Author: Taran Matharu
Series: Summoner #1
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Edition: Kindle Edition, 398 pages
Purchase: Amazon US | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | BAM
When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.
As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs
This book is fine. Some of the dialog is a little... cringy. The plot itself feels very recycled, I get that it's hard to tell a completely 100% original story, but I saw parallels to so many books. And it's not as big of a problem to me if it shares things from other books, it's a problem because it was done poorly.
Fletcher is, quite frankly, a boring character and I didn't enjoy him as a character. He was pretty self-righteous, and I found him to be annoying at times. He didn't really sound like a 15-16-year-old, but more like an 11 or 12-year-old.
The story was only really interesting for a couple chapters and I had hoped it would stay interesting once he got to the magic school. But that's when things started to feel like a low-rent Harry Potter tale. I kind of lost interest and started skimming things, trying to find a point when the story picked back up again.
This book never really had a full moment when I was completely invested in what was happening next. I kept waiting for that moment. This book was a letdown because it has so much potential, but everything was fairly lackluster.
For me, this book sounded more like a middle-grade book than a YA book. There is nothing wrong with middle-grade, but I have come to expect a level of "darkness" in my YA, and this book was too silly and a little, for lack of a better word, tame at times to really sound and feel like a YA book.