by Anne Plichota (Translated by Cendrine Wolf)
I know you many find it hard to believe, but sometimes I actually read books just for me. And sometimes those books are Young Adult Books. When I was in the Uk I was asked my a family member to choose a book for my birthday present. Reviewer Sam and I had spent a lot of time in the children’s section of book shops, so I naturally chose a book from there I had been drawn. I did not intend to review it, but after reading it I just had to share Oksa with you.
Oksa is a teenage French girl who has just moved to London with her family. Her father is opening a restaurant with his friend, who fortunately happens to be the father of Oksa’s best friend, Gus. As if the move is not hard enough with trying to fit into a new city and a new school, Oksa finds out she is developing strange powers. But what is even stranger is that she finds her family comes from a different world full of strange creatures and magic, and she is the last hope for them to return. Of course there are bad guys also trying to return to their home, hoping to bring technology to wrest control of government.
This is a teenage coming of age story with the beginnings of romantic tensions, wrapped in great adventure story, set in a fantastical world. The story follows Oksa as she finds out about her history, learns to control her powers and fights to save her people. She is helped along the way by her eccentric grandmother, her best friend Gus and a number of other interesting characters. The book is fast paced and well written, the characters are interesting and likeable and the world Anne Plichota as developed is truely unique. I especially like the way she has woven real world history in with her fantastical world. I love that this book has a strong female lead who is smart and funny, and that she is balanced out by her male friend Gus. Perhaps the only thing I do not like about the book (and this is a small dislike that I have with many books that have a strong female lead and a secondary male character) is that Gus seems to feel like he is inadequate because of Oksa’s strengths, and she has to constantly reassure him of his value.
All in all this is a great book and I shall be trying to find time to read the rest of the series. Readers who like fantasy, magic and coming of age stories would be attracted to this book, from around the ages of 10-15.