My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Akarnae is a fun and entertaining read that has mostly positives but a few negatives. I’ll start with the positives. The characters are great. I particularly loved the friendship between the main character, Alex, and her two “side-kicks”, Bear and Jordan. I really enjoyed the friendship between a girl and two boys – and it works really well to ground the story and draw you into their world – and the friendship between them feels genuine and the dialogue is realistic. These believable, three-dimensional characters draw you into their world, and so in turn makes that world feel more real. There are a few moments in the novel that drag, particularly towards the end, but for the most part the story is well-paced, and the action and adventure scenes are handled well.
However, the book is not particularly original. It is very much in the Harry Potter mould and doesn’t really venture much out of that safe territory. Some of the the things that happen in the novel are a bit of a stretch, even with the “it’s a different world” explanation, and that annoyed me a little.
Nevertheless, I was genuinely entertained by this book, and looked forward to reading it during my bus travel reading time. Recommended for young adults or anyone who likes a bit of alternative world magic that offers fun, adventure and a bit of danger.