Wednesday 16 December 2020

Book Review: The Chosen Ones by Scarlett Thomas

The Chosen Ones by Scarlett Thomas book cover

AD* | Effie Truelove has just been expelled from magic class and now she can’t even get back to the Otherworld—the place she most loves and where she feels she belongs. If she can find a copy of The Chosen Ones by Laurel Wilde to give her father then she might be able to fix everything.

The only problem is that there are suddenly no copies of the book anywhere, because Albion Freake, the richest man in the world, is paying for them to be destroyed so that he can own the single-volume limited edition that publisher Skylurian Midzhar is making for him.

Raven Wilde’s witch’s intuition tells her there’s something suspicious about Skykurian’s plan, but she’s not sure what it is.

And Maximilian has somehow managed to go missing deep in Napoleonic Europe.

Will the five friends from Dragon’s Green - Effie, Raven, Maximilian, Lexy, and Wolf—be able to combine their skills again to save the world from the Diberi? And can they get away from Terrence Deer-Hart, the children’s author who seems a bit too interested in Effie’s life?

Packed with action, adventure, and - of course - magic, The Chosen Ones is an immersive children's fantasy novel. This is the second book of the Worldquake Sequence series, and even though I haven't read the first in the series, I still found it highly interesting and engaging.

The Chosen Ones is exactly the type of book I would have loved as a child. It is fun and clever, yet also descriptive and full of exciting characters. The world-building is done superbly and it avoids being cliche or unoriginal. Although this is a fantasy book with plenty of magic, what's interesting is that it also has its groundings in the real world. Places we recognise today are referenced by name, adding a dystopian twist to the plot. 

The writing itself is witty and engaging. The author does not shy away from using complex vocabulary which may be unfamiliar to younger readers, and the result is a more natural style of prose that feels very organic. I imagine that much of the character and world-building was established in the first book of the series. While this is not an issue, it did leave me wanting to know more about certain characters and events such as the Worldquake itself! If anything, though, that's just a great incentive for me to go back and read Dragon's Green (book one). 

The main character, Effie, is brave and intelligent. She's courageous beyond her years and is lucky enough to have a circle of loyal friends around her. Each of the friendship group has his or her own unique abilities and magical powers. From talking to animals to travelling to the mysterious Underworld, there is certainly never a dull moment with these characters! 

The Chosen Ones is an outstanding fantasy novel for young readers and not-so-young readers too - I can't wait to read book three! 

Rating: 4 stars

The Chosen Ones is available to buy now. 

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the series? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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