*I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
The first thing that caught my attention was the gorgeous cover you see above. Isn’t it stunning? Well, let’s get to the review, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
This is a middle grade adventure story in which 10 children take the bus to school one morning, as usual. At a crossroads, they find themselves transported to a magical fantasy world where there are many dangers as well as magical creatures that try to help them in their quest to look for a way to go back home.
I thought the characters were brilliantly made. Each child acquires a power once they arrive into the fantasy world that goes with their personality and their rol in the story. All of these powers fit each of their personalities perfectly, even giving you tips on how they’ll behave and interact.
The world they get to introduces quite a lot of magical beings and events, such as fairies, sprites, huge evil birds, a gigantic silver cat, humans who arrived like them and stayed and dragons. However, you’re never confused either among the characters or the magical beings. The author did a great job intertwining their personal stories with the events they go through. It is never easy to portray so many different characters and do it in a way the reader never feels confused.
Regarding the world-building, I thought it was perfect. Atmosphere is what catches my attention first on a book and makes me like it more than the media, and this book’s created magical world is so atmospheric I dived straight into it and was able to imagine everything clearly; colours, appearance and magical beings.
Nevertheless, there were a couple of issues I found on the writing style and a certain character.
Regarding the style, I found it appropriate for the age range and easy to read, although every now and then, there’d be a paragraph that seemed written for a 4-year-old given that the sentences became straightforward, short and simple, with no connection between ideas. That leaves the reader lost, kicking them out of the story and trying hard to dive back into the world.
Also about the writing style, I believe the chapters were too long. 409 pages with approximately 20 pages per chapter may be too long for the age range it’s aimed at.
One of the characters, Dylan, obtains the ability to jump incredibly high through farting. This is ok and even funny, initially, but not when the farting thing is repeated far way too many times throughout the book.
I’d recommend this book to those who like a good adventure story and are character or atmosphere driven, mainly.
Hope you’re taking good care!