Giselle's Reviews > The Novice

The Novice by Taran Matharu
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An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the author for review.

I loved the beginning where we see how Fletcher lives and how he came to be. It gave me a sense of where he was coming from and what point in his life we're about to take part in. The writing is excellently detailed especially when Taran describes a setting and scene. It felt like I was dropped into that world. Even though this is a young adult novel, I thought the setting and the experiences were more targeted towards a middle grade audience. He talks more like a twelve year old child than a teenager.

Tons of similarities to the Lord of the Rings , Golden Compass , Ender's Game , and Pokemon , The Novice isn't bringing anything new to the fantasy genre. I was hoping for a whole new world world filled with new creatures and races, but it felt too similar to other books I have read. Orcs, dwarves, elves, humans? Sound familiar? Also the Demon companionship was too similar to the Daemons in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. The writing is good, but it's also weakened by the modern dialogue and the lack of a central story.

I kept trying to wonder what the plot was..Was it Fletcher trying to prove himself to his adoptive father? Was it him beating the school bullies? Was it winning the tournaments? I liked it, but I had trouble getting into it and promptly stopped reading to pick up another book in the meantime. It doesn't have that stickiness quality that other fantasy books bring. When you're wanting to know what happens next and you definitely don't want to stop reading but you have to because it's so late into the night. This didn't have it. I couldn't remember how many times I stopped reading it so I extended my reading duration by a week when I can usually finish a book within two days or so. Maybe it had something to do with the tiny tiny font size? What is the setting supposed to be? They have guns, but are also living in a renaissance like world? I didn't understand it. Was it a modern setting or was it something earlier? There were too many holes and not enough story to fill it in.

Overall, I think this is a good start, but I needed something to keep me glued to the pages and the biggest thing that was lacking was a major story-line. Hopefully things will be answered in the next book if I'm still interested in it, I might still pick it up.



"Keep everyone in their proper place, that's the way to do it. Everyone in their rightful place." (125)

"A demon is not an item to be tossed like an old shirt." (213)

"This doesn't change anything between us, but it is how things must be." (253)

"If we cannot stand united in the face of adversity, then we have already lost." (278)

"A warrior's greatest enemy can also be his greatest teacher." (312)
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Reading Progress

December 6, 2014 – Shelved
December 6, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
December 6, 2014 – Shelved as: 2015
March 26, 2015 – Shelved as: arc-physical
March 26, 2015 – Shelved as: from-author
May 9, 2015 – Started Reading
May 9, 2015 –
page 1
0.28% "Ahh the font size is tiny.. *squints*"
May 11, 2015 –
page 48
13.52% "This can't be good..Eeps"
May 12, 2015 –
page 104
29.3% "Orcs, elves, dwarves and pet demons, oh my"
May 13, 2015 –
page 126
35.49% "Spoiled brats is right.. Gross. No one gives the right to treat people so inferior just because of their station or how much money their family has."
May 13, 2015 –
page 191
53.8% "Ah now I get the GOLDEN COMPASS comparison.. It's also like POKEMON and FIRE AND FLOOD"
May 14, 2015 –
page 262
73.8% "Is this the story developing right here?"
May 14, 2015 –
page 334
94.08% "Wished these tournaments were spread out through the book instead of at the end"
May 14, 2015 – Finished Reading
March 30, 2016 – Shelved as: 2-star
March 30, 2016 – Shelved as: age-young-adult
March 30, 2016 – Shelved as: genre-fantasy
March 30, 2016 – Shelved as: genre-demons
March 30, 2016 – Shelved as: genre-action-adventure

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Giselle Omigosh! I would love one! Thank you so much!! Will PM you now :)

Alexandra Ih my! I am on Wattpad too! The author and publisher had given ARCs from there too! If you want one I have an eArc of the book. :)

Giselle Aww so nice of him, but he also reached out to me so I have the physical arc. Also you can't share e-arcs with anyone. Only the person who has given is allowed.


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