Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review - Ondine: The Summer of Shambles by Ebony McKenna

Ondine: The Summer of Shambles by Ebony McKenna
Bookdepository / Amazon UK
Librarything / Goodreads

Rating: 4 stars
Pages: 336

Summary: Ondine de Groot is a normal fifteen-year-old who lives with her family in the European country of Brugel. She has a pet ferret called Shambles. But Shambles is no ordinary ferret...

He's Hamish McPhee, a boy cursed by a witch. A witch who happens to be related to Ondine. When Shambles turns back into Hamish temporarily, Ondine knows that she has to help him break the spell. He is the most gorgeous boy she has ever met and her one true love! He just can't remain a ferret forever. Can he?

Thoughts: Ondine was absolutely adorable!

This was my first middle-grade novel for a while and I couldn't help but love it!  It was over-the-top, magical fun that put a smile on my face whenever I picked it up.  McKenna writes with confidence and skill - two things not usually associated with debut novelists.  Instead of opting for your typical show-then-explain narrative, McKenna include footnotes with quirky explanations about the language and the country.  They were just brilliant!  Short enough not to detract from the story, and usually pretty hysterical!

Although I can't say the characters were overly complex, they were still very enjoyable.  Quirky and well-meaning, they all made me smile.  Especially the Scottish-rogue-turned-ferret Shambles!

Ok, that sentence?  Perfect example of why Ondine was awesome.

(Erm, except for the bit where vegetarians were called malnourished.  First off, not cool.  Secondly, plain wrong.  I was actually kinda insulted and genuinely worried people might believe it.  But see how I am giving the book a good review anyways?  Apparently, I'm just that magnanimous.)

Bottom line?  Ebony McKenna  has written a sweet, funny middle-grade novel which I couldn't help but be swept up by.  A wonderful debut!

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