hey everyone! i know it’s been FOREVER but i’ve just been feeling super unmotivated (and also pretty busy). a quick update: i’m now a co-blogger on twirling pages, which i’m super psyched about! i’ll probably still be posting here occasionally (reviews, unboxings, etc) but i can’t promise anything. my summer’s been a lot busier than i’d expected, so i don’t have as much free time as i wanted. i’m still active(ish) on instagram and tumblr, so make sure to keep up with me there 😉
okay, let’s get on to the review!
ewan pendle and the white wraith by shaun hume (ewan pendle, book 1)
overall rating: 3.8/5
genre: YA, fantasy
Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal.
Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real Creatures that inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like him, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.
*i received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions*
my first impression was SO MUCH HARRY POTTER. it’s definitely heavily harry potter inspired, especially in the beginning. throughout the first half or so of the book, i felt like i was basically reading harry potter, just with different names for everything.
the main character, ewan, is a lot like harry in terms of family situation and even personality (somewhat). i didn’t particularly like his character at first, but ewan definitely grew on me as his character developed into more than just another version of harry potter. he isn’t the smartest at times, but he’s young (i don’t remember exactly how old, but i’m guessing 11 because of the hp influence), so it’s somewhat excusable. i also have some mixed feelings about the other main characters, matilde and enid. i definitely liked enid! she’s a strong female character (y e s) who actually stands up for herself. what more can you ask for? there’s a backstory about enid that somewhat connects to the main storyline, but i wish it was more connected. i also wish there was more character development for her! as for matilde, i didn’t love or hate her character, but i really really hated the dialogue (ugh). i get that the characters are supposed have different styles of talking, but i felt like matilde’s use of “dude” was way overdone. after a while, i just felt annoyed every time i heard her say “dude”. i also disliked the talking styles of some minor characters. i appreciate the attempt to create variety and diversity, but the dialogue didn’t feel super real to me. also, there are so many side characters (the masters/teachers) that it’s a bit confusing and hard to keep track of everyone.
despite my mixed feelings about the characters, i do like the relationships between the characters. i really like the development of ewan, matilde, and enid’s friendship—not too forced, and not too fast. i also thought the relationship between ewan and enola was pretty interesting! i definitely want to see how all the relationships continue to change throughout the series.
the plot is good overall, but it drags a bit at some parts. i don’t necessarily think there are a lot of unnecessary parts, but the story moves pretty slowly, especially in the middle. the end picks up, though, and i got pretty into the story closer to the end.
the world-building is pretty decent, and i never felt SUPER confused by all the new terms. however, i do wish there was more about the history of the lenitnes and firedrake (which feel a lot like wizards and hogwarts). i think some more world-building would have really helped to set this world and story apart!
as for the writing, my biggest problem was with the dialogue (as mentioned before). however, i also found a lot of typos (ex. mixed up “your” and “you’re”), which were pretty annoying. the writing itself isn’t bad at all, though.
overall, ewan pendle and the white wraith is a pretty decently written story filled with adventure and interesting characters!
have you read this? what did you think?