“Rule One: Don’t eat or drink.
Rule Two: Never, ever tell anyone your name.
If you don’t follow these rules, your soul will be lost there forever.”Quoted from Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore
Rating – 3.5/5
While running through the forest on a full-moon night, Evie falls into a big hole and finds herself trapped in the Upside-Down World – a world that mirrors ours but is different too. Here unicorns are not gentle creatures, fairies are nasty, giants are not scary, and many more twisted versions of folklores dot the landscape in this strange world.
Evie must follow these unspoken rules and cross the various obstacles in her path, relying only on a compass given by an angry gnome, her deceased grandfather’s lessons and her mother’s haunting memories, to reach home. Can she do it? Read Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore by Birgitte Märgen to find out.
Märgen exhibits a delightfully beautiful imagination as she creates her Upside-Down World inspired from various folklores. She has created so many different lands, each with its own peculiar characteristics and a set of challenges, that there was never a dull moment in this book. I was always eager to find out how Evie will overcome the next challenge.
Moreover, Märgen’s writing is vividly descriptive. Consequently, I could imagine all the different lands, their unique sceneries, and the inhabitants. Further, Evie’s grandfather’s pearls of wisdom were a constant companion for not only her, but also for me. A sweet teen romance fulfills the story. Despite being over 250 pages, the book is fast paced. As a result, I made a short work of it in a week.
However, the problem with the book lies in the characterization. Since it is targeted solely towards the middle-grade audience, Evie or any of the other supporting characters are not fully fleshed out. Evie’s friends are portrayed like stereotypical teenagers—impetuous and irresponsible.
Most importantly, there are gaps in Evie’s story. I wanted to know more about her. The book provides only a glimpse into her problems and a shallow sketch of her family. I would have appreciated it better if Märgen had shed more light on Evie’s mental health.
Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore will, further, fail to mesmerize an adult reader due to lack of complexity in the plot. Evie simply hurtles down from one situation to another, in all of which she emerges victorious. There is no real calamity to make the situation appear dire to an adult reader.
I would have liked to know more about the history of the Upside-Down World; how it came into being; how did other people fall into this hole; who was the goat boy; what’s his story. I think since the target audience is middle-grade children, Märgen didn’t want to deal with heavy topics, or introduce too may complexities in her plot.
Märgen has created such an irresistible and bewitching world that I wanted more of it. Hence, in my opinion, the lack of complexity lessened the book’s appeal for me.
However, Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore will be a magnificent book to introduce the middle-grade audience to gothic fantasy. I, thus, recommend it to them.
The author provided me a digital copy of her book on request. I opted to provide an honest review.
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