Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Book review - The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes

Title: The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes
Author: Wade Albert White
Genre: fantasy
Similar books: The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayres
                     The Goblin's Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton
clever, quirky fun

Summary (provided by publisher): A thrilling debut novel where fantasy and science fiction meet, dragons aren't as innocent as they look, and nothing is quite what it seems.
Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes--or face the horrible consequences.

My opinion: I didn't have particularly high expectations going into this one so I was pleasantly surprised by the execution. On the surface it's a fairly standard fantasy adventure. An unlikely team thrown together by circumstance. A menacing villain, a series of enigmatic tasks. Its somewhat predictable. What makes it shine is that White know and acknowledges this predictability and he plays with it. The characters must draw role cards for their quest, roles that include betrayer. Its all very tongue in cheek, keeping it light and entertaining. It helps that he characters are well-presented, complex and dynamic. I like the sci-fi elements as well. A great first volume. I'll be interested to see how the series progresses.
Advance Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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