Why hello again, nice to see you (just kidding I can’t actually see you). Hope you’re doing alright. I’ve been hitting my stride on the reading lately but I’ve been a little lackadaisical when it comes to writing reviews so this is the start of a ‘write all the reviews’ odyssey. When Shaun Hume emailed me asking if I wanted to read Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith I was a little dubious, I’ll be honest. In my opinion, anything that gets compared to Harry Potter is setting itself up to fail because it’ll either be completely different or a weak imitation, either way I get annoyed. Was this the case with Ewan Pendle? Read on to find out!
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’ 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.
I’ll start by saying that this is, a lot like HP, more of a middle grade book that YA and adults will probably enjoy. In my opinion, if you can pull off something that will be enjoyable for all those ages that’s an achievement in itself so well done Shaun!
There are a lot of things that could be construed as Harry-Potter esque but I think it’ll actually be less helpful for you if I just use Harry Potter comparisons throughout so I’m going to set aside these similarities and treat this like a book in it’s own right.
I’ll start by saying I really loved the character of Ewan. He had that perfectly ordinary and perfectly extraordinary at the same time essence which is enjoyable to read because you don’t spend the whole book just in awe of your main character, it’s good to read some people who feel as in over their heads as I do most of the time.
But it was actually his two friends I grew to love even more. Mathilde is a fierce young female character and Enid is a pirate. I mean. Who wouldn’t want them as friends? I could squee for hours about these characters but I’ll just leave this here, you should get the pleasure of discovering them for yourself.
World building? Well I like the idea of people being set apart because they can see the creatures and I’m always here for a school where people learn to wield their powers. What this book did well is that there was just enough of a description of magical lessons so that you could immerse yourself in the school world.
If I could change one thing in this book (and that’s why I haven’t given it five stars) I would have liked a little more preface to the story. I wanted to get Ewan a bit more situated in the ‘mortal’ world before we entered the whole new world. As it was, the transition wasn’t particularly shocking since it happened so quickly, whereas I think if you had another chapter or so of Ewan seeing strange things etc. you would have felt the change and related to Ewan’s shift in perspective a little more.
If you like school stories and friend making and adventures you’ll love Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith. It’s one of those books that, even when it gets a little dark, still warms the cockles of your heart. I’m interested to see how these characters might develop in the future.
My rating: 4/5 stars
My thanks to Shaun Hume for sending me a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
You can get Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith from Amazon (UK) here: http://amzn.to/2tIBkRi
What do you think? Is this the kind of thing you might be into? Let me know in the comments below. Click follow if you haven’t yet so you never miss a post!
Can’t wait to hear from you!