Emilie and the Hollow World
Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father.
With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.
The world building in this novel was phenomenal. A world within the center of the Earth just sounds exciting right? Well it totally was and somehow the author made it work. The descriptions of this world were magnificent and I could picture them in my head as the story progressed.
Now the story line on the other hand had great potential. I was expecting it to be full of danger and suspense, don't get me wrong there was some but just not as much as I thought there would be. The story really dragged in some places, like the times between the exciting adventures, and I found myself having trouble getting through those parts.
What redeemed this for me were the characters. Emilie was awesome and wasn't afraid to tell someone off or put them in their place and I loved that about her. Lady Marlende was another great character, she was intelligent and was ready to protect herself and fight anything that came at them. I think my two favorite characters were Kenar and Rani, two cirathi who lived in the world inside of Earth. They had fur and scales but weren't too different from the humans in the story. They showed great compassion and developed a close friendship with the humans they were travelling with.
All in all this was an interesting story and I would definitely recommend this for those who like their steampunk with loads of description and interesting worlds.
This ARC was received from the publisher for review purposes and did not effect my opinions in any way. The opinions expressed in this review were mine alone.
From the first sentence, Emilie and the Hollow World pulls you into an incredible adventure and leaves you out of breath. We follow Emilie, sixteen-year-old orphan girl who ran away from the her guardians. Emilie just wanted to escape to her cousin in the other city, but fate had other plans for her. Because, one wrong ship and confusing battle later, Emily is a stowaway, but not on a steam-ship. No, she's on a ship powered by magical aetheric currents that is bound to a dangerous expedition to another world inside the planet (yep the planet is hollow).
Fantasy, adventure and journey to the center of the planet - comparison to the Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth is mandatory. But although Martha Wells's novel has the same spirit of adventure, discovery and wonder, this is not a retelling and worlds we are about to discover are unique and original.
We don't learn much about Emilie's country of origin except that it's similar to Western European culture in 19th century, so I think that Emilie and the Hollow World can not be labeled as neither steampunk or alternative history. No, as soon as we embark on the expedition, this novel is pure fantasy. And the Hollow World is FULL OF WONDERS for us to discover. After Books of the Raksura series, Martha Wells again leaves me breathless with her wonderful descriptions of sunken cities, original cultures and species.
I liked Emilie very much. I think she really grows up in this book. Emilie finds courage and learns from her mistakes. I especially liked the fact that there is NO ROMANCE. Yes you heard me. Emilie is a real tomboy and enjoys climbing and making mischief with her friends. She never had any other interest in boys. Some would say that it's not normal for a 16-year old girl but as we discover more reasons why Emilie ran away from home and how her guardians treated her, I think that you can better understand why she never allowed herself to look at any boy from a romantic angle. And, realistic or not, I found no romance aspect refreshing.
I feel like a broken record, but I must repeat again how I simply adore Martha Wells style of writing. It's so fluid and easy to read that you will with surprise reach the end of the book in no time. Although the ending is not a cliffhanger and Emilie and the Hollow World is currently a stand-alone novel, I would love to read more about Emilie and her adventures. Lucky for me, I saw at Martha Well's website that 'Emilie and the Sky World' is going to be published in 2014 by Strange Chemistry and I honestly can say that I can't wait!
I recommend this book to fans of: Jules Verne, young adult adventure and/or fantasy books for any age, travelling expeditions, discovering new species and continents...