By Natalie Wright
Published by Boadicea Press
Kindle ASIN: B00641WC8C, $1.87; ISBN13: 9780615560625, $11.69
Our protagonist has a hard life, with no mother and a no show father, whom she refers to as the ‘zombie’. The beginning gives me a Harry Potter feel: bad home life, two best friends, suddenly finds out she’s magical, and this all pushes them into a grand adventure. We find all of this out in the first few pages and although it’s a lot of information fast I still found the beginning to be a bit sluggish.
A weird creature shows up in her tree house to explain why she’s so powerful. This creature explains the life of a priestess from years ago, her lover, and the man who ultimately leads to their demise. I found it hard to stay interested during most of this, it’s a long explanation that I think could have been shortened, or perhaps elaborated in a way to make it a bit more exciting. Instead it became a story the kids interrupted with questions and unneeded comments.
After listening to the story they decide to leave right away for Ireland to save the world from this evil who is now back. I found it hard to believe that three young teens (one who used someone else’s passport) were able to get from the USA to Ireland with so little problems – I wish I had such an easy time getting through customs.
Once they get to Ireland, the adventure begins. Emily winds up in an afterlife/alternate dimension/nowhere, whatever you choose to call it. Even here where she learns about meditation and combat I found it hard to really get into the story. All of this preparation leads up to an anti-climactic ending. The final fight scene between Emily and the big bad is nothing more than some chatter in a small hut. When he goes to attack he is stabbed in the back by a third party. All of that training for nothing.
With a bit more polish I think ‘Emily’s House’ could have been a fun read, unfortunately in the end the story didn’t grab my attention. The characters weren’t likeable – almost boring (and underdeveloped), the dialogue was awkward and annoying given their ages (though supposed best friends they called each other names often and were sometimes down right rude). It felt as though the author tried hard to make them sound like teenagers but ended up going over the top. Or perhaps I’m getting too old for these novels?
Fanny fell flat, she was horrible to read and at most times I just wanted someone to slap her. Emily also fell short of a heroine, I was hoping for a spunky hero who would risk life and limb to save her friends and family. Instead she wept and whined – a lot. I did enjoy Jake, and I think there was a budding romance between him and Emily (whether she knew it or not) but it was far too subtle.
There is a second to this novel (though I have no idea who it will continue), and although I don’t think I will be rushing to see what happens next, I may consider picking it up at a later date when I have nothing else to read.
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*This review was originally published on Tracy Riva Books & Reviews