Monday, November 24, 2014

MG Book Review: The Watchers: Knight of Light, by Deirdra Eden

General Information
Publisher: Eden Literary, LLC
Year of publication: 2014
# of chapters: 28
# of pages: (e-book)
Genre: Fantasy

Plot summary (from Amazon):
All the training in Heaven couldn't prepare me for the war on earth, nor for the love, loss, or loneliness humans feel. There are things worse than death, and every last one of them is hunting people like us. Even though we all feel human at times, we must remember, we are not them, we are their watchers.

In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

The Watchers Series; has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Traditional Apocrypha, the Pearl of Great Price and the Kabbalah. The Watchers are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad.

Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden's; The Watcher's Series; is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl's discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions.

Next book in the series: Hidden Fire (not released yet)

Positive Points
This book reads like a traditionally published novel. I'm impressed by the nearly perfect grammar (well, except for the witch's dialogues, but that's how she speaks).

The voices are what made me keep reading. Auriella, the witch, the pixie, and the dwarf all have distinct, original voices. Well done. Quite a variety of interesting characters too, as you can see. Ruburt the dwarf is my favorite.

The story starts with a lot of action and kept me interested until the end. I kept wondering who Auriella was. A witch? A watcher? (What's a watcher, anyway?) ... Something else?

Negative Points
There were quite a few scary parts (including whipping), some kissing and light romance, death, blood, but also a fairy tale feel that would appeal more to younger kids. The main character is fourteen, which places this novel somewhere in between MG and YA: too scary for MG, but maybe a bit too young for YA. I wasn't quite sure who this book was intended to.

There is a lot of front matter before the story begins (table of content, acknowledgements, other books in the series, ...). I would suggest moving those items at the end so the reader doesn't have to scroll through 7% of the book before starting the story. The version I received had two tables of content and some nearly empty pages, but these issues seem to have been corrected, judging by the preview on Amazon.

What makes this book unique
This could be described as a fairy tale for older kids. There aren't many novels with fourteen-year-old main characters because they are hard to sell. I was reading blog posts about this just recently. Some authors decide to change the main character's age to either twelve or fifteen-sixteen to be able to sell their books to a publisher.

Overall Impression
I would think this book would appeal to twelve- to fourteen-year-old kids, and to anyone who likes fairy tales with a kick. Upper MG? Younger YA? You decide.

My Rating:

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