Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: Switch by Karen Prince

Blurb: Trouble is brewing in the secret African rift valley of Karibu and Gogo Maya, the witch, and her leopard are about to make matters worse. Of all the dubious magic tricks they know, they choose a risky ‘switch’ they’ve been working on, to escape from somebody lurking in the forest. Unfortunately they overshoot, switching right out of Karibu and drawing an ordinary Zimbabwean boy into the mess they leave behind them. The whole disaster that followed might have been averted if another boy had not gone and sucked up what was left of the witch’s power, leaving her too weak to switch back again. CPR, the daft boy called it. He should know better than to risk kissing a witch

If you had to choose between Joe’s two best friends or his cousin, Ethan, to lead an adventure into the bush to rescue him, Ethan would be the last one you’d pick because, well … he’s useless that way. Yet the witch’s leopard inexplicably starts issuing plans right into his head. Apparently he’s Joe’s best hope because he has absorbed some of the witch’s questionable magic powers. Powers which might come in handy if he ever learns how to wield them, and if he can endure the painful backlash he suffers every time he tries.

In a world that quite literally defies belief, where magic seeps into the drinking water for anyone to use or abuse, and the terrain is impossible to navigate without help from extremely risky sources, this is the tale of Ethan’s struggle to reach his cousin, Joe, before he falls into the wrong hands and gets himself killed.

I give it 3 stars

My review: Switch is a fun and exciting adventure through a world filled with witches, shapeshifters, and mischievous critters. The boys find help in the most unlikely of places, and danger where they never expected.

My favorite character was Jimoh, the expert tracker, but all of the characters were interesting in their own way and each of the boys grew and changed over the course of the story. Sometimes the dialogue seemed a little off for teenaged boys and there were a few elements of the book that felt kind of arbitrary, like they were thrown in just to heighten tension and didn't really have much of a tie in to the actual story. But all in all I enjoyed this book and would happily recommend it to any fan of YA fantasy.


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