I was overly excited to review Marlene Wynn's The Return of the Avatar Queen when I heard what genre it fell in the New Adult world: fantasy. NOT Contemporary or Romance (or both!) like most seem to be these days. Really, the only New Adult book I've come across that's something other than Contemporary is the Everlast Trilogy by Juliana Haygert (among a few others).
The first in the Averill series is just another step towards some more diversity in the ever growing pool of New Adult books. But here are a few reasons why you should take a moment and read Marlene Wynn's debut novel:
Character Development and World Building – Here's what is probably one of the most difficult things in fantasy and paranormal novels: developing the world – the entire world, because in a fantasy book, most worlds are fictional and completely made up! Wynn has it patted down nicely enough within the book that it's not necessary to have a separate dictionary. I definitely feel as though I know enough about the world of Itova as Chandrea does, and the characters don't feel as though they're miles away from me.
“If you don’t, I won’t bathe, and I’ll sleep curled up right next to you, in all my stinky glory.”Of course, it's definitely not as hilarious as something I saw in a NCRA magazine about a month ago, or finding out what "bae" really means in another language.
No Surprises – This is more of something I really disliked about The Return of the Avatar Queen rather than something I liked. As much as I love knowing all the side characters' history, I really think I would have enjoyed my reading experience more if there were less views. With the amount of views (which, by the way, is quite a lot), I feel as though I'm one step ahead and the author loses the element of surprise. Whatever seems likely to happen in the future to a character or two is already expected by the reader.
Last time I checked, not being surprised does not dwell well. But credit to Wynn for not making me feel like Hansel and Gretel with bread baked by Peeta, to which I turn into crumbs (the bread, not Peeta). Two facts: 1) I like surprises in books. 2) I don't necessarily like surprises in real life.
Here's a little elaboration on #2: A good friend of mine – I call him Mr. Pokey and yes, he's probably related to Lupe. AKA Miss. Pokey. – volunteered to take me to chess tournaments. A few days later, his mom said she could take both of us, but said friend told our coach that I could go without telling me about it first. As a result, I'm have been plotting his demise. Would I really do it? No, but sometimes I want to throw something at his infuriatingly overconfident face.
So here's a word of advice: Don't try to make decisions for others without telling them about it first. At least, don't make decisions for me unless you're my mom. You could regret it dearly.
Basically, you won't really regret reading The Return of the Avatar Queen. Marlene Wynn's debut novel shows a lot of promise in the future and I'm curious as to where the storyline goes from here on out.