“You are here because you were born different. Born with a gift … and a curse.”
Heroes come in all shapes. Upright, manly, sword-wielding…. Or small and weedy with walking sticks. Unless you look hard enough, you might miss these ones. Pip’s on a journey to find out just what he can do—in magic and in life. Big things are expected of him. . And he’s about to be tested Can he deliver?
This new Young Adult work by acclaimed Australian author KJ Taylor is a stand-alone novella about confronting our challenges and celebrating our differences. Meet Pip and Seress, Ana and Clemence, Jinx and Hex, and follow their quest to find and stop the mad mage who is threatening magic’s very existence. KJ Taylor asks us to think about the choices we make, and the price that we pay for them. For anyone who’s ever been intimidated by those around them, here’s a heart-warming story of one boy who isn’t content to be defined by others
I was given an Advanced Reading Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 4 Stars
One of my favorite things about going to the bookstore is helping other people choose their next book – I’m actually pretty sure that I missed my calling as a bookstore owner (I’ve always wanted to be Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail). I just love asking people who their favorite authors are, and recommending something similar. Upon completing this novella, I was struck with the realization that the works of KJ Taylor are perfect for Rick Riordan readers. While this book is categorized as YA, it has a bit of a younger feel to it that I think that Percy Jackson fans will enjoy.
The main character, Pip, was easily one of the most upbeat and motivational characters I have had the pleasure of acquainting myself with. He had a kind word for just about everyone and never let anything get him down. I think he is the perfect main character for young teens to look up to – especially in a world so strongly affected by bullying. My favorite interactions in the book were between Pip and his Master, Seress. In the world Taylor has created, each mage pays a price for their access to magic. While Pip’s price is physical in the form of a bad leg, Seress suffers from depression. I loved that Pip didn’t give up on her, and continued to try and find ways to pull her out of her own mind.
The author kept the writing light and easy to read, with fun banter between the characters even in the most serious of situations. The dragons, Jinx and Hex provided fantastic comic relief and were, in my opinion, the perfect sidekicks on Pip and Seress’ quest.
The only reason I gave this novella 4 stars instead of 5, is because I do feel that it leans more towards a children’s book than a YA Fantasy. It was well written, but seemed to be aimed at an age group between 9-13. As I said previously, I think it is the perfect read for those who enjoyed the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordian.
My Takeaway: At 205 pages, this novella flew by. The author’s writing style is light and easy to read. The main character Pip is optimistic, easy to like, and surrounded by a diverse cast of supporting characters. While I do think that this book is the start to a great fantasy series, I feel that it should be marketed more towards a younger audience. It would be perfect for readers between the ages of 9-13.
Learn more about the Author’s inspiration for this book, and her unique publishing company on Interviews & Extras page!