Worlds of Ink and Shadow Review
Title: Worlds of Ink and Shadow
Author: Lena Coakley
Genres: Historical Fiction, YA, Fantasy, Adventure
Publication: Jan 5 2016
Source: Thanks to ABRAMS Kids for sending me a copy of this novel to review.
Format: Arc E-galley, 117 pages
"What hard and wicked children we've become, she thought as she softly closed the door."
- Page 188
Worlds of Ink and Shadow are about the Bronte siblings, Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell, and their struggles with obsession and family. Charlotte and Branwell can travel through the worlds they created with their own minds. The shining Verdopolis and shadowy Gondal; but with a price. Emily and Anne increasingly become jealous as their siblings do not include them in their adventures, until one day they're allowed to go across with them. But then everything unravels. Madness begins to take over their minds and reality becomes mixed with fantasy. All the siblings can feel their lives slipping away, and not only that but the characters, figments of their imagination, won't let them leave. The Bronte's then realise that they have to work together to reclaim what's left of their lives and put an end to all the madness.
When I first read the synopsis of this book I just had to read it, the premise sounded amazing and I was immediately intrigued by the idea of retelling history with a magical twist. Worlds of Ink and Shadow is a story of obsession, adventure and family, and a well written one at that. The characters and settings were wonderfully written and full of great descriptions and details that brought the characters and worlds alive. The novel is written in each of the Bronte's siblings perspectives. For a majority of books, I find myself getting lost between the characters and Lena Coakley has given each character a voice that has avoided the common confusion with books written in multiple views. As well as this, the world building is something to applaud and I loved every moment that Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne spent in their stories.
World of Ink and Shadow takes a real life story and twists it with magic and fantasy. At first, I thought the beginning was a tad slow and I personally took a while to get into, but once I did my eyes never left the pages. I loved that the characters had the ability go into their stories and it made the premise even more intriguing by using the Bronte's. Every aspect of the plot tied together and each played a part in the brilliance of the story. The mystery build up was really good too kept me hanging to the edge of every word.
The characters were so 3D and well written, the relationships and tension believable. I'm not really familiar with the Bronte history but reading Worlds of Ink and Shadow has made me really interested in reading more of their novels. I also loved the aspect of sibling relationships that Lena Coakley explored, it added a familiarity to the novel and more dimension to the characters. As each chapter passed, new facts were revealed about the character that made the plot progress and introduced new twists and turns. The portrayal of the characters personalities through hints and clues was the work of a genius and I really enjoyed reading it.
All in all, Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley has earned it's five stars and I would recommend it for everyone, lovers of the Bronte's or not. The crossing over of reality and fantasy was done remarkably well and I have never read anything like it. This book is sure to be a popular novel when it comes out. Be sure to check it out, especially if you enjoyed Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.