Please be aware that this review contains some mild spoilers. Do not continue reading unless you are fine with being spoiled.
I honestly can’t even remember how or why I picked up Akarnae. Was it at Supanova, after hearing author Lynette Noni speak? Was it just randomly because people were raving about it? I DON’T KNOW. But it’s in my life now and I’m very glad for it.
This is a really cute book. It’s like a conglomeration of The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and a bunch of other fantasy novels that are so ingrained in your childhood you can’t help but be happy.
Like every debut novel, Akarnae has a couple of teething problems. The slight over-explaining of character movement makes for some clunky description in the slower scenes but it’s easily overlooked, especially once you pass the halfway point.
From then on, Akarnae really gets into its groove. Everything becomes more comfortable, the characters are freer and more engaging, and all the seemingly loose threads of the plot come together to create something really intriguing.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun fantasy read. Akarnae is a promising start to a five-book series and an exciting debut from fresh Australian talent.