Title: Emma and the Banderwigh
Author: Matthew S. Cox
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Published Date: October 12, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Teens & YA, Adventure
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
I received this Ebook from Netgalley and the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis (From Netgalley)
Ten-year-old Emma doesn’t believe in faerie tales or monsters that secret children away in the night–until she meets one.
She lives in a quiet village at the edge of Widowswood with her parents, her Nan, and her little brother, Tam. Ready to abandon the whimsy of childhood, she finds the boredom of chores comforting and Nan’s fanciful bedtime stories silly.
One morning, a wan and weary older girl staggers out of the woods and sets the entire town aflutter with whispers of a child-stealing monster lurking in the forest. Nan tells her of the Banderwigh: a dark soul who feeds on sorrow and drains the life from children’s tears.
Darkness comes calling on Emma’s happy home, threatening the reality to which she desperately clings. The impossible becomes more and more real, forcing Emma to reach inside herself for the ability to believe. Her family depends on it.
This was my first read from this author, and I have to say it was alright. I really got into in the beginning, but it sort of went a little downhill from there, then a somewhat grudging climb uphill, before it just toppled back downhill, and decided that it was just going to sit for a while and catch its breath.
In the beginning after Emma and her brother Tam have been captured by the sorrow eating Banderwigh, the book became pretty intense. I wasn’t sure entirely where the story was going and it really kept me guessing. Then out of the blue suddenly Emma and Tam are free. I thought it was possibly another trick by the Banderwigh but nope they were really free. Of course I had been tricked before so I still continued the wary feeling, expecting it to once again be a trick…so when I finally believed they were really free, it almost felt like a letdown (I know I am cruel).
After Emma and Tam become free from the Banderwigh, Emma learns that the women in her family are a long line of Druids, and in fact she will be a druid as well. I have to say the magic in this story is very childish and silly. Most of the time I winced at the silliness of it.
The book began to pick up once again when Emma goes back into the forest to find her missing father. She battles goblins and spiders and it was all really believable. I was on the edge of my seat to find out what would happen next and whether Emma would save her father! By the way I totally admire Emma’s strength of will to save her family at all cost! It’s pretty amazing for a 10 year old.
Now for the ending. I was really annoyed that no one believed Emma, and though it was a pretty happy ending I was still shocked by the ending of the Banderwigh. It was both understandable and almost pretty ruthless.
Still, I am delighted to have finally actually finished a Netgalley choice! That in itself has endeared me to this book. It really was a good read. I liked it.