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For fans of 'Harry Potter' this is the next great thing. Oksa Pollock is a feisty young girl who has the future of the land of Edefia on her shoulders and is more than up to the task of overcoming danger and fighting off evil to lead her people back to their homeland.Read moreLess
"great plot but lacks something…"
I really couldn't decide whether to give this 3 or 4 stars. I preferred the first book as it reads better.the second book is much slower and seems too long really for what happens in it. There were a few things I found mildly annoying like the way the author kept calling the characters by their full name with surname throughout both books, as if there is another dragomira Pollack or something! The author went in to loads of description of the magical world including all the strange creatures and plants so much so it slowed the book down too much.there was also alot of repetition in both books where different characters would say the same thing a few pages/chapters on. Also the way some of the magical creatures and plants spoke slowed the story down and left us skim reading bits. I was reading the books to my son (he can read very well but he still enjoys a good story together) and I often had to translate what the creature or plant had actually said. The book dragged on towards the end.
Aside from the above negative comments, we did like the book and would read the third one once it comes out, we have to see how it ends. My son like the powers the characters had and we had endless conversations about which powers we would like and what would we do!
I would recommend reading this series of books as you can overlook the mildly annoying traits.Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"Promise of magic, mystery & adventure spoilt by chaotic, 'translated' narrative!!…"
Book Review: 'OKSA POLLOCK - THE FOREST OF LOST SOULS', by Anne Plichota & Cendrine Wolf, Translated by Sue Rose. Sat 29/03/2014, 04.10 hrs
"Oksa Pollock - The Forest Of Lost Souls", by Anne Plichota & Cendrine Wolf, is the second book in an intended series of 6. The opener, "Oksa Pollock: The Last Hope", was hailed as the French answer to Harry Potter, so inevitably, comparisons were going to be drawn, unfairly or otherwise. Just like the Harry Potter books, we have a teenage main character, this time a 13-year old girl called Oksa, who discovers she possesses magical abilities, and who is introduced to a magical new world. Except, it's not Hogwarts, it's the land of Edefia, located at the World's Heart. And the witch/wizard family identify themselves as 'Runaways' since they've escaped to and now reside in London (where, of course, J. K. Rowling's classics take place). And similar to the experiences of Harry Potter, Oksa, the 'saviour', the 'last hope', is hassled by a senior teacher at her new school named Dr. Orthon-McGraw, who turns out to be the arch-enemy - Professor Snape, anybody? (Well, for 6 books, he was a major thorn in Harry's side). And despite being completely vaporised, Dr. Orthon-McGraw is not quite dead. In this second book, he even floats around in spirit form, eventually inhabiting another human's body, ala Voldemort's possession of Professor Quirrel in "Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone". And it seems only a matter of time that he regains his own body to take his rightful place as leader of the Felons (the equivalent of the 'Death-Eaters'). And the comparisons do not end there. A 'knut' is a form of wizard currency in the Harry Potter world, here it is the surname of Brune & Naftali, the Swedish Runaway couple. The 'Dementors' are foul creatures which suck warmth, love and happy memories right out of a person. In Oksa's world, we have the 'Diaphans' who do the same. Orthon-McGraw was vaporised using a deadly spell - a CRUCI-maphilia. One of the 3 'Unforgivable Curses' in the Harry Potter world is the .... wait for it ... CRUCI-atus curse!!
The cover to "Oksa Pollock - The Forest Of Lost Souls" is incredibly striking, promising mystery, magic and adventure. Upon opening the book, I was slightly concerned that the book was translated into English by someone other than the original authors. Although the translation of foreign books are a common occurrence, there are many instances where phrases or statements do not work as well when written or spoken in a different language than originally intended. Even if the translator (in this case, Sue Rose) is an accomplished author herself, she still has to translate 'as is', without major embellishments or extended additions to the text (otherwise she becomes a co-author, as opposed to just a translator). This is a possible factor leading to what I believe are inherent flaws in the text.
One new thing is introduced after another without sufficient descriptions or explanations as to what they actually are. For example, Oksa carries a creature called a 'Tumble-Bawler' in her equipment bag. From this, we can assume the creature is small in size. We also find out about the creature's ability to precisely pinpoint the location of objects or things. However, nowhere in the entire book is there a sufficient description of what the creature actually looks like - not even once. (You'll have to wait until Chapter 2 in the third book, "Oksa Pollock: The Heart Of Two Worlds", to read the description "a small creature which looked remarkably like a bumble-bee without legs"). Instead, the authors seem convinced that the reader will not question, but rather be wowed by the non-stop weird names given to things. "Let's have a name for a spell - What shall we call it? A colocynthises. Let's have another? A putrefactios." Eventually, it feels like new words are being thrown in for the sake of it, with little help to the narrative. For example, in Chapter 7, after breaking into her school to retrieve a painting, Oksa and her father use a "Ventosa Capacitor" to cling to the ceiling like bats, to avoid being caught by the caretaker. Why? She can FLY!!!
Oksa can also throw balls of fire, punch people without touching them, perform skilful somersaults like a ninja, cause hurricanes and mini-typhoons when angry. Yet she needs to use a weapon to battle (e.g. a Granok-Shooter). Yet she seems to wait till her friends are attacked, injured, or unnecessarily aggravated , before 'remembering' to use of her gifts.
Then there is the sudden mood changes of all the characters. One minute they happy, the next they're snapping at someone, without cause. In Chapter 17, Oksa's father, Pavel, is reunited with his daughter having been temporarily separated from her. For no reason at all, he comes over bitter all of a sudden. The chapter is even entitled 'Bitterness'. Why? He is reunited with Oksa, he should be happy.
A favourite emotion of the authors is embarrassment - there must be about 20 different occasions when a character will get red-in-the-face after being embarrassed. They will calm down, and then do the same thing again, getting red-in-the-face once more.
Finally, we have events in the narrative that do not make much sense. Chapter 26 ends with the Runaways being surrounded by Airborne Sirens. After an initial tension-filled moment, they amble along the tunnels with the sirens following, almost calmly engaging in conversations as if nothing is the matter. This continues until mid-Chapter 29 when the sirens attack again and kill one of their party. Why not run away, or stand and fight, two and a half chapters ago?
During their quest, after escaping the latest trial, getting separated, and finally coming together again, the group locate one of the trapped people they are looking for, a fellow Runaway named Reminicens (at the beginning of Chapter 18). This character then proceeds to explain over 10 PAGES who she is and how she got trapped in the first place. The group have just escaped the latest danger, one would think they would get a move on.
In summary, the book incorporates many good ideas. The overall plot is not that bad, and the book incorporates some popular themes. As discussed above, the often chaotic nature of the narrative, as well as, at times, the poor composition and effect, may be a case of 'lost-in-translation' as much as tight editing to keep the book length reduced. This may well be made into a movie one day. But as a read, the series can only get better.Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"A story of fantasy and magic in a recognisably modern world…"
I was really intrigued by this book - a female heroine in a recognisably modern world (with mobile phones and technology) but also in the realms of fantasy and magic. This is definitely a book which will appeal to readers who have enjoyed the Harry Potter books. This is the middle book of a trilogy - the writers are not as expansive or accomplished as J. K. Rowling in terms of their ability to weave the back story successfully into the plot so definitely read book one first as there are a number of characters and magical creatures and it’s not always easy to get to grips with who’s who… Oksa, the feisty heroine is quite teenagery and her emotions frequently run high - as do the other teens in the story as they come to terms with their identities. The grown-ups and the children have plenty of convincing flaws.
The central story is the highlight, the ‘impicturement’; the characters are inadvertently drawn into a picture as a form of punishment (there’s a complex backstory to do with this). They experience several challenges or ‘levels’ - a cross between Tolkein and a computer game. Another theme which will appeal to readers is the emerging environmental catastrophe which occurs - after the flooding of this winter in the UK, the events as they unfold do seem very plausible.Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"A great page turner!!…"
Full of magic and mystique, tension and drama, I flew through the book, in order to find out whether The Runaways would find Gus; whether they would all make it back from the forest in one piece and whether Oksa would fall under the spell of Tugdual. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and before I knew it it was finished. Anne Plichota and Cendrine Wolf have created another excellent book for anyone missing the Harry Potter books. I’m looking forward to number three already!Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
This book is a must read. A fantastic read and magical adventure.Read moreLess
good book for fans of harry potter series and philip pullman dark materials series featuring a feisty thirteen year old girl as main character its full of magic and mystery good for 9-14 year oldsRead moreLess