Return of the Evening Star follows Chloe, a twelve-year-old girl, to save her mother and her home from a corrupt hospital.
A Struggling Read
Return of the Evening Star has been quite a challenge for me to review. I have probably started this review half a dozen times by now, and my thoughts on the novel do not feel any clearer than before.
Let me begin by saying I liked this book, but I did struggle through it. The story focuses on Chloe, a young girl separated from her mother and running from her evil uncle and the hospital that holds her mother hostage.
The hospital administration itself is corrupt, sending ambulances out to hurt people intentionally and bring them to the hospital. From there, the hospital holds them hostage and extorts money from the family’s until they can no longer pay. Moreover, when they can no longer pay, well, the hospital stops caring.
Return of the Evening Star brings up ideas like deforestation and animal rights while also adding value to human life. It has excellent ideas behind the plot that made me ultimately enjoy the novel, but the pacing, tone, and character narratives failed to hold my attention.
As you may already know, I read juvenile fiction; I love it. Nevertheless, this novel felt very juvenile. The lessons in the novel are mature ones, the ideas are thoughtful and mature, but the language lacks some of that maturity.
The chemistry between the characters lacks some depth. It almost feels childlike, which again makes sense considering the novel is for young readers, but I have read enough juvenile literature to believe that it does not have to feel that way. The way the narrative sounds takes away the depth of the characters, making them more one-dimensional. At times, the language is too perfect; it does not feel natural and does not flow in a fluid way to make the character dynamics believable.
I wish I loved Return of the Evening Star, but unfortunately, I did not. However, I liked it and considered it an excellent novel for kids interested in fantasy and books with talking animals. It has good ideas, but the tone, language, and pacing are lacking for older audiences.
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|Pub Date: June 4, 2019||Page Count: 256pp||Age Range: 8 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-1-6315-2545-2||Publisher: She Writes Press||List Price: $16.95|