Same old, same old.
Oksa is an ordinary teenager who recently moved from Paris to London with her parents Pavel and Marie and her grandmother Dragomira. She was lucky because her best friend Gustave Bellanger also moved to London with his parents and now she doesn't have to feel alone and left out in a new city. Friends are ready to face the challenges before them, new school (where everyone mysteriously speaks French) and many new acquaintances. The worst thing that happened to Oksa until that moment was her new school uniform which partly consisted of a skirt and her new awful mathematics teacher, professor McGraw.
That is, until one day she accidentally sets her doll on fire with a fireball shooting out of her hand. And if that weren't enough she could also fly and move objects from a distance. When a mark began to appear on her belly she decided it was time to tell her grandmother about this. The eccentric Dragomira was shocked and delighted by the turn of events. She gathered the family and her friends and all of them together told Oksa her origin.
They were all from a mysterious land called Edefia or at least their ancestors were. Edefia is located on Earth but is hidden from the rest of the world and no one has managed to find his way back to it yet. Until Oksa. Because Oksa is the new queen and together with her grandmother who also carries the mark they just might be able to find a way and save both lands from their dark future.
There is so much that bothers me in this book that I really don't know where to start.
Every element in this book seems to belong to a different fantasy series. Like it was all collected and made into Oksa Pollock. I'm not saying it's plagiarism but it is close. Or at least it isn't original.
Oksa is a young girl who hates dresses and skirts and loves her torn jeans and karate. She was so forced to fit into this category where she doesn't fit with the rest of the kids her age that it didn't seem plausible at all. Next is her family, the Pollock family. They were also made to fit into this eccentric category. But there is really nothing different about them except for her grandmother and her many many and many different magical creatures. They were perhaps too loving and optimistic (they seemed like they were smoking pot on a regular basis) but other that, nothing different.
Now, for the fun part.
Oksa is ofc everything but ordinary because if she were so really dreadfully ordinary no one would wright about her. She has powers, supernatural powers. Plural. Everything from shooting fireballs, flying, telekinesis, walking on walls, mood weather changing, super hearing and super speed to usage of magical weapons. A bit much? Yeah, definitely so. TOO MUCH POWERS. Until her thirteenth year she had nothing and now she is suddenly a superman, batman, hulk, spider-man and wonder-woman combined. You really should have chose one or two out of all those and the story would be much more believable.
Her mark. A star on her belly. Harry Potter much?
Her weapons, special sticks made from special rare trees. HP much? Not yet?
Her arch enemy, cold and calculating PROFESSOR McGraw who always bullies her in class has a stone which prolongs his life? PROFESSOR and A STONE? If that didn't convince you I don't know what will.
Oh yeah, and her special private school is an old monastery and looks a little bit magical and old and different. Right. Original.
The thousand creatures quiz
Since Oksa finds out about her origin, we are bombarded with information about the land Edelfia and her THOUSANDS OF DIFFERENT CREATURES. With every turn of the page we are introduced with a new special creature and its impossible stupid look. SOMETHING LIKE A POTATO WITH HAIR? Really? And it continues on and on and on. Creatures and plants described in detail whereas I already wondered if perhaps I was reading a book on botany and zoology... and if that will be on a test after I finish the book.
Too much in a scarce few pages. There is no slow introduction. It's like a dictionary and now memorize. But oh well, it would be acceptable if not for Oksa's training.
Training that only consisted of showing how Oksa mastered everything as soon as she got the powers. She knows everything and has super memory. Everything she is once told she memorizes. In school, all A's. She is the best in everything. Including speed, hearing... Too much of everything -.- .
Her best friend Gus
He just drags along. From the beginning. He can't beat her in school, in PA, in karate, he has no powers and when one girl starts to talk to him, Oksa loses her mind. When Gus points out how useless he is and repeatedly whines about it Oksa tells him that he is wrong and that ofc he matters because he is her BEST FRIEND and supports her. Imagine that? All you'll be good at in life is being my best friend. And that is all, because she fancies someone else in a romance department.
All in all
The story is TOO MUCH, RUSHED, DRAGGED IN A MEANINGLESS CONVERSATIONS AND MONOLOGUES. The characters are forced to be so special that they feel fake. Storyline isn't original but it is ENTERTAINING. Oksa is a difficult character to like but once you get pass that exterior you'll see a kind girl who you might grew to like if she stops acting like a spoiled six year old. Too much creatures and plants, too much powers that she masters in a heart beat, she is the best in her school and among her family. She treats her best friend something on a line how Clary treats Simon in the Mortal Instruments (he is supposed to be there but she isn't interested in him and he makes no difference in the overall story).
In the future, I see a growing romance of Oksa towards Tugdual and Gustave's towards Oksa. Even her blonde male friend whose-name-I-forgot from school might interfere in that triangle.
The adventures are amusing. I liked it. It made me feel like a teenager again. With all those desires and hopes and silly behavior. But, once again, whenever Oksa got into trouble she weaseled out of them with her powers. Anti-climatic.
The bad guy and his children were not mean enough. Even though this is a young adult book, the bad guy just didn't pose enough of a threat to be considered dangerous. It needs more work.
Nearly 500 pages later, despite all of its flaws I think it does deserve credit. I will stay with the Series and Oksa's strange adventures.