3 out of 5 stars
I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, for an open and honest review.
Okay, let’s start off by saying I am a big fan of Mr Cox’s work and have read and reviewed a few of his books now. This includes the first two books in the ‘Tales of Widowswood’ series… ‘Emma and the Silverbell Faeries’ being book three.
I loved the first book – ‘Emma and the Banderwigh’ (except for the original abrupt ending Mr Cox then fixed), and I enjoyed Emma and the Silk Thieves too. And yes, I DID enjoy ‘Emma and the Silverbell Faeries’… just not as much. And I wish I could explain why.
There was just something about this third book that didn’t sit me in my happy, contended reader zone as much as the previous two books in this series. I found the way the faeries spoke annoying by the end of it, wishing they would just not talk, and I swear there was a part where the geography was switched around and the swamp and the ruins were interchanged… but I am geographically challenged at the best of times and so freely admit to that last one maybe just me being me… But, yes, as good as this story was, it just didn’t sit right for me.
The writing was the usual excellent level of narrative and imagination I have come to expect from Mr Cox, but the storyline came across as half-thought out and forced at times… but, again, I freely admit to that possibly being my own fault and me mis-reading the whole book/story vibe. I mean, we all read, interpret and react to the written word differently. The tone, pace and emphasis is down to the reader, no matter how good the author is. So I freely admit to maybe reading more into the tale than was really there. But, yes, my brutally honest self does just feel that there was just not as much depth and life breathed into ‘Emma and the Silverbell Faeries’ as there was into the first two books. It came across a bit as hitting that mid-series slump.
Oh heck, what would I know? The story was good, the writing excellent, the editing satisfactory to my picky standards… maybe I was just in a bad mood when I read it and the fault lies totally with me? Let’s go with that as Mr Cox is an excellent YA/ NA author and I don’t want my whiny review ruining his reputation. I would much rather help promote him as he writes great books.
Would I recommend this book to others?
Yes I would. It could, I guess, be read as a stand-alone tale… but the reader would be doing themselves an injustice if they did that. Read the whole series!
In fact, I recommend people wanting to read a creative, original fantasy YA series read this one from ‘Emma and the Banderwigh’ on. If you’re a YA wanting a word of mythical creatures, nature, and earth magic – choose the ‘Tales from Widowswood’ series. Much better than Harry Potter… Just saying.
Would I buy this book for myself?
Yes I would, and not simply because it was the third book in a series I have been enjoying. And even though I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first two, I would still happily own it and reach for the next book in the series when it comes out. It was not a bad book or bad writing… I just happened to not enjoy it as much. Meh, I am a diva, live with it. 😉
In summary: A good follow up book in an outstanding YA fantasy series.
Until next time,