So I’d put this book on hold before it was even published. Then I checked it out, and it sat in my stack for a few days. And I read the inside flap about four times. Magical kids who don’t really know they’re magic. Sigh.
I read a few chapters, and then half, and then three-fourths of the book. I’m not sure I was 100% into this book until the last three chapters. Does that mean it isn’t a good book? It does not.
It is a good book, and I’d guess that’s even more true for kids who love fantasy for the chance to imagine themselves overcoming their struggles in another world. There is a lot of world-building going on, uncovering secrets from the past, disappointment, betrayal, friendship. Also creepy mages who want to combine people with lizards to get close to what seems like a mythical lost group of “founders.”
When all was said and done, I liked the book, even though I’d somehow not wanted to like it most of the way through. There were surprises, and over time, the main character became someone I cared about. I’m not always in the mood for magic and fantasy–so much is poorly done–but this one’s worth a look.
City of Islands by Kali Wallace