Title: Cauldron’s Bubbly
Author: Amber Elby
Publication Date: August 10, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Source: Sent by Author for Review
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A magical bubble transports Alda through time and place to a realm of witches and curses, pirates and princes, and the lost worlds of Shakespeare. She, along with a cabin boy called Dreng, must navigate the conflicts and characters of Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. But will they escape with their lives? Or will they become lost and forgotten?
As a lover of Shakespeare and fantasy, the idea of a fantasy world that incorporated Shakespearean characters definitely peaked my interest.
One of the strengths of this book is the creative world that was introduced and the use of the characters. With the exception of the witches and maybe Ariel, I feel like some of the Shakespearean characters were more like cameos, but that really worked. Amber created her own characters to interact with the world and it helped create an interesting narrative.
That being said, the world in this book took a while to fully develop, as we the reader are thrust into what’s going on. We find out towards the end of the book that answering the lingering questions that Alda has is meant to be part of the set up for the other two books in the series. While I’m okay with that, I did wish that at least the reader was clued in on a bit more. There were several times when reading that I felt like I was coasting along with the narrative or wanted more explanation to how the world and the magic system worked.
Overall, this book was a lot of fun, but for the longest time, I was unsure what was going on. We were kind of thrust into the story and watched it from an outsider’s perspective. The third person storytelling really helped us feel like we were viewing what was happening, though it did make it a bit difficult to connect to the characters.
Ultimately, the story ends with not revealing as much information as I would have liked, but it’s clear that it’s setting up the reveal for future sequels. I kind of wish more was revealed in this book, though I will be happily picking up the sequels to see if the way they are revealed there or if the weight of the reveal helps make this cliffhanger worth it.
People looking for a unique/different read with creative characters will really enjoy this one.
⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 3.75/5 Stars