night while waiting for her father to get home, ten year old Emi
wanders around her home when she accidentally drops her teddy bear
into a mysterious chest. Anxiously going in after it, Emi falls into
the chest and is teleported to a strange new world. Not long after
waking up in this new world she is saved by her teddy bear who has
come to life and grown several times her size. During her journey to
find a way back home Emi meets several new friends including a royal
guard, a scientist, and many others. Her focus changes from looking
for a way home once she begins uncovering clues that her father may
actually be in the strange land also! With the help of her new
friends Emi embarks on a journey that will change her life forever.
Looking up she saw a large wooden
chest with an old rusty padlock. Lightning flashed for a few seconds through
the attic window. She noticed that the lock on the chest was open. Curious, she
removed it and lifted the lid.
suddenly felt something pulling her down. It got harder and harder to hold onto
the edge of the chest. She could feel her hands slipping. Just then she saw the
lid begin to close. Afraid of her hands being crushed, she released her grip
and fell down into the chest.
rustling in the nearby bushes interrupted her sobbing. She looked up and saw a
wolf like creature emerge from the forest. Its fur was pitch black.
turned carefully and slowly to see the creature that she thought would soon end
her. It was her teddy. She felt at ease but confused. The creature holding the
decayed stem looked exactly like her teddy but much larger. Its mouth was sewed
shut. It had the same two uneven button eyes.
am I?” She asked.
“You’re in my
cabin. If you want a more specific answer, you’re in the Goddess Gardens.”
was still confused. “And where is that?”
The woman wasn’t sure what to say.
“Where are you from girl?” she asked with an interested look.
Rating: four out of five stars
Emi is a fascinating sci-fi/fantasy story whose protagonist is an ordinary young girl. I found myself thinking of the tale as a steampunk Alice in Wonderland. When young Emi's father goes missing, she is left alone with her abusive, alcoholic mother. While exploring the attic one night, she falls into a mysterious chest while trying to rescue her teddy bear and is transported to a magical land. She learns that the citizens of this strange place know her father, who has gone missing for them as well. Emi and her now-giant teddy vow to help their new friends while searching for her father.
Emi is a plucky and far brighter than average young girl, yet she is also realistic and vulnerable. She is worried about what might have happened to her father and concerned for her now-sentient teddy bear's well-being. I like the fact that Emi is adept at science. Such a character may encourage girls to pursue STEM careers.
While the story is a bit dark and there are scenes of peril, I believe that it is appropriate for middle-grade readers and up. Middle-grade readers might require an adult's help reading the book as there is some sophisticated language, but I believe the story will appeal to young people in this age range and the book could become one of their favorites.
The only reason I rated the story four rather than five stars is that there were places where it seemed unpolished. This may be because I received an advance review copy so the editing process wasn't entirely complete. The story itself is strong, interesting, and well worth a look.
Primeaux is a new independent author from a small town in Louisiana.
His first book “Emi” is the beginning of a new fantasy series
reminiscent of adventures like “Alice in Wonderland” or “Wizard
of Oz” with a few components inspired by classic role playing
games. Apart from working a full-time management job, Ian spends most
of his free time writing and crafting extensions of the world created
in “Emi” to ensure that there will always be a new story ready to
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