Note: I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Daniel Wheatley
Expected publication: March 20th 2018
When fourteen-year-old Zanna Mayfield gets an acceptance letter from St. Pommeroy’s School for Gifted Children, she jumps at the chance to put her considerable intellect to good use. But nothing can prepare her for the first day, when she discovers that she is a Scientist —one able to see and bend the basic functions of the universe like velocity, gravity, and chemical reactions to her own purposes.
As Zanna struggles to make friends and learn how to use her abilities at her new school, her troubles multiply when a mysterious stranger begins stalking her, dead set on keeping Zanna out of St. Pommeroy’s. If Zanna has any hope of finishing her first year, she’ll need to master every function she can get her mind around—including the one that defines Zanna herself. (from Goodreads)
When I picked up the book, I didn’t remember at all what the story was about and it took me completely by surprise. I liked the main character, Zanna, from the first moment. She’s a smart and unique girl, who was searching for her “right” place in the world to stay; it gave me strong Harry Potter vibes, with her starting to attend the new school and learning everything about how to use her own abilities. There were a lot of similarities with Harry Potter, and this is part of what made me enjoy this book so much, because I could experience a bit of that excitement I felt when I first dived into the Wizarding Wold.
I loved the world built by the author. It was so fascinating and refreshing from the usual fantasy or magic world. Sometimes I admit I struggle understanding how things work and are built in fictional worlds; in this case, however, everything was clear and new and exciting at the same time. I also think the characters were very well portrayed, Zanna in primis, as we learn a lot about her and her way of thinking while we read the novel. The other characters are all endearing and funny.
There’s one thing that left me thinking though, as one of the characters is simply portrayed as an “Italian”. Now, as an Italian person myself, what should that mean? I didn’t get that honestly, but I appreciated that various types of characters were into the story. And also, it was funny to see how this Italian girl was depicted (and she was one of my favorite characters along with Zanna!).
I enjoyed every moment I spent reading Zanna’s story. It warmed my heart multiple times and it also made me stay in suspense and eager to know what it would happen next. The only thing I didn’t really like is the way everything resolved in a short time. I think there was much more space to deepen characters and relationships and some things were left there hanging. As far as I know, this is a stand-alone, but I really think this would have worked better as a duology or as a series. There is much more to tell about this world and about Zanna’s future and I really hope that maybe, in the future, a sequel is announced. All in all, I think the ending was pretty good, I just hoped to see more development.
I really think this book should get more attention. This really was a lovely read, that cheered me up and I enjoyed it so much. I’m so happy and grateful I was given the chance to read it in advance.
My rating: 4.5/5 stars