Friday, December 17, 2021

Review: Perceiver by E. C. Fuller

I have two books today, since I'm still playing a bit of catch-up from last month. This one caught my attention not only thanks to the cover, but as a fan of Spirited Away, it seemed to be right up my lane.

The Perceiver Trilogy 
Book One
by E.C. Fuller
YA Fantasy
300 pages

Moving to a new town was not on Hattie's to-do list for the summer.

Her arrival in Applewood brings nothing but strange things to her doorstep. A bendable boy guards an abandoned orchard. A cactus gives her a bullet. A monster made of oil stalks those around her.

And nobody can see them but her.

When traveling consultants show up on her doorstep, a chance encounter with the boy named Jack forces them to confront the monsters and their intertwined fates. Worse yet, the lives of the people she loves now hang by a thread.

When her world collides with another, Hattie must make a choice: save herself or save her parents.

Tsava awaits.

Perceiver is the first book in The Perceiver Trilogy, a YA fantasy series with magical creatures and grand adventures.



Fans of Spirited Away will find a lot to love in this rich world, which hints at myth and imagination.

Twelve-year-old Hattie isn't thrilled about moving to a new town. Immediately, she starts to see strange men and even stranger creatures, but if that were odd enough, no one but her seems to notice them. When a boy named Jack explains that he's an Orex and that as a human, she shouldn't be able to notice any of this, she's not sure what to think. But before she can digest any of this, her parents are kidnapped and taken to a world called Tsava. There, Hattie must work to pay off the debt of purchasing her parents back if she ever wants to live with them again.

This book is sold as a young adult novel, but I see it as a much better fit for the middle grade audience. Hattie is twelve and acts her age, but even the story plot has the atmosphere of a middle grade novel as Hattie travels to this other world, meets many creatures, and tries her best to cope with the new life while struggling to make it through. It's quick paced, imaginative, but stays lighter on the depth end, making it great for the middle age audience.

The world building is very well done as all sorts of fantastic creatures run across Hattie's path. These are well described and vary greatly, making each one original and intriguing. Tsava also comes across nicely as Hattie explores the sometimes a bit familiar, but usually vastly different world. Here imagination takes flight and lets the most fantastic things spring from the page. There's a sense of spirits and magic as well, which takes different forms and add all sorts of unexpected, small twists and turns. It's not hard to understand Hattie's amazement and feel for her as she copes to deal with this bunch, especially since she is up against a tough enemy.

While I did find myself caught up in Hattie's adventure, I did have trouble connecting with the first pages, characters, and even some scenes. Some moments were a bit disconnected and bounced too quick from one thing to the other without enough explanation. Still, as the story went along, I didn't want to put it down either. Hattie is easy to sympathize with and get to know. Plus, it was a treat to venture with her as she discovered the strange places and met new friends. Unfortunately, the other characters in the book missed depth. There were more than a couple, which I wished I could have known more about, but since this is the first book in the trilogy, I'm hoping there is more to come on this end. 

All in all, this is an interesting tale for those who love the idea of spirits and imagination.

And here she is...

Erin Fuller aka E.C. Fuller grew up in small town Oklahoma, not too far from her current home in Tulsa. Along with awards and mentions in multiple local writing contests, Erin’s work has also been featured in The Tulsa Review and is forthcoming in Metaphorosis. Influenced by everything from Russian fairytales and Lemony Snicket to Adventure Time and The Legend of Zelda series, Erin aims to create immersive fantasy worlds that grab the reader and keep them guessing until the end.

No comments: