Thank you, Odyssey Books, for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Happy New Year’s Eve! Today’s been a pretty hectic day of end-of-year preparations, but I did find time to finish Esme’s Wish at long last. I really wanted to get one final book review up before 2020 and I’m happy to say that I (only just) made it.
Esme’s Wish is a middle-grade/YA fiction book about a girl named Esme who, whilst searching for answers about her missing mother, finds herself on a quest to not only find the truth, but to also save a world that she didn’t even know existed. It’s a fascinating tale about familial love, friendship and dedication to doing what’s right.
When Esme enters the unknown world of Aeolia, she discovers a host of things that she never could have imagined- all of which she had only heard in stories and seen in paintings by her mother.
She rapidly discovers that her mother was entangled in the complicated history of this magical world and sets out to visit wherever she must go to find out what happened all those years ago and get closure about her mother’s disappearance once and for all.
This story is magical, both in its content and its storytelling. It is definitely written for a younger audience, but managed to captivate me too, with its imagery of a world that Elizabeth Foster entirely created. With sirens, magical powers and dragons, amongst the other magical features in this book, it is easy to get lost in the story and truly believe in the world of Aeolia.
I found the characters in this book to be entertaining as well. The villains did seem to lack a little depth, and some of the dangerous situations that Esme found herself in were resolved slightly too quickly for my liking, but they were still believable and scary. I enjoyed the ‘good guys’ much more. Lillian and Daniel are exactly the kind of fun sidekicks a story like this needs and I found that they really helped Esme explore her own personal struggles, as well as the struggles of Aeolia. They had believable aspirations and I was happy to see them doing what they personally needed to, as well as helping Esme along the way.
As far as the ending is concerned, I did find that it left a lot of loose ends, but I presume these will be wrapped up nicely in the sequel. The whole book’s plot was good enough for me to forgive my questions, as I found that there was a consistent sense of adventure from start to finish that kept me interested throughout.
This was a nice, easy read to finish the year with and I’m happy to have been swept into Esme’s world. I would definitely recommend this book to younger readers and lovers of middle-grade fantasy, and may just have to pick up the sequel to see what happens next.
If you’re interested in reading Esme’s Wish, you can grab a copy here. (I get a small commission if you use my link!)