Book Review: Amelie Trott and the Earth Watchers by Morya Irving

About Amelie Trott and the Earth Watchers

When would-be author, Amelie Trott, meets a ten foot tall stranger on the stairs she is faced with an impossible challenge: to rescue her family home from the clutches of the devious Bottomley-Slighs. However, she is soon to discover that this is simply a rehearsal for averting a more sinister danger still – the End of the World… This is the extraordinary story of how one small girl stopped a planetary catastrophe. It’s a very timely book, written for the child in us all, with a forceful message about the power of young people to transform the world – a theme currently demonstrated by brave young heroes like Greta Thunberg. And with magical synchronicity, the very week Greta began her lone vigil outside the Swedish government last year, over 1,000 miles (1,897 km) away in the fictional world of books, Amelie Trott took to Parliament Square, London – on a mission to avert the End of the World. It’s a family drama with an international feel – set mainly in England but with episodes in Washington DC and around the world.

 

My Thoughts

What a perfectly delightful book this is! We first meet Amelie as a feisty, confident and assertive ten-year old giving a public address, reminiscent of the Greta Thunbergs emerging among the youth of today. We are then taken back to when Amelie is a typical child who hates Maths and gets into trouble with her teacher for mind-wandering. How does Amelie get from being a naive, dreamy and innocent girl to a gifted author capable of averting the end of the world? Initially, the plot has two drivers. Amelie receives a strange visitation from a young boy who predicts she is to become a bestseller author, something she could only dream of, especially as she appears in her own eyes to have no talent for anything much. Then there is the need to save her family’s rundown home. Hadleigh House is on the verge of collapse and it is rumoured there is smuggler’s gold buried in tunnels beneath its foundations. Held within the walls of Amelie’s home is a bad-tempered ghost and a tall stranger and harbinger of doom.

From here, the plot unfolds rapidly with numerous adventures as Amelie and Tim race to save the world. They are helped by the Earth Watchers, higher beings who have chosen to help humanity at a critical time in its evolution, higher beings who have chosen Amelie as their ambassador for change.

The narrative is upbeat and empowering and just what the world needs right now. Irving’s amusing and almost comical characterisations are most endearing. I especially enjoyed the interactions of Amelie and her brother Tim and her great-grandfather Storm.

Beautifully written and immediately engaging, Amelie Trott and the Earth Watchers brims with magical moments and has all the elements of classic storytelling. Irving has penned a tale with broad appeal, enchanting youngsters and adults alike. I would like to see this highly relevant novel taken up by schools.

Isobel Blackthorn is an award-winning author of unique and engaging fiction. She writes gripping mysteries, dark psychological thrillers and historical fiction. She is the author of The Unlikely Occultist: A biographical novel of Alice A Bailey and Alice A. Bailey: Life and Legacy

Book review: Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster

Esme's Wish review

About Esme’s Wish

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about Ariane, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.

My Thoughts   

Before starting this book, the reader is shown a charming map of a mysterious place named Esperance, capital of Aeolia, a map that hints at what’s to come. The story opens in our world, on the wedding of Esme’s father and her new stepmother, Penelope. Esme isn’t happy and she is unable to disguise it. She’s missing her mother, Ariane, who was lost at sea presumed dead. Esme is a lonely child, little liked by the villagers of Picton Island where her father is lighthouse keeper. An outsider, she wants nothing more than to find out what happened to her mum.

When Penelope’s sister, the despicable Mavis, moves in to mind Esme while her father has his honeymoon, Esme experiences strange headaches and dizzy spells. She has a vision of her mum and dad and is puzzled by it. Her anguish over her mother intensifies and she decides to take off to Spindrift Island where Ariane disappeared many years before. As her quest unfolds, Esme is swept unexpectedly into another world, the world of Esperance, where she makes new friends and continues her search.

What unfolds is a series of adventures large and small, of dragons and other mythical creatures, and of special magical gifts. To say more would spoil the enchantment.

Foster has a fluid, engaging narrative style. The writing is simply exquisite. The pacing, plot twists and characterisation are just perfect. Depictions of the city of Esperance are conveyed in vivid and captivating detail. The various threads and elements of the story are woven together beautifully, culminating in an ending filled with wonder and surprises.

This is a story of loss and searching, of ancient Greek myths, of the artistic temperament and supposed insanity, of minds capable of accessing the inner realms the rational mind cannot reach. Absorbing, enchanting, whimsical, Esme’s Wish is a story to lose yourself in. I would recommend this book to readers one and all. Thoroughly enjoyable.