*This book was sent by Wondertale in exchange for an honest review*
Publisher: Wondertale, November 8th, 2016
Edition: Ebook, 247 pages
Paperback Release: April 25, 2017 (estimated)
Synopsis: Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory.
Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. When her power is at last discovered, she realises that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.
Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.
When I was originally asked to review this book, the main thing that caught my attention was the idea that in this world you can create anything you can imagine. Instantly I needed to know just how this world functions. How society handles this ability. And how the child protagonists, Layauna and Kai, live within this world. Author’s Hansen and Fehr definitely deliver these answers in a logical manner, making this a read you can engage with from page one
Story and Writing
The opening chapter introduces you to the world of O’Ceea through Layuana and the monstrous projections that plague her. This unique opener is further enhanced by the use of a third person narrative perspective that sets the somber atmosphere and builds the scene through describing carefully crafted details that the reader can build upon. Also, the authors, Hansen and Fehr, lay the foundation for the world’s societal hierarchy that is explored throughout the novel.
Furthermore, the second chapter perfectly contrasts the dark tone of the opener as it features a whimsicality that is felt subtly throughout the novel. The second chapter introduces the second protagonist, Kai, and his childish nature, compared to the nature of Layuana. This balance of tones was well handled, with both these chapters offering an essential platform to convey the negative complications and the mischievous uses of these projections. However, it also conveys the message that two people can sprout from different backgrounds and be given equal opportunities in this world.
The third person narrative was essential as it allowed for a fluid transition between both protagonists; however, there were instances where you are told more than shown during certain events – this doesn’t impede engagement, but I would like to have seen a more in-depth exploration of certain scenes.
Layuana and Kai are developed and explored in a way that allows you to wish them success, and they had distinct voices and motivations that effectively separated them from one another. However, I found it difficult to relate to them, especially Kia, as they did things I wouldn’t do. This lack of relation may be a result of the age issue. While it is revealed that Kai is 17, his actions and behaviour made me believe that he was more likely 14 at most. His childish behaviour, along with that of his friends, was frustrating at times; along with the dialogue. Unfortunately, the authors failed to capture the voice of their target audience, making one of their characters less mature than people of that age in reality.
Overall, while the exploration of the premise is effective and engaging, the authors failed to capture the voice of their audience. Despite this, the characters are distinct from one another, with individual things that drive their story.
Make sure to check out The Magician’s Workshop for yourself and leave your opinions down below!