Monday, August 4, 2014

MG Book Review: The Wrath of Siren, by Kurt Chambers

(Truth Teller Series, # 2 of 3)

General Information
Publisher: UK Children's Publishing
Year of publication: 2014
# of chapters: 29
# of pages: (e-book)
Genre: Fantasy

Plot summary (from the website):
Elderfield accepts a Gateway into another realm in a desperate bid to protect the human child, Charlotte, from the Dark Druid. He soon discovers what a massive burden this has placed on him. His good intentions go horribly wrong, threatening the destruction of all his people and condemning Charlotte, the Truth Teller, to a life she can never escape.

Charlotte returns to an unfamiliar world ravished by a spreading evil. Forced to seek help from a dubious dwarf thief,  she is captured and taken to Siren's underground kingdom. When she is faced with the Dark Druid himself, the true horror of events is unveiled.

A final battle at a mountain fortress is the last stand against an unstoppable evil. The key to their survival rests on a ten-year-old girl and an ancient folklore legend.

Previous book in the series: Truth Teller
Next book in the series: Favian's Law

Positive Points
I first read this book when it was in its infancy, being part of the author's online critique group, and I was impressed at how well written it was, even when it still needed work before publication. I'm very honored to now be able to review it on my blog as a published book! I know how much work the author put in this book to make it perfect. I know, because I'm the editor! *shameless plug*

What I love the most about this story is the numerous unexpected twists. Almost every chapter ends with a cliffhanger that made me want to keep reading.

The story is told in multiple POVs, clearly delimited by sections within each chapter. I normally prefer a single POV, or alternating between two characters, but this complex story couldn't have been told as well with only one or two POVs. We see the thoughts and actions alternating between the two main characters, Charlotte and Elderfield, as well as those of some minor characters: a warrior elf, a druid assassin, and even Siren himself, sprinkled throughout the story.

The grammar and spelling are absolutely perfect!! Oh, wait. I found a few minor things to correct, I can't brag too much. But they will be corrected shortly, and then it will be absolutely perfect!

I love the voice in this novel. Charlotte is a modern, human girl from England, and I just really like her thoughts and expressions. This, of course, contrasts with Elderfeld, a teenage elf from another realm, who doesn't always understand what she's saying. He gets a chance to visit her realm, and finds it fascinating, although he does get in "a bit of bother" during his short stay. I made a list of British words and expressions I found while editing, and I'm going to convince the author to make a teacher's guide to go with the novel.

Negative Points
There was a bit of violence at times, mainly with creatures such as trolls and terrorhawks. There is a war raging, so of course, there has to be some more intense scenes. This would greatly appeal to most boys, and it didn't bother me, but it might be a bit too much for more sensitive readers.

What makes this book unique
High fantasy is sometimes difficult to read for young readers. I'm thinking about Lord of the Rings, which I had a hard time following as an adult reader. But this book is very easy to read and understand. What makes it even more special is the British words and expressions. If you like high fantasy and British accents, this book is for you!

Overall Impression
Okay, I may be a bit biased, being friends with the author and his copyeditor, but even from the first time I read this book (in one sitting), I wondered why it hadn't been already published. I couldn't put it down! I read it many times since then, reviewing each chapter and editing it to perfection, and each time I'm equally impressed. I'm glad I get to share this book with the rest of the world. Looking forward to working on book 3!

My Rating:

Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you:


Greg Pattridge said...

Sounds fantastic and the cover pulled me in from the start. Best of luck with this one. I now have it on my TBR list.

Emailman said...

Awwwww! Annie! I always said your reviews were the BEST! Call me bias, but now they seem ever better! :D Thank you so much for this banging review :) Some more English expressions for you lol And especially thank you for making my story so wonderful. I wouldn't let anyone edit my stories except you <3 That being said, I have tons of work for you hahaha!! Thank you, Annie.

Dawné Dominique said...

I'm starting Kurt's series with my granddaughter. There's been things happening at our end of life that has put a hold on things like reading at nighttime, but hopefully, by the end of this week, things will be on a routine. The book covers intrigued her (thank goodness). I have read Kurt's series Truth Teller since their inception. I can't wait to begin holding them in my hand and reading. I'm so proud of you, Kurt.

Emailman said...

That is so exciting, Dawne :) Thank you so very much <3 You are a wonderful friend.

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