Emma and The Minotaur by Jon Herrera
Recently I found some horror books by authors I never heard of before. And they were so good. I loved them, except for the fact that they had incredibly dark endings. Especially the second one. Yikes! It was a real bummer. So I wanted something light-hearted and sweet and possibly with a little bit of whimsy thrown in. So I thought I would try this book Emma and the Minotaur. It has been compared to Narnia and Percy Jackson, and it seemed like the pallet cleanser I needed. So here is my review of Emma and The Minotaur by Jon Herrera.
So what is it about? It follows a precocious eleven-year-old. She’s quirky, has an overactive imagination and befriends a boy named Jake, because she thinks he might be a wizard. But he is a not wizard. He’s a poor lonely boy who is sad because his father has vanished. In fact, his father is one of many townsfolk who are vanishing and all clues to this mystery lead to the forest. A forest that Emma is forbidden to go into. But despite that, the children unravel the mystery. And it involves mythical creatures, a ferocious Minotaur and magic.
So the good and bad. Let’s start with the good. The writing style, pacing, and characters are very similar to CS Lewis’s methods for the Narnia series. It is so darn charming and packed with whimsy that it is just downright adorable all the time. Even before anything magical happens, Emma is a joy to be around because of the writing style. The characters are great. And the tale itself is sweet. No. It’s not ground breaking. It has no big twists and turns. But it’s executed very well. And since this book is for children, I found it impressive that for me, as an adult, I found some joy in this. Also, I'm sure kids will enjoy this.
The bad? I felt the ending, or I should say the final third, was a bit rushed. The pace quickened dramatically in the last part, and it felt a little off. There are also some unanswered questions. But those may be intentional, to be an answered in the sequels. Also, there are two characters I kept getting mixed up. There is her father William and her older brother Will. Because one name is short for the other, I thought they were the same character for a while.
Overall, this book is absolutely adorable. Is it for everyone? Of course not. Kids will love it. And if you're an adult who has fond memories of the Narnia tales, you’ll find some joy in it too. But everyone else, this probably is not for you. But for the kids and those young at heart, this is a sweet nature must read.
Overall Rating: An Adorable Old School Children’s Adventure for the Young and Young at Heart.