Esme saw her last chance of keeping her family together on her father’s wedding day, but everyone waved her actions off as that of an spoiled child not getting what she wants. Besides, it has been several years since the disappearance of her mom. It was high time to move on. And yet, Esme just can’t. After bumping into events she couldn’t quite explain and a peculiar note that may just be a clue to her mother’s disappearance, Esme literally dove into a whole new world filled with magic and orange dragons.
ESME’S WISH is heartwarming and beautifully whimsical, much like the fantastical world of Aeoila and the shimmering city of Esperance. We are introduced to an enchanting world rich with history and magic; and with the author’s excellent prose, it makes for an incredibly atmospheric reading experience.
All the characters are fully developed, especially the titular character and the story’s protagonist, Esme, who has grown realistically throughout the book – from that wedding day opening to the fulfilling conclusion that teases the reader of more and greater travels all over Aeolia. The plot reminded me of the timeless children’s books such as “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Harry Potter”, but it lacked much of the action-packed adventure that these stories possess. (Although, the characters still have some adventure). Instead, the novel focused more on Esme’s coming of age and growth. We witness her determination and unending hopefulness to find her mom as the story progresses. There is no romance explicitly shown, and this is because Esme is knee-deep in the business of learning how to create strong friendships.
The climax of the story, however, felt a bit rushed and the antagonist was one of those classic villains making their move quite predictable.
Overall, though, this is a story about family, self-acceptance, and the immense measures one would take for the people they love. An exciting introduction to the series, this is a great book for younger teens (and youngs-at-heart) who love to dive into a magical world filled with wondrous creatures and adventures.
For fans of “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Harry Potter”, you will find something enjoyable to read in this book. But with more focus on the protagonist’s personal growth, her family and an emphasis on her introduction to the enchanting world of Aeolia, this is a more heartwarming and whimsical story young fantasy readers will surely love.
The RatingTop Pick! 5 Stars (out of five): Freaking amazing. Any agent or publishing house that passed this one up made a big mistake. It was selected by our reviewer as a personal favorite. This is also a nomination for our Novel of the Year award.
The Pros & ConsPros: Believable, Characterization, Prose, Strong World-Building
Cons: Character Developement, Plotline