terça-feira, 2 de junho de 2015

Review: Ninelands by K. E. Boyer

By K. E. Boyer

book rate: ★★☆ (2/5) 

Published by: K. E. Boyer
Date of Publication: April 15th 2015
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Page Count: 220
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis provided (shortened):

One morning, twelve-year-old Jamie Collins hears strange sounds coming from the attic. Being the son of a wizard and capable of magic himself, this doesn’t seem too odd. But when he goes upstairs to explore, he discovers something totally unexpected: Minkel, a delightful, elfish creature, who intends to take him, his sister and his friends to Ninelands, a place Jamie never knew existed.

Meanwhile Zard—the future head of the Ketch clan of wizards, who are at odds with the Council of Elves—wants to get hold of Jamie for his own dark purposes. Suddenly Jamie finds himself caught in a dangerous web of magic and he must choose whether or not he will train to be a wizard and join his father in the fight against evil.


"Ninelands" is the first book in the Jamie Collins' Mystical Adventures series and I have quite a lot to say about it so keep reading!

Firstly there's something I really want to get out of the way so let me start with that. This is definetely one of my book pet peeves: characters that talk to themselves... a lot... and in an unrealistic way... It just never sounds right to me, like the character is slightly dumb... But I'm aware it may mean nothing to other readers so I want to make clear that this is just my opinion! Now, I took the liberty of picking an excerpt to better demonstrate my point of view:

"He scratched his head and glanced into the hall.
-Maybe Mom dropped something up in the attic.
But the attic door was closed.
He went to the top of the stairs to listen.
-Mom is down in the kitchen with Megan.
He went back to his room and looked up at the ceiling.
-So what made all of the noises?"

I'm hoping you got my point so lets move on to more important aspects of the book, the characters (apart from the talk-to-self thing) are adorable and I found it impossible not to love them instantly. Now take this super fun kids and put them in this amazing world called Ninelands and you have the potential  to tell a pretty fantastic story! But that's the main problem I found in this book... It just has a lot of potential and never really makes use of it. I felt lik 80% of "Ninelands" sounded more like an instruction manual about how a certain world is and how things happen there than actually about living in that world. I know this is the first book in a series and therefore I expected the rest of Jamie Collins' Mystical Adventures to be incredibly captivating and magical and mind-blowing. But "Ninelands" specifically felt more like the novela before the series than the actual first book to me.

On the other hand, I did really enjoy some ideas this book explores. And to be fair and not just quote an excerpt I dislike from "Ninelands", I will also quote my favourite:

"It all starts with a child's imagination. That is why humans are always coming up with new tools. Or new and better ways of doing things. In your world, children's imaginations grow and magically change to become creative. So that they can invent things as grownups. To imagine something and turn it into an invention for all humans to use is pure magic."

A slow-paced book introducing a possibly adictive and really fantastic series, that's how I would describe "Ninelands".

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