Monday, May 5, 2014

Review: The Skinwalker's Apprentice by Clarabel Ortega (Tour Stop)


“Welcome to The Empire State, where banshees, witches, and skinwalkers wait…” 

Margo Pennyfeather is being hunted. The 16-year-old witch has always been an outcast, in her home back in England, and now in the village of East Hampton, New York, where her family has settled. No one but her family has ever cared for Margo, but now the most important witch in the magic world wants her as an apprentice, giving her a chance to bring her family out of poverty. 

Before long, Margo realizes things aren't what they seem, least of all, what kind of witch she really is. Now, the young witch must face a terrifying monster on her own, and the reverberations will reach farther than she could have ever imagined. 

More than three hundred years later, in 1984 Emerald Kipp is a high school senior in New York City. A troubled teen with a rebellious streak, Emerald can't seem to figure out what to do with her life, and unfortunately for her, “witch” isn’t one of the available career choices in her guidance counselor’s office. As she struggles to figure herself out, Emerald is faced with the threat of being stuck in school and missing her final summer with her three best friends. Her last year of high school is turning out to be the worst yet, and Emerald thinks it can’t possibly get any worse. Unfortunately for her, she’s dead wrong.

And there’s something else, something far more sinister stirring in Emerald’s world, and she’ll have to believe in herself if she wants to get through it alive. 

Two witches, three hundred years apart, one inescapable fate. 

The Skinwalker's Apprentice is a prequel to the upcoming novel, Emerald Kipp and The Riddle of The Timekeeper, a terrifying magical scavenger hunt through the gritty streets of 1980’s New York City,set to a killer soundtrack, and perfect for fans of Harry Potter and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Part of The Empire Witch series.




The Skinwalker's Apprentice is a great novel for fans of fantasy and the the supernatural. It got me highly excited for the upcoming series, and it is cool to have a prequel that actually comes before the actual books. The novella gives a taste of what will come, and I definitely enjoyed it. I mean, even the title is cool. Plus, I like my fair share of magic in reading.

The dual point of views worked beautifully in the story, especially because of the difference in time between them. Margo's story added a bit of historical fiction, another genre that I can't get enough of.
Margo is an excellent character, and it isn't only because she lives in the nineteenth century. She is smart, brave, and really cares about her family. She is a bit of an optimist, even when she isn't coming from the best of situations. All of these qualities are admirable and allow for easy connection to her as a character. In addition, Emerald was a great character. Much closer to modern times, she brought magic into our world. 

Although at times she seemed a bit self-absorbed, it only arose from her loyalty. She's a funny and witty teen rebel, which is always fun. Even the more minor characters of both storylines like Charlie and Goody stood out. (They also showed some diversity in YA, which is fabulous.)

Despite both plotlines were enjoyable to read, I found myself getting more involved with Margo's story. It may have been because - in this novella, at least - the stakes of her chapters were higher. From when she started the apprenticeship, I kept reading, eager to find out what would happen next. Emerald - despite being a great character - had flat chapters in comparison. Another thing I loved about Margo's section is how dark it got. I've always been a fan of the dark side and it is awesome to be pleasantly surprised with the appearance of a good villain. Which this novella has. The whole idea of skinwalking on its own is so wonderfully horrific that the pages in which it was explained were my favorites of the novella. I loved getting this glimpse into the dark side of magic.

The Skinwalker's Apprentice was an intriguing read to the finish, which was enough of a cliffhanger to keep me itching for the series to come. A good choice to satisfy the thirst for a fun fantasy with plenty of enchanting magic and darkness.

1 comment:

  1. Justine, thank you so much for this amazing review. I'm so glad you liked the prequel and can't wait to share book one with you this fall!