Title: Newt’s Emerald
Author: Garth Nix
Themes: magic, self-discovery
What’s it about?
This is the story of Lady Truthful and her quest to reclaim the Newington Emerald which is stolen. In order to track the jewel down and recover it she goes incognito as a man.
It has an appealing cover.
Little to no world building. Odd names for female characters. Boring and drawn out storyline. Predictable ending.
Oh dear. I have never been a fan of Garth Nix but when this book popped up in the Long List for Book Week 2016 I was in love with the cover. The blurb sounding interesting – combining magic and historical England. And then I read the first few pages…
My first issue with the book is the leading lady’s name – Lady Truthful. Truthful is a word, it is not a name and to me is extremely out-of-place given the male characters are Charles etc. Her name made it impossible for me to like the character. Another issue I have with this book is the age of the protagonist. She is 18 years old but the writing style and way the story comes across to me was something more suited to a 14 year old (with the exception of the love interest). The age, her personality and the story are at odds with each other so much so that I couldn’t even tag grades in this review because I have no idea who this book would really appeal to (or why for that matter). I did not care about her or her emerald. There is little world building so I also struggled to get a sense of what it was like. Basically the characters are two-dimensional and the story just falls flat.
By now you probably know that my recommendation is to avoid this one; disappointing since the book had so much potential.
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Photograph by: Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0