The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri is his debute English novel.
It is a fantasy novel which follows 4 childhood friends as they discover more and more about the town they lived in and themselves. They have a pact where every year they meet at a restaurant in their childhood town and when Art (one of the friends) doesn’t turn up events start to mirror those of 20 years ago. He is the one member who insisted on this pact and when he doesn’t show it is worrying. The 3 friends stay in town and investigate his disappearance.
I really enjoyed this book and I loved the mystery to it. As I read I continued to wonder what was going to happen next which I think is great in a book. Although this is a fantasy book it isn’t really heavy on fantasy element. Towards the end there is more of those elements however there is more of a focus on the characters.
I thought the characters were realistic and well written but at times they are not all likeable. Which I don’t think is a bad thing. In life there are people that you like and those not so much and therefore having this in the book almost makes it more realistic. It looks at the relationship between the character in depth which is something I really enjoyed. They are not perfect and they all have flaws and do things we really hate about them. I also like this about the characters as it adds dimension to the book.
I really like this book and would recommend it to those who not only like fantasy novels but also phycological thriller and mysteries.
Many thanks, Caitlin X
(Ps please comment if you have read this book or are going to)
The Lost Witch by Melvin Burgess was part of a recent subscription box service I received that I have written a previous blog post on and I have just finished reading it. It is based upon a young girl, Bea, who discovers she has powers. These powers are something that she has never experienced before and she has to come to terms with this alongside a witch hunt headed straight for her. The book is a young adult fiction and one which I enjoyed reading.
This is a book that I generally would not have chosen and I am glad it was a part of this subscription box as I really liked the novel. It has a good balance of character development, mystery and magic to create a great novel. I liked the structure of the book as well as it is chapter based with each chapter being reasonably small in length which allows for easy progression and targets.
The characters in this book are a real strong point as all of the main characters are extremely well thought out and developed. The main character of Bea is likeable and realistic even although she is a witch. She has a real innocence about her as she tries to come to terms with the new discoveries she makes every day and you see a real vulnerable side throughout the book which would be expected with a young teenager. The other witches you meet throughout the book are also very well developed. This is something I didn’t expect however as there are a few of them and they are not necessarily the main character. Each witch is explained and met in a concise yet informative manner which allows for an insight into who they are and why they are that way. However, I feel as though when we meet back up with Bea’s dad his mental state wasn’t explored enough and I didn’t comprehend fully how he got to that stage.
I found the storyline intriguing and it kept me wanting to read on however I felt as though the ending didn’t do the rest of the book justice. The whole novel is leading up to a climax where it is the witches versus the hunt however I felt as though it was very anti-climactic. It was expected to be a big immense battle which it wasn’t. I also felt as though it was rushed. A lot of time was spent building this moment up but when the ending occurred I felt kind of disappointed. I feel as though even although there was a conclusion it wasn’t one that left me feeling as I had completed this book. I think the ending would have been a lot better if it had a few dedicated chapters specifically to it to be able to explore the possibilities and why it had ended in the way it had. Either that or chapter dedicated to what happened after the moment between the hunt and the witches and to see how Bea handled it alongside the other witches.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book as it is a great read with a great adventure. It has a young female lead and a great storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would love to read other books by this author.
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please comment if you have ever read this book or would like to in the future)