concern was to think about how the poor queen must have been feeling. SHE WAS KNOWINGLY LETTING PEOPLE GET KILLED! YOU CAN’T FEEL SYMPATHY FOR HER! Ugh. If I had cared at all about the characters, then the ending should have wrecked me, yet there I was, unfaced, reading the last scene like nothing was happening at all.

Image result for whatever gif

And yet, I think this book had so much potential to be an amazing YA fantasy book, but it wasn’t. The world-building could have been more detailed, the fact that certain people lived in trees and had created these platforms and wire paths to travel from tree to tree was so fucking cool, and yet it was barely mentioned as a means of transportation. There were no passages dedicated to how the world was supposed to look like, or how the villages were supposed to look like, and I can’t help to think how it was all wasted. And the same goes to the “magic” in this world. We don’t know who gets to have this affinity towards spirits or why, or how it works. We are only told that certain women can control them, and that’s supposed to be the whole explanation.

Another thing that annoyed me was why on earth did everyone just let the queen continue being on the throne if she was not doing anything to protect the people! There was a council of champions -the ones who choose the queens-to-be- that was supposed to advice the queen, yet everyone kept seeing how the villages were destroyed and people were killed, and no one, not even ONE dared to question what the hell was going on with the queen’s powers?! If maybe they were fading or if she was doing it on purpose? Like, what kind of council are you if you are just gonna let everything roll and not even care about the increase in the attacks that kept happening! 

Image result for it's just not realistic gif

To sum up this mess of a review, I think the author had an amazing idea, but one which was poorly executed. Everything could have been further developed for the readers to have a better sense of understanding of the world and the magic in it. I will be reading the second book since I have an arc, but I’m not expecting much from it if I’m being honest.

Advertisements

The Mystery Blogger Award

I was nominated for this Mystery Blogger Award by Katie at Readwithkatie, so thank you so much for tagging me! You guys should totally check her blog out, by the way 😀

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 5.12.28 pm

About the award

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma

This award was created by Okoto Engima.
Rules 

♥ Put the award logo on your blog.
♥ List the rules.
♥ Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
♥ Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
♥ You have to nominate 10-20 people
♥ Notify each of your nominees by commenting on their blog.
♥ Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
♥ Share your link to your best post(s)

Facts about me

♥ I live in Argentina, South America, but ever since I was young I have wanted to live in Scandinavia, specifically in Finland. I have an unhealthy obsession with that country and it all started with me listening to Finnish metal bands.

♥ I am obsessed with TV shows. I can binge shows like my life depended on it (I don’t like admitting this, but I once marathoned 9 seasons of Supernatural in the span of only a month I think).

♥I love football. It is my favorite sport ever together with gymnastics, and I love following the National Football League and the Spanish Football League. I never miss a Barcelona match. NOT EVER!

Questions

1. Which two of your favourite authors do you think would write any amazing book together?

Oh, I just imagined this scenario and I almost died. My favorite author right now has got to be Brandon Sanderson, and I also consider Patrick Rothfuss a fave, so I would go with these two. I can’t even imagine what a book written by those two would be like, besides pure awesomeness and heartbreak. With the poetic prose of Rothfuss and the worldbuilding and magic systems of Sanderson, I think it’s safe to say that I would literally sell my soul to have that book in my hands.

2. Do you set yearly reading goals apart from the Goodreads reading challenge? If so, what are your goals for this year?

This year, I have set myself other reading goals besides the one on Goodreads. I am participating in the Diversity Bingo 2017, and also in the Around The Year in 52 Books challenge. Although I’m doing awfully bad in those two, I really hope I can succeed in both of them by the end of the year. I have also told myself that this year I wanted to read more classics, since I haven’t read many of them, and I’m doing pretty well so far.

3. If you were to write a book what genre would it be and why?

I would honestly love to write a Fantasy novel, because it is my favorite genre of all time, and I think that there is a number of endless possibilities within this genre when it comes to worldbuilding, characters, myths, and so on. But then again, I don’t think I’m smart enough to be able to come up with a unique plot, or be able to write a Fantasy novel without being influenced by all the books I have already read from that genre.

4. Do you sniff your books??

Hell yeah I do! All the time. I usually do so when they come in the mail, or when I buy them at my local bookstore. I love the smell of new books, but I really, really dislike the smell of old books lmao 😂

5. If you had to choose one villain from a book to be for the day, who would you choose to be and why?

This is a hard one to choose, but I would have to settle for the Darkling from the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I think that he is one of the most compelling villains I have read in YA fantasy books, and I still think that we could have had more of his back story, because he was a very interesting character that wasn’t like those villains who are inherently bad or plain evil. Besides, he was hella hot and had amazing powers. Do I need to say more? 😂

I nominate

My questions

1- If you could choose one book to be made into a TV show or a movie, which one would you choose?

2- Are there any reading resolutions that you would like to make for this year that you haven’t been able to accomplish so far?

3- If you could rewrite the ending of a book that you didn’t like, which one would you choose and what would you change about it?

4- If you could meet any author (alive or dead) and interview them, who would you pick and what would you ask them?

5- Which book that everyone else seemed to love did you absolutely HATE?

logo

Book Review | When Dimple Met Rishi

28458598Synopsis

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.”

Goodreads | BookDepository | Amazon

After almost a month without updating my blog, I finally come back with my review for a book that I had highly anticipated since the first time I heard about it and saw the cover. To be honest, I used to enjoy YA books a lot in the past, yet in these past few years as I’ve grown older, I’ve found that my reading taste has changed quite a bit. The fact that I tend to find almost every YA book having either the same premise, or the same kind of tropes, or the same type of characters, made me distance myself a bit from the genre, and move towards other types of books that could satisfy my interests. And so every time I hear about a certain YA book that somehow diverts from the canon of what the genre is usually about, I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement. And unfortunately, that excitement did not last long.

When Dimple Met Rishi is a contemporary YA book that features the story of Dimple, an Indian American teenager who loves coding and anything that has to do with computers. Her whole life, she has found herself unable to identify as Indian, and has always thought of herself being more American than Indian. While her mother has always imagined her daughter meeting a man and settling down to start a family, Dimple has always had other plans. She wants to go to college and she wants to stay far away even from the idea of meeting a guy. But everything changes when her parents allow her to go to Insomnia Con, a kind of retreat for coders and computer geeks who go there to win the prize of developing an App and meeting a very famous coder, who also happens to be Dimple’s idol. Little does Dimple know that her parents accepted her going there because they have made plans for her to meet with Rishi, the son of a family they have known for a while. And so does the story begin.

To be fair, I think that the whole hype surrounding this book made me like it even less, because I was kind of expecting it to be one of the best contemporary books that were being published this year. And it was FAR, FAR from being that. It wasn’t necessarily a bad book, I did enjoy myself while reading it, yet I found it undeserving of all the hype it has gotten. And I feel extremely conflicted admitting this, because it is a diverse YA book, something we don’t usually get within this genre, and I was really looking forward to reading a book with such different characters. Sadly, the end result wasn’t all that good. So let’s get into what I liked and didn’t like.

I want to talk about the plot. Where was it? What was the plot of this book? Yes, contemporary books usually don’t tend to have overly complicated plots, but still, GIVE ME SOMETHING, ANYTHING! The whole book was about Dimple meeting Rishi, and the whole drama between the two of them, getting together and then regretting the decision, only for them to get back together again. I was given the idea that the book was going to deal with a lot more about their traditions, their heritage, their difficulties as children from Indian immigrants living in America, and how hard or easy it would be to have to deal with those two cultures. We only got glimpses of how hard it was for Dimple to identify herself as Indian, because she never truly felt like she was anything other than American. And the opposite could be said about Rishi. He was a religious guy who followed their traditions, listened to his parents, and wanted to settle down while still young. But that was it. There were only a few conversations that dealt with the conflict of identity, but it was only touched upon lightly. And don’t even get me started on the whole Insomnia Con. Even though we are told that Dimple’s passion is coding and that she wants to win the prize so that she can develop an App, we are not told anything about this App or anything related to it! The whole book focuses on Dimple and Rishi’s relationship drama more than anything else. And that is what made me start lose interest in this book. I wanted to learn more about Rishi’s comics, I wanted to see more of Dimple’s passion for coding, I wanted to see both of these characters interacting more with their families, and by the end of the book, I honestly couldn’t care less whether the characters found their way back to each other or not, because I wasn’t invested in them as I should have been for me to actually care.

And then we have Dimple. God, was she annoying. I seriously couldn’t stop myself from rolling my eyes the majority of the times she said or did something that was completely stupid. My main issue with her was her indecisiveness as regards Rishi, because I didn’t understand her decisions. I get that she felt like starting a relationship with Rishi when she was going into college was going to be possibly a distraction for her, but she honestly felt like there was no in-between choice, it was either ‘have a relationship/get married/have children, or go to college and be alone’. Like, hell no. It is possible to maintain a relationship during college without having to think whether you are gonna end up marrying the guy or not in the future, and that way of seeing things that Dimple had -everything’s either black or white, no grey areas whatsoever- really got on my nerves. I understand the pressure she might have had from her parents to find a guy whom she can settle down with, but I think that a lot of her opinions about this whole issue came from her own misunderstandings. Once she opened up to her parents, she saw that they only wanted for her to be happy, whatever that implied, finding a guy or not. It didn’t actually matter, and a lot of her problems could have easily been solved if she had just TALKED to her mother. But yeah, we wouldn’t have had much of a story if that had been the case.

I do have to say that Rishi is quite possibly the cutest and purest male character I’ve read in YA books, where we are usually bombarded with the bad boy/asshole trope so damn much, so it was refreshing seeing a male character being a decent human being for once instead of an asshole. Even though he sometimes was borderline cheesy, Rishi’s character was one of the highlights of this book for me.

I still think this was a cute, fluffy read, and even though it took me ages to finish -not because it was bad, but because I was kind of in a reading slump this entire month- it is refreshing to see books in YA moving away from the canon. It was refreshing to see different characters who shared another culture, to see the way they viewed the world, to see at least a part of their heritage, yet I only wished this book had focused way more on that instead of just Dimple and Rishi’s relationship. I still think that Sandhya Menon’s voice is going to be seen more and more in this genre, and I look forward to reading more of her books because I can only imagine that her writing style and stories will undeniably grow more complex.

logo

New Releases | June

Hello bookworms! Another month has come and gone, and I still have not caught up on all the new releases that came out in May. I feel like I’m falling so far behind with reviews and I don’t know why, but I just can’t find the motivation nor the time to read all the books on my TBR. Ugh. Anyways, I hope this month will be a little bit better in terms of the number of books I finish. And like every single month, here are some of the new releases that are coming out in June that I’m excited for.

Tash Hearts Tolstoy
June 6th

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

Want
June 13th

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

Saints and Misfits
June 13th

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

Down Among the Sticks and Bones
June 13th

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got. They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

29414576323331743112324931450908

Roar
June 13th

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Bad Romance
June 13th

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
June 27th

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Now I Rise
June 27th

Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.

29939048291028962928388432491708

I am so freaking excited about all of them 😭😭 I really hope I’m able to get to the majority of them at least this month. If anyone knows something about a readathon going on this month please let me know, because I’m in serious need of catching up with my reading. Until the next one!

Book Review | Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith

Synopsis34808110

“Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal …

Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real ‘Creatures’ which inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like Ewan, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.”

Goodreads | Amazon

*Disclaimer: I was contacted by the author who offered me a review copy in exchange for an honest review. So, thank you Shaun Hume for sending me a copy!

I’ve always been hesitant about books that tend to be marketed as being the new “Game of Thrones”, or the new “Hunger Games”, or the new “Harry Potter”. Because the majority of the times, saying things like that hype books so much that when we actually get to read them, the books don’t even compare to them. This was the opposite of that, and I’m going to tell you why.

In the synopsis for this book on Goodreads it says that this is the perfect book for those suffering from Harry Potter withdrawals, and I think in a certain way, that is true, yet not quite so. Shaun Hume seems to have found inspiration in what J. K Rowling created, and have taken as foundation for his story some of the most characteristic aspects of what made Harry Potter be what it was: the trio of friends that find themselves in trouble wherever they go, the boarding school for kids with magical abilities or powers, teachers that seem to have grudges on our main character for whatever reason, and a mystery for the characters to solve where nothing is what it seems.

In a lot of ways, this reminded me of that first book of Harry Potter. The main character, Ewan Pendle is a foster kid living with a foster family, who the only thing they seem to care about is getting the payment that the government gives them for fostering kids. Ewan’s life has always been hard, especially because ever since a young age he seems to have been aware of creatures wandering about in the world, unnoticed by the rest of the people. He has learned that telling people he can see an actual dragon for example, only creates problems for himself making people think he is crazy, which in turn, makes him actually wonder whether he is crazy or not. But all of that changes when his foster family delivers the news that he is to be gone from their home and onto London. So far, we can see a lot of similarities between Ewan and Harry. Both have had their lives marked my tragedy, living without their parents, not actually knowing what happened to them, and having to grow up with people who couldn’t care less about them. And suddenly, they find themselves thrown into this new world full of magic and creatures. Yet, the similarities don’t stop there. There are a lot of aspects about Ewan’s personality that resembled Harry’s so much, that I couldn’t help but feel a bit of nostalgia while reading this book. Ewan is awkward, and finds it extremely hard to get caught up with what he is being taught at the Lyceum, the boarding school where people who can see these Creatures go to be trained in order to become Vilmhieds, those who protect people from these Creatures by hunting them.

For me, one of the things I loved the most about the story were the three main characters, especially Enid. We have Ewan, whom I’ve already talked about, Enid, a pirate who is the target of constant discrimination by people who look down on her and her way of life, and Mathilde, another foster kid victim of domestic abuse. The dynamic of these 3 and the way their friendship evolves and develops by the end of the book was one of the things I liked the most about it. Like I’ve said, Ewan reminded me a lot of the young Harry Potter, awkward and unable to grasp everything that was happening around him as he was thrown into this new world where deadly creatures and magic exist.

If there was something that I wasn’t quite a fan of was the pacing of the story. I think that for a book of almost 500 pages, a lot more action should have happened. I found myself losing interest when all we got to see was Ewan going to his classes and not much else seemed to happen. I wanted to learn more about the White Wraiths, which I think was one of the most intriguing aspects of this world Hume created, I wanted to learn more about how the magic system actually works by having scenes where it’s actually used. Yet, by the last 20% of the book, the story does pick up, and I have to admit that I was not expecting that revelation as to who was the one behind the assassination attempt on the Queen. The ending does leave you wanting to know more about things that were touched upon but were not fully developed or given explanations for, like what happened to Ewan’s parents, or the things being said about Enola at the end, or how is it that the ribbons on Betony body actually work. Do they offer some kind of special power? Or is it just a way to distinguish herself as part of the Stealth Clique? I guess the majority of these questions could be answered in a sequel of Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith.

I also have to admit that Hume has an incredible talent as a writer. His descriptive and detailed writing style pulls you into the story and makes you feel a part of this vivid world he has created. Personally, it’s always hard for me to find an author’s voice within the Young Adult genre which doesn’t fall on the basic or simplistic storytelling, so it was extremely refreshing to see a storytelling which can be this thorough.

All in all, it was a fun and interesting fantasy book, with many elements of it reminding me of Harry Potter’s story, yet I think that this story could stand on its own without the need to compare it to J. K Rowling’s.


About the author

Shaun is an Australian born author of three novels. He wrote his first story, entitled “The Stagecoach Robbery”, at the age of six, and has been making stories ever since.

After working in education with children of all ages for many years, Shaun turned his passion into his profession, and is now a freelance writer and photographer.

Ewan Pendle has been described as an ‘antidote for Post-Potter Depression’, a tale of a life changed in an instant when a young boy discovers who he truly is, and what he has the opportunity to become a part of.