Thoughts: I was hoping for some lighthearted jokes at Edward Cullen’s expense with a title like that. It just seemed like such a brilliant setup for one!
I don’t normally read mid-grade books, but when someone from Dream Books approached me and asked me if I’d like to review this one, it seemed intriguing enough that I thought I’d give it a try. As you can see from the 5-teacup rating, I have no regrets in doing so!
My Sparkling Misfortune is told from the viewpoint of Arkus, the self-proclaimed villain with a wicked sense of sarcastic humour. Plagued by a rampaging monster and deceived by a prince a few kingdoms over, Arkus vows revenge and tries to catch himself a gormack, a spirit beast who would be bound to him for a time and who would carry out his bidding.
What he got was a sparkling, a spirit that typically binds itself only to heroes. Needless to say, Arkus was not pleased.
What follows is an incredibly fun and funny story of Arkus’s adventures and misadventures with his new sparkling companion, whom he named Jarvi. Arkus finds himself having to cope not only with someone whose sense of humour is as keen as his own, but someone whose very presnece changes his reputation from that the villain to that of the hero, albeit a reluctant one.
Laura Lond’s beautiful sense of humour comes across so well in this book, and I found myself laughing aloud quite often. She’s good at knowing what details are important and what can be left out what writing in the first person perspective, especially when one considers that this books is written for younger audiences. I suspect any kids reading this or being read it will be hanging on every word, wanting to know what befalls Arkus next.
I was particularly impressed by the way some good themes are carried through the story without being hammered paifully home. The subtle differences between good and bad, the ultimate strength of friendship, that actions done against evil may in themselves be wrong. Some books try to accomplish this by practically having PSAs at the end of each chapter. Lond wove them into the story so well that they’re most certainly there, but you’re not being beaten about the head with them, and I find that tends to make for a lesson that stays around longer. Actions instead of words, deed over thought.
Fantasy fans of all ages will find something to enjoy in My Sparkling Misfortune, whether it’s the imagery, the humour, or the experience of reading a chapter to their kids at bedtime. Highly recommended, and I hope that I get to see more of Lond’s writing in the future.
(This book was received through Dream Books LLC, and I was not financially compensated for writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own.)