The second instalment in Walters’ ‘Josie James’ series, this one picks up a year after the events in the first book.
As I mentioned in my previous review (here), Walters writes straightforward, accessible fantasy for the 8-12 age bracket. It is certainly both straightforward and accessible, and I should think is a decent road in for youngsters looking to get into the genre.
The structuring and technique are a little clumsy and there are some American phrases that simply wouldn’t be used by a British child, but I admit that Walters does tell a good story. Many of the ideas will also be comfortingly familiar (don’t look for any surprises, though an inexperienced reader may not have encountered some of these tropes before).
I would suggest the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ (one of my childhood favourites, reviewed here) as a better alternative, plus the Harry Potter series if you really want a well-executed re-hash of previous material. However, if you’re wanting to enjoy some new fantasy writing, you could certainly do a lot worse.
For the 8-12 bracket, I’d give it 3.5*
“For you to find the Velvet Knife, you must solve the riddles thrice.” A mysterious hooded figure, known only as the Velvet Knife has appeared in the cursed village of Suncroft. No one knows who he is or what he wants but when he starts leaving riddles around the village, it is time for Josie to return to Suncroft for a second time.
With Asher, her faithful husky Protector by her side, Filan, a half elf, and her great grandad, will they be able to solve the clues in time and discover his identity? The Velvet Knife is not the only one causing problems for Josie. Her rival for the position of the ‘Chosen One’ continues to grow stronger, and now he has a Protector of his own.
What does all this mean for Josie? Is she destined to lift the wintery curse of Suncroft or will another take her place as the ‘Chosen One’?
I do not get paid for blog tours or giving my opinion, and this is my honest review.