My rating: 3 of 5 stars
One day the orphan Catalina is taken home by her lone surviving relative, Aunt Griselda. Unfortunately for Catalina, all does not quite go as expected. Her aunt hates her and makes her life miserable. She learns she is to be sold to Stefano the Knife-thrower and used as a human target. To escape a certain death, Catalina leaps through a mysterious crossover point and ends up in a new land called Arboroth. There, she is encounters a wolf-boy and a talking rat. She is beset by a cruel and inhospitable landscape, and all the while hunted by a pack of relentless hounds. Then Catalina discovers her aunt is also in Arboroth. And Griselda isn’t happy.
Catalina reminds me a of fairy tale, good verses evil, complete with an evil aunt who also happens to be a witch. Catalina is a very strong female lead and I think makes a great role model, which is one of the reasons why I did like the book.
The story is well written & grabs you from the first page, but unfortunately, the tale (for me) slows down a lot for most of the middle. I didn’t really feel like the story was anything original – and yes, I know, everything’s been done before & nothing is truly original anymore! But you just knew everything was going to work out in the end, and worse yet, I felt like I knew what was going to happen in every scene before it happened. I liked the story, I liked the characters, I liked the writing – I just didn’t love any part of it. I do, however, strongly think that the intended audience (young adult) would like the book a lot more than me. This comes up occasionally – I love young adult books, but sometimes they are just a little too young for me, and that’s to me actually a sign of a very well written book.
I received a copy of this book to review from the author.