I would like to thank the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not sway my review in any way.
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book. There was a familiarity with the ferret story line, but a twist on it that really piqued my interest. Quickly though, there were distractions that kept me from really enjoying the story. Where I should have been digging in I found myself instead hoping that another foot note was not coming and that the Scottish accent of the ferret would level out.
Footnotes. First off, I should say that this was an ebook that I read and I have never read a fictional ebook with footnotes before. There would be a number, you would touch it, and it would take you a listing of that chapters footnotes. Now, these were usually whimsical humorous notes, and sometimes I just skipped over them, but I honestly don't know if I would have continued on with this book if it had been one that I had bought on my own, just because of the footnotes.
The Scottish accent of Shambles. It got to the point that I imagined it was Peter Capaldi's voice as Shambles, because his accent is as thick and layered as that. This is not a good thing. It drove me up the walls at times. When reading, I don't want to have to read and reread and rereread small sentences to figure out exactly what was being said. This immediately distracted me from the story and I found it very easy to put down my reading and come back later once I wanted to dive back in.
The story itself is fun, a twist on a fairytale and has all the potential of an outstanding book. There's romance, family, magic, conspiracies, and more. There is a MG feel to the story, especially when Ondine talks, but a definite YA tone, but the two don't mesh well at times. I do love the family dynamics in this book. This really glues the story together and the author really knows how to play on the quirks of each character which brings all of them to life.
There is so many different layers of adventure in this story and they wove through each other well. There's the Shambles/Hamish adventure, the fairytale bit, the villains and the adventures of the family itself within their own home. There is an endearing quality to this story and it is suited well for reading by MG readers. I just don't think that older readers will appreciate it as well.