Title: War of the Seasons: The Human
Author: Janine Spendlove
I will admit I met the author before I read her book; Janine is a fantastic person that I could probably spend over half this post talking about how awesome she is. From talking to her, I knew her book was one of those books that would make it onto my list of “will get my hands on and read”. I didn’t think it would take me as long as it did, but what finally got me to get my hands on a copy of her book was a free Kindle copy that was offered as a Fourth of July special. I jumped on the chance to get the book and then started reading. I hate that life got in the way and delayed my finishing the book until about two months later but it was, simply put, a fantastic read.
When you start The Human you really don’t know what to expect, it starts off with a girl with purple streaked hair named Story who is going spelunking with her friend Josh as she deals with the pain and loss of losing her entire family (her father and siblings). Not having suffered a similar loss as Story, it was a little hard to relate to her and her feelings, but they did make sense, and the intrigue continued as you learned of Story’s life before she falls down a cave and is knocked out. This is where the true story begins, as everything about the world she knows is turned upside down and she is met with an elf named Eirnin who is nothing but rude to her as she adjusts to a new world, and he discovers that she is a creature he has never seen before.
The simple oddity of the world, with a touch of familiar lore, and a few new twists is enough to keep you going as you learn all about Almera, the world Story has found herself in and is trying to get out of. Yet, the tale is about more than just a girl trying to find her way out of a strange place, as said girl ends up becoming a reluctant heroine as she realizes the people she has gotten to know and even love are in danger unless she helps them. Over all, it is a rather endearing story with a nice fantasy element that welcomes you in with open arms, much like the warmth of a favorite blanket on a cold winter night. As you read you find yourself immersed in the story and falling in love with the characters much like Story herself, whom you also end up relating to and loving as well. She approaches everything in a perfectly human way and rather well for her age too. She has the perfect balance of being a kid and an adult all at once which is how many seventeen year olds are.
If there was one complaint I have about the book as a whole, it is the similarity between a lot of words. I commend Janine for coming up with the idea that certain starting sounds dictate gender, importance or meaning, but it could easily get confusing at times, and in the Kindle format it wasn’t overtly easy to keep a finger in the pronunciation guide to help you pronounce and understand better. (This is an aspect where I feel a printed copy is better!) Of course, the inability to reach the pronunciation guide easily was no fault of Janine but it is something for you to keep in mind when deciding to pick up this book!
Overall, I give this book a four page review! I know fantasy is not everyone’s cup of tea but I encourage you non fantasy readers to try the book out! To those who have a love of fantasy, much like me this is a must read, and I feel no fantasy book collection is complete without it. I know it is a book I will be proud to own on my bookshelf in full printed format rather than just hidden away on my Kindle!