A Book Review by madelyn scamander
in to a place where thoughts can bloom
This was my first KidPub book, and I have to say, not bad.
Plot - A highly complex plot, which was great. Several subplots hidden within, and it led up to a satisfying climax.
Writing - Niamh is a talented writer, but there are several weak points in her flow; for instance, she tells instead of showing sounds, as in, "There was a crash", "there was a cry", "there was stomping", et cetera. In fact, that phrase is extremely repetitive, and it gets annoying. Another thing I didn't really like was the repeating adverbs, such as, "They slowly, slowly followed him", "very, very quietly", et cetera. There are different words she could have used, obviously. But other than those things, she wrote it very well indeed.
But furthermore, I think many parts were rushed; when Rus is racing through the forest, she instantly brings him to his destination. Most of the action was devoid of brushing up on the surroundings, I felt. She could have slowed it down a bit. And also, sometimes it felt too...casual. I'm not sure how to explain this, but this air of casualness makes the story seem a bit immature. One more thing I noticed that others probably will: In the beginning, it said that "Clover paled", but a chapter later, it said something like, "Foxes cannot pale, but Clover got pretty d--- close". Grade: B-
Characters - When I was first introduced to Rus, I feared he was going to be the perfect character; no flaws, all-powerful, absolutely beautiful. But nearing the end of the book, Rus began to doubt himself and feel selfish, and that boosted my faith in his development; he also has a terrible temper which often gets him in trouble. It was extremely reassuring to see her add on his flaws. However, the other characters seemed flat compared to him. There were some developed characters, such as Las the horse, the Mataki siblings, and Maria, but most of the characters didn't get much spotlight or development, which takes the story down a star. Don't get me wrong, the characters were all very lovable (my personal favorite was Mataki Brother), but they could have been developed a lot more. Grade: C+
Setting - This was definitely my favorite prospect of the book. The setting. Niamh obviously took a lot of care into creating Paradisian. There are so many places she described and added, it isn't even funny. I felt like I was really there in this magical world. The setting along gets five stars. However, Niamh definitely could have described it more, I feel. Grade: A
Romance - I loved Maria and Rus's relationship, but I really would have liked to see it have been developed more. It seemed that they knew each other for a week or two and then she's taken away from him. But what I loved was that Rus kept dreaming about her, kept hurting, kept longing to see her, kept striving for her. The consistency with that was great. Grade: A-
Parental Info - Every prospect about this book is clean. No over-the-top romance/action, no inappropriate jokes, nothing. Except the language. Several curse words can be found. The "d" word in a few forms, the phrase "p---ed off", "c--p", hut that's it.
Editing - This was the worst prospect of the book, which takes it down a star. KidPub says it will edit your book, but they do nothing of the sort. I'm sorry, but the grammatical errors were extremely disappointing to read, and it annoyed me greatly. There was probably an error for every page.
But do not get words like "realize" and "color" mixed up with the errors; because Niamh is Irish, that is to be expected. Grade: D+
Ending - Don't worry, I won't spoil it. I found it extremely satisfying, especially the epilogue. Niamh understood perfectly how she needed to add the climax and the denouement, two prospects that I found very satisfying in this book. Grade: A+
Overall, I really liked this book, but the grammatical/spelling errors really ticked me off. There were a few bumps in the story (rushing the story, underdeveloped characters), but I really enjoyed reading it, and I hope you will too.
If you're reading this, Niamh, I'll also be posting this on the KidPub store, and the website! Keep writing!
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