Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a wonderful day! Today I am sharing another book review with you.
A little while back I was contacted by author Shaun Hume to review a copy of his novel Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith. After looking into the description and what other reviews had said about the book, I was ever so excited to read it, and obviously said yes!
Disclaimer – This book has been provided to me in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way shaped my review. All opinions are my own.
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 had been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told that he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of people who can alone see the real Creatures which 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 Ewan, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.
So, first off; the description. This is immediately the kind of novel I am drawn to. Long-term readers of my blog know that it is my dream to become a fantasy author myself, so naturally I read a LOT of fantasy novels. Reading the blurb, made me curious to discover what a ‘Lenitnes’ was, what are the monsters or ‘Creatures’ that Ewan can see, and who even is Ewan, why is he so special? These were among the few questions I had that fuelled my excitement to begin reading this book.
Secondly, the front cover. Time and time again we are told “Never judge a book by its cover”, and whilst this is all too true, I was immediately drawn to the colours and the interesting swirly designs of the monsters, with the bold, bright white figure in the centre. If I had come across this book on a shelf, it definitely would have caught my eye, and made me go over to take a closer look. Happily though, the interesting cover matched up to the story within. I think that the cover illustrations of any book can hold a great power when encouraging the reader to read the story amongst the pages.
Then comes the first chapter. This is potentially the most crucial part of the novel as a whole. It is where the author can grab the readers attention or send them away, leaving the book unread. Shaun Hume did not disappoint. The first chapter was intriguing, making me want to read on desperately. It carried unanswered questions that demanded my attention, and interesting, appealing characters.
My favourite characters of this novel are Ewan and Enid. Ewan’s innocent, childlike nature made his actions throughout the novel genuine and touching, whilst Enid’s fiery personality, her unique and completely different character captivated me. Ewan’s interest in Enid shows his innocent state of mind, as a person who remains unaffected by the pressurising society around him who outcast Enid. For me, Ewan embodies a relatable character to all those who search for the extra in ordinary.
I particularly enjoyed the split perspective narrative between chapters. I found it to be an interesting way of breaking up the story to provide backgrounds for other characters without losing my interest. I also found Shaun Hume’s play on words an fun and interesting addition to story, such as “Pain Killer”, and the palindrome of “Lenitnes” and “Sentinel”. I also noticed that Enola is ‘alone’ backwards, which perhaps reveals more about her character, but maybe that is just a coincidence! Additionally, I found the mild theme of politics particularly compelling as it allows the reader to connect this story to our political system, it also perhaps reveals Shaun Hume’s inspiration from our own world.
Throughout the story I was reminded by little touches of Harry Potter, which I know was intentional by the author, but at times I could also see connections to both the Percy Jackson series and the Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children trilogy. I always admire authors that can connect to other novels of their genre whilst making their story their own.
I found the ending to be a great way of wrapping up the novel but also allowing that suspense to come back and read the next book following in the series. I was reminded of the Golden Trio in Harry Potter, in Ewan, Mathilde and Enid’s great assumptions as to who the “villain” of the plot is. Despite wrongly accusing people, their hearts were in the right place and with a twist, they save the day!
This novel is suitable for all ages but I found it to be mostly directed towards young adults and coming of age readers. I feel that this is great for fantasy lovers who wish to escape into a new captivating world. I am eagerly anticipating the release of the next book in 2018!
I give this book:
Thank you to Shaun for asking me to read this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will no doubt be re-reading it in the near future.
Thank you for reading this blog post, I hope you enjoyed it!
Jade Anna x