Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wander Dust (The Seraphina Parrish Trilogy #1)


Wander Dust (The Seraphina Parrish Trilogy, #1)Wander Dust by Michelle Warren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Forewarning: I know not many days have passed since Maja reviewed this same book here, but I couldn't help it. This is why you want to read it:


Wander Dust is, in a nutshell, the love child of Jumper and Harry Potter.

This alone should make you dump everything you're reading and make you trigger-happy with your Amazon account. Well, aside from making you swoon just by thinking about Hayden Christensen... but I digress.

This is what I needed to lift me out of my reading slump!
I am in awe of Warren's fertile imagination, her plotting skills and her vivid descriptions. This is an author you definitely want to keep an eye on and I promise her book is certainly worth reading. And it's self-published! This must be the year of the Self-Pubbed Revolution!

The story starts with Seraphina celebrating her 16th birthday, in a restaurant, with her dad and his girlfriend. That's also when strange things start happening to her: candles igniting by themselves even underwater and a dark, dangerous looking lady trying to fry her brain just by looking at her.
When she receives the picture of a handsome guy in the mail and she discovers him stalking her at school, she just knows something's off.
After the umpteenth grounding by her father and a near-breakdown due to what she thinks are hallucinations, her father decides to send her to live with her aunt in Chicago and that's when she begins discovering the truth. Sera can time travel. When she starts attending the prestigious Academy, she learns she is a Wanderer, one-third of a team of time travelers, together with a Protector and a Seer. But when she realizes that her time traveling abilities might just lead her to her dead mother and help her change the past, trouble is sure to come her way.

Wander Dust is an ambitious book. It deals with time travel, a fact which, in itself, can potentially lead to disaster (as well as turning my brain to a mushy goo by trying to figure out the underlying theory).
If that weren't enough, its world-building is extremely sophisticated: different settings, real life places in which unreal, logic-defying action scenes take place; incredible, steampunk-ish magical inventions and relics which make time traveling possible. I loved it.
Fortunately, Warner delivers on both counts. She keeps her time traveling theory pretty simple, linear and very clear. I didn't have time to ask myself questions "but what if...?" because she'd already given an answer before they could take form in my mind.

Did I already say her world-building is amazing? I felt like a kid in a candy store just by following Seraphina inside the Academy. It occurred to me that I hadn't encountered such a good, imaginative, magic-ridden setting since the time of Harry Potter. The scenes in Venice (a city which I know very well) were accurate, realistic - an brownie points for not throwing at me misspelled, cheesy sentences in Italian. You could see she'd done her research there.

If even THAT weren't enough to convince you to pick up Wander Dust, rest assured this book will leave you breathless. It is so fast-paced, action-packed and full of great adventures you won't even have time to realize you're at the last chapter.
It's got good characters, a swoon-worthy guy and... ALERT! In my opinion, this book wins the Award for Best Kiss of the year, hands down!

I don't mean to be overly gushy and make you think this book is perfect, because it isn't. Like almost every other self-published book out there, it has a few editing issues BUT it's nothing major that a good professional editor could not quickly remedy and anyway, the story is just so good they didn't bother me at all.
It also has its fair share of clichés, in good old tradition of YA tropes. Nevertheless, it manages to be way, way better than a good part of the books I have read this year. This series has much potential I was really blown away.

I really can't wait for the second book to come out!

10 comments:

  1. You ladies convinced me! I hurried over and bought a copy. Can't wait to start this one. It is nice to see a book that you both gave five stars!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it Heidi, let us know of course!

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  2. WOW! The fact that both of you loved this book makes me so excited!! :D I looooove time travel, but you're right when you say there are a million ways it can go wrong, so I'm really glad that this does a great job. The world sounds so magical and amazing!

    Awesome review, Lisa! I'm actually getting ready to go to the mall right now so if I see this book in the bookstore (because YAY, this is the mall that has one!), I'm definitely going to make a point to buy it! ;)

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  3. Ha! I was just about to say, didn't I already see a review for this book here? Glad you enjoyed it just as much as Maja. I often go through YA reading slumps so I'll have to keep this one in mind when I'm feeling that way.

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  4. See how easy I am to convince? You had me at the mention of Harry Potter. ;)

    This sounds SO amazing and I really wouldn't have considered it before if it hadn't been for both you and Maja. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it too, Lisa. Now I am more determined to get round to it ASAP.

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  5. Really great review Lisa. I've been so burned out with YA paranormals AND I am usually very wary of self-published books so it's a testament to you two that I REALLY REALLY want to read this now. Good job ladies!

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  6. You have convinced me too- I need to get my hands on this book! Thank you so much for the review. I have been in a reading slump too- it is good to know good books are still out there!

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    1. I read this almost in one sitting, difficult to put down. Ideal for reading slumps!

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  7. Another 5 stars? Wow I guess I will have to pick this up sooner. Lisa your review is just awesome! and best kiss too *sigh*

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  8. 5 stars for self-published book? Im kind of scared reading self-published book. but this one sounds good. thanks for the review x

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