Publisher: Alexander Cole
Publishing Date: September 2014
Publisher Description: Emma’s life has suddenly gone crazy. First it’s the swimsuit disaster at Kasi’s sucktastic summer pool party, and then she almost gets flattened by a car. The weird part? The person who saved her isn’t even a person–he’s a horse. A talking horse. Venitel, her savior, is from a land where strangeness abounds, from the flowers that smell like buttered popcorn to the horses sworn to protect kids.
Review: This author really captures the plight of a young girl going through a period of ridicule and antagonism from her school peers. Although isolated, she has this ability to think and choose differently in order to cope. Emma does a wonderful job of moving forward with her life when she is suddenly thrust into another world where “strange” is only the beginning of the weirdness. There are talking peacocks and evil unicorns. The portals between worlds helps move the story-line away from static.
Some minor fails for me were the grammatical errors. Perhaps this is an un-proofed version prior to publishing. Also, the story-line struggles to find footing and move in a completed direction. Maybe there was originally some intent to make this a series when it could have been a great stand alone. The novel lacks compression and feels stretched with dialogue.
I can see how this would really appeal to YA and children that tend to identify with Emma’s plight and yearn to be hero’s, or at least in control of their lives. I like that the author uses Emma to teach whomever reads her works in how to overcome these life struggles and internal battles of emotion. A solidly crafted read with insights into the journey of ‘self’ for anyone of any age.