<Emilie and the Hollow World
Reading Level: Young Adult
ARC: 287 pages
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release date: April 2, 2013
Series: Emilie #1
Source: From Publisher for Review
Reviewed by: Lili
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.
It’s very hard to put my thoughts into words regarding this one because as enjoyable as it was, it was not what I expected. Wells has the tendency to oversimplify concepts in this novel, which makes it read much differently than the average young adult novel. In reality, I felt as if I was reading a middle grade level novel. And while this novel was not enjoyable, I think that this aspect of the writing style will hinder many from enjoying it. With that being said, there was nothing bad about it because of the lower level writing and ideals, so this would be a good book for kids.
What I liked the most about this novel was the attention to detail. I don’t want to give anything away, but the detail exhibited in the descriptions of the Hollow World were superb. I mean, it’s a hidden second world in the center of Earth, how much more awesome can it get? Half submerged under the sea with strange, unknown creatures and unique findings were all incredibly imaginative.
It also helps that the main character was easily likable and respectable because she possesses all the qualities a good young adult main character should possess. At the young age of 15 she became this decisive woman who does whatever she wants with her life. She took the bull by the horns and rolled with it. She’s curious, intelligent, driven, brave, and so many other things. And what I really like about her is that all of these amazing character points are fueled by her desire to explore the world. This, in truth, is something that I personally can relate to. I liked how, for once, I came across a main character that loves culture and learning as opposed to boys and kissing.
This book is good for those looking for a unique journey and an adventurous heroine. It is a quick read that is easily enjoyable for younger readers of any gender. I think that this novel may be a little too simple for the average young adult reader, but a parent can certainly find ways to appreciate this one. A cute science fiction story, I don’t regret reading this one, but I am in no hurry to read book two.