“fantastic escapism” – review of Bookworm II: The Very Ugly Duckling on Risingshadow

Bookworm II – The Very Ugly Duckling cover image
Artwork: Alison Buck
Library photograph: zens/shutterstock.com

In his review last year of Bookworm by Christopher Nuttall, Seregil of Rhiminee wrote that it was “Excellent escapism” (remind yourself about his review here).

Today, in his review on Risingshadow of the second in the Bookworm series, Bookworm II: The Very Ugly Duckling, he describes Christopher as an author of “fantastic escapism” and The Very Ugly Duckling as an excellent example.

As usual, Seregil has written an extensive review and I can’t really do justice to it by picking out only a handful of passages… but I’ll try! He starts by saying that because he “enjoyed reading Bookworm, I was eager to read The Very Ugly Duckling. I liked this novel very much, because it was good escapism and the author had come up with an interesting story”, a story which, he says, “captured my attention immediately when I began to read it and I found myself reading it as fast as possible, because the story flowed effortlessly from start to finish.”

He highlights some of the aspects of the book that illustrate how well Christopher writes “about the difficult relationships between the characters”, and “about all things magical” which he says “seems to be easy for Christopher Nuttall. He’s one of those authors who write fluently about magic and how it is used in different ways. His descriptions of magic and magical abilities are entertaining and also amusing.” He also says it “was captivating to read how Johan reacted to his new powers” and feels that Christopher “explores power and what kind of an effect it has on the characters in an interesting way”, going on to say that he “writes surprisingly fluently about the addictive power of magic and what it can do to careless users who let themselves be seduced by it.” [A warning to us all?]

He picks out certain events in the story that appealed to him, in particular “the scene in which Johan confronts his family after he has gained magical powers is a great and unforgettable scene.”

As Bookworm II: The Very Ugly Duckling is available from tomorrow in paperback, now would be a good time to read Seregil’s review here. Then go and buy the book!