*We’ve been given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review*
Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith is a Harry Potter-esque story, a first book in a planned series, and an independent enterprise. This last part in itself is commendable, being an independent author is a truly difficult position these days, when so many books are being published by the publishing houses, big and small, that you can buy something almost everywhere – on gas stations, in grocery shops, post offices etc..
The first thing I need to write about this book is that even after all those edits (on Goodreads site there are already 5 editions listed) it is still in dire need of a skilled editor. There are just so many grammar, stylistic and spelling mistakes that they detract from reading. It is difficult to get immersed in a world where on almost every page looms the threat of a word “presently” or a phrase “liquid black eyes”, or… let’s just say a fair number of other expressions beloved by the author. There’s also way too much description. The plot is well thought-through, but the incessant avalanche of description buries it so deep under that it’s difficult to get into it and to stay engaged. Yet, with the help of an experienced editor and some good, hard work on the author’s part, this could become quite an enjoyable read – quick, light and entertaining.
Goodreads’ reviewers look favorably upon Ewan Pendle, and there’s no denying that the author had put a lot of heart into his book. His characters are likeable and interesting, the world is largely derivative but with enough original touches here and there that it doesn’t feel entirely Potter-ish. Still, at least to us, his effort reads like a fanfic of Harry Potter. There’s just too big resemblance between the fundamental structure of Ewan Pendle and Harry Potter worlds – from the characteristics of the main protagonists to the social relations between the characters – and boy, what’s so beguiling about number three? – through worldbuilding (magic school) to the plot itself. A “weird” boy finding out that he’s not maladjusted to the society, but that he’s simply a part of a different, better society which has access to magic. The archetype of the ugly duckling seems to prevail in fantasy of all ages, from various Jacks to Harry Potter. And it works this time again – the readers feel sympathy for Ewan’s plight and it’s difficult not to like him, even a bit. Still, there isn’t much about the main protagonist that would incite reader’s attachment, interest or love – both supporting characters of Mathilde and Enid seem much more original and likeable. The idea of pirates ran aground who became Gypsies is a really intriguing one, and there’s definitely a lot of potential in it for future use.
This book must have been a huge effort on Shaun Hume’s part, and we really appreciate it. Keep it up! We’re sure this book will find its eager audience – unfortunately we won’t be a part of it.
No score this time.