Thank you to The Folkteller for allowing me a copy for review via NetGalley.
I would like to just point out that the copy I received may not be exactly the same as the publicised edition; some grammar or spelling mistakes that I mention may not be an issue for anyone who buys the book.
This includes the three Nain Rouge stories by Josef Bastian. They’re narrated by “The Folkteller” (which is also the name of the publication company), who is some unknown person that is only really acknowledged at the beginning of each book.
Two teenagers, Elly and Tom, find themselves witnessing strange happenings after a school trip to a local art museum. After speaking with Dr Beele, the curator of the institute, they discover that they have run into Lutin – the Red Dwarf. The kids do some research of their own, until they realise that they are both related to the original settlers of the city. These settlers were cursed by Lutin, and that curse was being passed down the generations to Elly and Tom.
Together, the three of them have to figure out a way to defeat the evil entity and protect the city from his influence.
The second and third book follow the same three characters, as well as other teens Lynni, AJ and Vic. Together, the motley crew of six must protect the entire world from the influence of evil once and for all, revealing the bitter truth of humanity to all who will listen. They find assistance in an old Garter of Knights, of which Dr Beele is a member. But even with these extra eleven people, will they be able to defeat the very embodiment of negative energy?
The use of The Folkteller in each book provides a break in the fourth wall, but I don’t see this carried through the rest of the books at all.
There are a couple of issues I found, besides the typos. One is that Bastian’s writing reminds me of a preteen who has a great range of vocabulary and tries too hard to show off, yet still has a young, immature feel. I’m not saying it’s awful at all, but I just feel like he’s trying a bit too hard. He seems to describe everything too much, especially things that should, in my opinion, just be hinted at so the audience gains their own impression. The direct definitions of everything just seem to take away from the meaning and effect. Also, the dialogue doesn’t sound fluid and natural to me. It feels too staged and awkward to sound real.
The plot was a little wishy-washy, but the idea of defeating evil with truth and positivity was kind of sweet. There weren’t any romance lines, which was refreshing to me but may put some others off of reading it. And the ending wasn’t too cliche, but still happy.
Maybe more aimed at younger readers, yet ones who have a decent range of vocabulary still. A nice story but kind of boring, personally. 2.5 stars.
Find the first adventure for sale here.