Eeek – I cannot explain to you how excited I have been from the very first page of this book to write a review for it! Also, this is my first ever book review so that’s also very exciting. Just a quick but very big thank you to Blue Ink Press for sending me this beauty and to Sherry Torgent for being such a talented author.
So, Dandelion on Fire is book one of The Greene Island Mystery series and it’s written by the wonderful Sherry Torgent. It has won the 2016 Benjamin Franklin Book Award Gold Medalist for Teen Fiction and it sure as hell deserves it. Dandelion on Fire can only be described as one of a kind, I really haven’t read anything like it before and honestly, I loved it. It’s listed under the Young Adult genre, and it fits that perfectly but I personally think that it would be enjoyed by such a vast audience and could be listed under Mystery, Fantasy, Sci-Fi , Humor and maybe even a little Romance! It’s genre-bending and well, beautiful. It’s a murder mystery with a little bit of a twist, the murder weapon being a dandelion seed. It all begins with the legend that is the curse of Viola, leaving Hardy and his friends to figure it all out with the help of their supernatural abilities.
**I’m going to be very careful here to not give anything big away or spoil any surprises, I promise!**
I’m going to start talking about the characters straight away here because I just cannot wait to express my love for Darcy. So, one of the things that I look for most in a book is being able to connect with the characters, not necessarily in a way that mean I can relate to them or their situation but in a way that kind of makes me feel like I’ve been friends with them for years, in way that make you temporarily forget that are fictional – and I definitely found that with Darcy. From the very first moment we met her, I connected to her. Throughout the book I just felt closer and closer to her, her character was created so brilliantly and intricately that I just felt like I was there beside her the whole time. It’s safe to say that my favourite character is Darcy. The other characters, they are strong and are created very cleverly. For example, Hardy’s character developed and grew so much throughout the story – and I love me some character development. The imaginative development of characters among the young and old, and particularly the fantastic use of supernatural abilities of the main characters was just phenomenal.
The plot was just mind-blowing and so well developed, you could really tell that Torgent gave this book a lot of thought. I’m one of those awful readers that searches for plot holes and little mistakes, but I could not find one for the life of me, it all fitted perfectly and was coined together very cleverly. All the different elements of supernatural, mystery, romance and sci-fi all worked together so very well.
From the very first chapter I knew that I would love this book, it was written so well that I was just completely hooked from the beginning. In the first chapter you were given a taste of the supernatural abilities of the characters, and the mystery and adventure that was to come but it didn’t give very much away so you had no choice but to keep on reading. There was just so much intrigue and that just got stronger and stronger throughout the book, which is what made me keep turning those pages.
Torgent has this unique and beautiful talent to create an almost mini movie in your head as you’re reading each word, and the best example of this was when Darcy walked into the prom … I saw the whole. I heard the music, I saw the twinkling lights reflecting off of her gold sequin dress and oh my god, it was incredible. That particular scene was just written so amazingly and I really did feel like I was there.
The ending. Oh my goodness THE ENDING! I honestly did not expect anything like that. There were so many aspects of the last chapter of Dandelion on Fire that I loved, so many surprises and revelations – it was just amazing and I honestly cannot wait to get my hands on The Curse of Viola.
Now, the thing about a good book review is that you should mention bits that you didn’t like or bits that didn’t work for you and I’m really struggling with this part because I loved every second of it. It was really refreshing to read a mystery/supernatural book that didn’t have gruesome scenes and/or inappropriate language or anything like that which I find takes a lot away from the story but this was just enjoyable and clean from start to finish. It was weaved together so intricately and full of suspense. There is so much going on within the story, and it could be said that at times it moves incredibly fast and I did find myself having to back track a few pages just to clarify things, but that could very well be down to me reading too fast because I needed to know what happens next!
All in all, this is a book that I won’t forget about for a long time. It took me on one hell of ride and I loved every second of it. It was written so well and Torgent did such a good job with it. So, a huge well done to Sherry Torgent for creating such a masterpiece!
**WARNING – Do not pick up this book unless you have nothing planned for the next couple of days, you will not want to put it down!!**