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Archive for November 7th, 2014

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The Witches of West Shore (Broken Shell Island – 1) by Dalya Moon

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Opal gets a dirty old suitcase for her birthday. She’s not impressed. Her grandfather tells her she’ll need it, because she’s going to live with her great aunt on Broken Shell Island. Opal wonders if her grandfather hasn’t gone senile, because Broken Shell Island is a made-up magical place that their family friend Flora Fritz writes picture books about.

Oh, but the island is real. And magic.

Opal encounters magical plants, animals, and danger, too. The evening she arrives, a body is discovered in the woods, not far from where she passed through. Worse, a terrifying creature has emerged from the ground, and it hungers for the innocent, whether the people of the island believe in it or not.

While young Opal is eager to fit into her new life, perhaps becoming a witch herself, she’s mainly concerned about surviving her first week. Riding a unicorn is not quite the experience she expected, nor is her first encounter with hair-styling pixies.

Life is beautiful, magical, and perilous, on Broken Shell Island.

Opal lives with her Grandfather and has grown up reading a friends stories about Broken Shell Island. On her 15th birthday she is expecting a bike when instead she is given a suitcase. Her Grandfather is ill and she is going to live with her Aunt Waleah, a woman she has never heard of, on Broken Shell Island. Things get more interesting when she is dumped off the ship and finds her way to the island with the help of the suitcase.

When Opal gets to the island she is arrested for murder. After she is cleared her adventures start. She is then sent on odd errands, meets all kinds of creatures from the stories she grew up with, and finds herself on an adventure.

This story reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, one of my favorites! Opal is uprooted and tossed into a magical mystery story. There are all of the various characters from witches to pixies and unicorns. There are many rambling adventures she finds herself on. What I liked the best is the modern necessities, ie cell phones and such. It helped to give the story a truer fantasy feel.

This is a real good story that I think some adults and young adults but I don’t know about the younger kids. There are some topics that seem a bit mature for younger readers. But if you like stories like Alice in Wonderland I think you will like this one.

I received this book for free from the Library Thing Early Reader program.

To purchase this story but sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

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