Happy Sunday, everyone! I was thrilled when I was asked to be part of the blog tour for Eren by Simon P. Clark — it’s a wonderful Middle Grade debut which — in my humble opinion — is one of the best I’ve read this year. (And if you know me, then you know I quite a harsh reviewer! So when I say something is good, then it’s good.)
About the Author:
Simon P. Clark is a children’s author living and working in NJ, USA. Originally from Britain, his debut novel Eren will be published in the UK by Constable & Robinson in Autumn 2014.
Simon is represented by Molly Ker Hawn of The Bent Agency.
Here’s what I thought of Eren:
Author: Simon P. Clark
Format/Length: e-ARC/135 pages
Publisher/Date Published: Constable & Robinson/September 2014
Category/Genre: Middle Grade/Urban Fantasy-ish
Description: People are keeping secrets from Oli – about where his father is, and why he hasn’t come to join them at his uncle’s house in the country.
But Oli has secrets too.
He knows what lives in the attic. Eren – part monster, part dream, part myth. Eren who always seems so interested, who always wants to hear more about Oli’s life. Eren, who needs to hear stories to live, and will take them from Oli, no matter the cost.
4/5 stars –
Eren was a deliciously creepy read that I definitely enjoyed reading. I was sceptical of it to begin with as Middle Grade isn’t something I tend to lean towards . . . but I did enjoy this novel. There were four things in particular that stood out for me while I was reading this — four things that have earned the 4/5 star rating.
1) The dark fairytale feeling of this novel.
2) Clark’s spectacular prose.
3) The fast-paced, engaging element of the story.
4) The pictures.
If you haven’t realized by now, I am in love with everything fairytale-ish. Many of my fantasy novels are loosely based off old and forgotten fairytales — or have some element which has been inspired by them (take my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, Ironheart, for example; I got the idea from watching the trailer of Maleficent). So when I saw this on Netgalley I knew that I just had to request it — and I was thrilled when I was accepted. This novel was most certainly creepy in some places — not scary or anything, considering it’s only a Middle Grade novel, but dark and creepy — which was something I enjoyed the most about it. It was a mixture of strange and bizarre tales, mixed in with Oli’s day-to-day life; a fantastic contrast.
I would most definitely read another novel written by Clark. I think he is a fantastic writer, and the prose was brilliant. Lyrical, engaging; the sort of writing style that I really enjoy to read in novels. I felt like Clark excelled in this area. This was also a relatively fast-paced novel — I mean, look at the word count up there! It’s very short. Very fast-paced. And although at times I wished the author would have slowed down to explain things further, it worked well in engaging the reader.
The novel also contained images at the end of some chapters. They were completely awesome. They helped me visualise the scene in particular, and added to the creepy, dark undertone of the novel.
So I had decided, overall, to rate this novel four of five stars — though I did, for quite some time, consider giving it only three. I ended up on four because there were just too many things that I enjoyed; I felt as though three stars didn’t quite do this novel justice. In saying that, though, there were a couple of things that bothered me, outlined below.
1) I wished things had been explained more!
2) I was not a fan of that ending, I have to admit.
This was quite an ambiguous novel in some respects. Because of the tiny page count I felt as though the author missed an opportunity to explain this further, to develop them more. Take Oli’s father for example. I did not really see the point of that storyline; I mean, I guess it was the catalyst for moving them to the country, I just wished that Oli and his father’s relationship had been developed more. I did not particular care for the father, and was much more interested in what was happening with Eren. The big “mystery” surrounding his father wasn’t really all that mysterious . . . and I felt as though it was a slight let down. I’d been expecting something more exciting to be honest. Slowing down to explain more about Eren would have been wonderful, too. He was certainly and intriguing and mysterious characters, but I didn’t completely get him.
I was very conflicted about the ending. I was quite open-ended, leaving the reader to interpret what would happen next. And while I can understand why the author did this . . . I am not sure I liked it. It was a little too ambiguous for my tastes, and I wished that I had been given some more closure on what happened next.
Overall: this is a read I would definitely recommend. I went into it having no expectations at all — and enjoyed it very much.
And now . . . Time for the giveaway!
Admit it: this is the part you’ve been waiting for.
Rules & Regulations:
Thanks to the publisher, I’m hosting a giveaway of Eren!
— Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY as the book will be shipped from the publisher.
— You’ll have 48 hours to pass along your mailing details.
— I will pass on your details to the publisher if you win.
— The publisher nor I am responsible for any lost packages. Sorry!
— Don’t cheat the system! I’ll know if you do… Any unfair entries will be disqualified.
— If you’re a kid, make sure you have your parents permission.
— Winner will be chosen an complete random.
I don’t think WordPress has the capabilities to embed the Rafflecopter into the post. Grr.