Title: Emilie and the Hollow World
Author: Martha Wells
Series: Emilie #1
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure.
Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father.
With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.
Emilie and the Hollow World is a fun-filled adventure book full of (very) exotic locations and a loveable heroine. I was pretty excited to read this one after reading the blurb and it certainly didn't disappoint! Definitely recommended to young steampunk fans!
I honestly fell in love with Emilie right from the start. I loved how fearless, yet clueless she was. She ended up being extremely resourceful, which is something I always admire in my characters. The other characters were awesome as well, especially the ladies: Rani and Lady Marlende, who were both seriously kick-ass!
Emilie and the Hollow World is primarily an adventure book, there is nothing in the way of romance (although an opening is left for one to develop in future books). In fact, it could probably be considered as a middle grade read based on the writing style and lack of romance/questionable content. However, lovers of adventures and steampunk and great young heroines will definitely enjoy this one, regardless of their age!
The main negative for me is that once in a while the writing style would annoy me. Perhaps because it of the more middle-grade slant of the story, but some sentences were too short and actually distracted me from the story. For example, a sentence consisting of only: Uh oh. I think this may be more of a personal gripe, but none-the-less, there it is. The other negative for me was how readily everyone accepted Emilie, which felt a little unrealistic to me. However, it set the stage for a great story, so I won't complain too much!
Overall, Emilie and the Hollow World was a fun read full of adventure, with a very likeable heroine. I am definitely excited for the series to continue!
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