Disclaimer: I received this e-book from Booktasters. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: Ela Green and the Kingdom of Abud
Author: Sylvia Greif
Book Series: Ela Green Book 1
Diversity: Egyptians side characters
Recommended For…: middle grade readers, fantasy
Publication Date: July 29, 2021
Genre: MG Fantasy
Age Relevance: 12+ (violence, gore, bullying, some scary moments)
Explanation of Above: The book showcases a 14 year old character, but most of the book reads like a middle grade, so this would be a good book for tweens/in-betweeners in genres. There is some violence and gore in the book. There is also bullying in the book and some scary moments.
Publisher: Vanguard Press
Synopsis: Ela Green and the Kingdom of Abud is book one of a trilogy and introduces Ela Green, a fourteen-year-old girl. Her first adventure reveals the mysterious bond she shares with Mother Nature and her encounter with Yggdrasil, the wise-tree, charting her own self-discovery along the way. With the help of her best friend, Jo, and her loving Uncle Archibald, who unwillingly has to lay bare an unbelievable secret, Ela summons all her courage to face the many dangers along the road.
The adventure starts in the present day at Waldegg Boarding School on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. As Mrs. Green drives her daughter back after the summer holidays, Ela has no idea that the discovery of an ancient bracelet and a scroll she found in an antique desk will change her life forever.
The formidable school is the connecting link in an adventure that will time-travel the reader through continents and centuries in search of the mysterious kingdom and the magical Book of Name, the most powerful manuscript ever written…
And for a prophecy that must be fulfilled.
Review: For the most part I felt like the book was ok. It had a really relatable main character and I liked the character development in the book. I also liked the overall premise and it was an ok story for the most part.
However, I really didn’t like this story. I was so confused through most of it and I felt like the book didn’t have a good sense of where the plot should have been headed. The book has some issues with what is happening in the book and I feel like it needs another pass of editing. The narration switches are abrupt and disorienting. The world building is also confusing and sometimes the way that it’s done is not very clear. I also felt very uncomfortable with the only portrayal of people of color, modern Egyptians, serving the white characters. Some of the descriptions of the characters or color read a bit micro-aggressive, if not racist, and it felt like the author didn’t have a lot of care regarding them. I think the book also needs a pass with sensitivity readers.
Verdict: It’s ok, but definitely needs more work.