Publishing Date: November 2019
Publisher: North Star Editions
Publisher’s Description: Tessa has heard her grandfather’s stories about the fabled barbegazi since she was little. Now, after his death, she’s determined to see the gnome-like creatures for herself and prove her grandfather wasn’t just a confused old man.
Review: Initially, I was surprised at how good this novel was. Despite the YA intent, this author puts everything together in seamless fashion. Tessa’s emotive internalization’s drive the novel in directions that are unexpected in outcome. Scenes that you expect to play out in a certain way, end up delightfully itinerant.
About midway through, the story line started to languish under Tessa’s constant inner dithering. So much so, that I started flipping pages to find some action in the form of movement. Tessa is an uncomplicated kid and spending an inordinate amount of time in her head makes for a pretty boring time. I am not sure that middle grade children (intended audience) would think Tessa’s mental processes are sophisticated enough.
I really liked the interactions between Gawion and Brownie while Bahne brings up the rear in “Snidley Whiplash” fashion. A solid read for the YA crowd that teeters on greatness.