Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: Claws by Mike & Rachel Grinti




This was a very fun read by two promising authors.  Young Emma has had a difficult year. Her sister Helena has disappeared causing her parents to go nearly bankrupt in their search for her . Lack of funds has forced the family to move to a trailer park on the edges of a deadly magical forest and with dangerous neighbors like hags.

To make matters worse all the students at Emma's school now look down on her thanks to her new zip code, and her best friend isn't even allowed to be friends with her publicly!

In the midst of all her misfortunes, Emma discovers a rag tag black cat has taken residence in her new bedroom. Jack isn't a normal cat. He is a former magical cat who has lost his pride and sees in Emma a way to get his magic back.

Jack brings the magical Pride-Heart energy to Emma who finds herself hosting a powerful magic that she can barely control. She has enough magic however to temporarily convince the pride cats to help search for Helena.

The Grinti's have created an interesting magical world that coexists along with the mundane human world. This gives them a wonderful template to tell many fantasy adventure stories. I really enjoyed Emma's character. her actions and reactions are very genuine. Jack is a fun sarcastic character and despite using Emma for his own needs, he makes choices that protect Emma and help her powers grow.  I enjoyed watching Emma and Jack's relationship develop and meeting all the strange inhabitants of Emma's world: Trolls, Harpies, Ratters and the Fae.

Wonderful character growth and a very satisfying ending. I don't read a lot of middle grade books but this one has a wonderful crossover appeal for teens and adults.

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