Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Word Changers Review

Picture Her parents argue and fight almost every day. Not only is their marriage falling apart, but teenager Posy feels her life is falling apart with it. Amidst anger and tears, she retreats to the old library down the street. Posy selects one mysterious book in an undiscovered corner of the library and is magically drawn into another world.

Posy finds herself in a kingdom ruled by a cruel and manipulative king and queen who have attempted to usurp the role that belongs only to the Author of their story. The princess flees, an uprising is breaking out in the kingdom, and the prince and other characters fight against their slavery to the Plot.

Posy and the prince search for the fled princess, encountering hideous monsters, fierce battles, incredible danger, and strange creatures that Posy only ever dreamed. They must travel to mysterious places that expose the darkest part of the heart, their own raw fear, and past wounds that haunt them. Will they find truth and forgiveness as they plunge into the book? Will Posy and the prince save the story? Will Posy heal the heartache she knew in her own world?


Recommended for: Teens

The Word Changers was an interesting fantasy story with an intriguing premise: People in books are real. Posy, a girl from the real world, replaces the missing princess Evanthe in the Plot of a book, but she finds that much more than a missing princess is afoot. Posy and Evanthe's brother Kyran go on a quest to find Evanthe, and discover what has really happened to the Plot along the way. I did enjoy this book, but unfortunately it did not jump onto my extensive favorites list.

Writing: 4/5

The Word Changers is fairly well written. While it didn't ever become a page turner for me, I was never jerked out of the story by poor writing. Descriptions were pretty good and emotions were described well. The writing wasn't anything extraordinary, but it was pretty good.

Setting: 4/5

It's a fantasy world within a book. It has mythical creatures like centaurs, talking animals and a magical mist that tells Posy what to do, which was kind of cool. It was a little difficult to get used to talking owls outside of Narnia. It seemed a little out of place in a young adult book, but the owls were crucial to the plot. I wasn't terribly intrigued by the setting within the kingdom, but I did really like the Glooming. It was an interesting place, and full of different tests Posy and Kyran had to get through to make it to Evanthe. I don't want to give the Glooming away, but I thought it the best part of the book.

Plot: 3/5

I'm divided on this. Part of the plot I liked and part of it I didn't. I'll start with the part I liked: the adventure. There was quite a bit of it, as Posy and Kyran set out to find Evanthe, and got involved in starting a fight for the True Plot against the king. And again, I liked the stuff within the Glooming. It kept reminding me of things from many of my favorite books, but in a new way. I also did like when they met the Author and learned about him writing their story. I usually appreciate writing based allegory.

Now, what I didn't like: the romance. I'm not against a romance subplot, I rather like them, but this one never worked for me. What I love about the romance in Molly Evangeline's books is how the relationship is built on God and friendship. In The Word Changers, it seems to be built on that she's a teenage girl, and he's a handsome guy, and doesn't all YA need a little romance? When Posy first met Kyran, she hated him, but then, next time, when they were setting out on their journey to find Evanthe, she seemed to be falling for him simply because he was a guy. Not that Kyran was bad, he is a pretty good character, it's just that's not why she falls for him. The feeling is returned, but still, it seems to be for no other reason than because the book "needed" a romance. There are a couple of kisses between them, which I didn't feel were necessary. I think the book would have been better if the author hadn't tried to force in a romance.

Character Development: 3/5

Posy and Kyran were fairly well developed, but I never really connected with either of them. I did like how it was difficult to figure out whose side Falak the owl was really on. Also, the side the king and queen were on was difficult to discern, which was a good thing. The lesser characters were a little difficult to keep track of, and not very distinct. They did behave like typical book characters, but again, I didn't connect to them.

All in all, The Word Changers was a pretty good book built around an intriguing concept. Though I don't count it as a favorite, I did enjoy it.

I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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