Top critical review
Could have been better
Reviewed in India on 18 March 2021
I know there is a lot of hoopla around this book. But honestly, I didn't like it as much as I wanted to like it. (Although I think it will make a good movie if made because it will visually overcome the lacking in writing.)
It is overall good, the plot is good, the world building is good, the magic system is good and I liked the sea imagery and how it entices the main character. I liked the little details to the characters, especially Chauncey's dream to be a bellhop. But I found everything a little 'too cute' and the writing style, pace of the book and the predictability seem to be written for a younger audience, but the content and the message seem to be for an older audience and that gives a confused feeling while reading. The magical youths in the orphanage are really interesting and unique, but I couldn't agree with the author trying to portray a wyvern similar to humans. I also couldn't connect very much with the main character with respect to how he never thought of the future the children, if he gives DICOMY a bad report of a place. Someone with as good an observation as his should have given it a thought. The second half of the book is definitely better. Started to feel the connection with the main character, which is so essential in a book. The message of the book, which becomes clear in the first half itself, is a strong one. I picked up this book for the magical creatures and fantasy world thing, but ended up liking the romantic angle more.
I was worried that I didn't like the book as much as others and that made me feel different but then I remembered that the book taught people to accept differences.. so... :-)