#41. Evernight by Ross Mackenzie

Thousands of years ago, the Evernight came to the Silver Kingdom and turned everything to darkness and chaos. It was only defeated thanks to the skill and bravery of the Witches. But now the Evernight is about to return, released by the evil Mrs Hester, and the only spell that might stop it is lost, deep below the great city of King s Haven.

Then orphan Larabelle Fox stumbles across a mysterious wooden box while treasure-hunting in the city s sewers. Little does she realise she is about to be catapulted into an adventure, facing wild magic and mortal danger and a man who casts no shadow . . .

Paperback | 352 pages

Published: Andersen Press (6 Feb. 2020)

Read – 17th May, 2020.

Age Range (if applicable): 11-14 years.

I thought this was decidedly dark for a Children’s book. I picked this up in the 9-12 section of Waterstones, so I was expecting an adventure but perhaps not such a dark one. I also felt that there was more depth to this story than I had originally thought there to be.

It was easy to read, and I don’t think anyone would have a problem with it – regardless their age – there is a high level of magic involved with the book that sort of acts like a push driving you forward to devouring the book.

I saw Lara clearly from the start. A scrap of a girl trying her hardest to stay alive in a world that wasn’t kind to most people. I thought she showed great strength, determination and loyalty. There was a fieriness to her character that made her appear more indestructible than those around her. It was clear to see that she had wit and brains at the beginning but watching her grow and discover herself through the book was rewarding to read.

Double Eight confused me for much of the book because the way Mackenzie has written the character, and the way I processed it, made Double Eight appear much older…an adult in fact. It took a long time for me to be able to see him as a teenager, and much longer for that view to be cemented and not having him flicking between the two ages. Still, he was an interesting character that I felt needed to be there. It was perhaps, slightly stereotypical to have his character included the way he was, but I don’t think the book would have worked so well without him.

Mrs Hester was creepy. Enough said.

There were many supporting characters who came to my attention and I’d love to be able to give each of them their own little paragraph, but I fear we’d be here for days!

It was easy to visualise this because it was more imagination based that set in factual places. I was able to take what I’d been given and work on it within my head. I think I managed to produce a very clear image of what was happening in the book and what the characters looked like and how they acted.

I mentioned in my first impressions that I was oddly out of joint at finding how dark the book was. I think I was expecting a magical adventure with twists and turns, but one that kept above the sea level. This book goes below the sea level, it twists and wraps itself in a little knot and doesn’t let you leave till the story has been told. The darkness isn’t bad, it was just unexpected. I think Mackenzie has woven a very strong story that stands out from the crowd, and if he decides to continue the series, I think we can expect great things to come from it.

It’s interesting because I read the first 3rd of the book without much enjoyment or connectiveness. I then didn’t touch the book for several days and when I came back to it, I found myself enjoying it much more. I finished the rest of the book in a mere couple of hours and found it myself being pulled along for the ride. I understood the characters a little better once I’d started reading again and I think leaving the book alone for a couple of days helped to change my perspective on it.

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