Title: Changeling (The Oddmire #1)
Author: William Ritter
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Release Date: July 16th from Algonquin Young Readers
Goodreads Synopsis: Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind—a newborn changeling. But when the fateful night arrives to trade a human baby for a goblin one, something goes terribly wrong. After laying the changeling in a human infant’s crib, the goblin Kull is briefly distracted from his task. By the time he turns back, the changeling has already perfectly mimicked the human child. Too perfectly: Kull cannot tell them apart. Not knowing which to bring back, he leaves both babies behind.
Tinn and Cole are raised as human twins, neither knowing what secrets may be buried deep inside one of them. Then when they are twelve years old, a mysterious message arrives, calling the brothers to be heroes and protectors of magic. The boys must leave behind their sleepy town of Endsborough and risk their lives in the Wild Wood, crossing the perilous Oddmire swamp and journeying through the Deep Dark to reach the goblin horde and discover who they truly are.
**I downloaded this ARC from Edelweiss for a free and honest review and I was invited by the publisher to participate in this blog tour! All thoughts and opinions are my own and no quotations will be used in this review**
This was already a highly anticipated release for this year, since I really enjoy Ritter’s Jackaby series that some of you have read and really liked. This is the start of a middle grade series and this is set in the same world as Jackaby (there’s a tiny reference to it in the beginning). So I was able to download an ARC on Edelweiss and when I was invited to be on this blog tour, I was over the moon! This book also fun really fun illustrations done by the author and I can’t wait to see how they look in the final print copy. This book was so cute and sweet and really has great themes of personal identity, the meaning of family and learning about yourself.
This book is about two twin boys Tinn and Cole who grow up together, after their mother finds two baby boys in the nursery instead of just one during the night. Both boys know that something is different about one of them, but they still love each other regardless. But as things start to be less normal and they receive a message about the magic fading in the Wild Wood, both boys decide to follow this message and go into the forest. We also follow a goofy goblin Kull whose set on making sure the changeling realizes its purpose and saves the Wild Wood, while a dark thing in the woods also knows of the boys presence.
I really enjoyed this short middle grade book! I like the fun little humor of making fun of creatures and also how young boys are when they’re younger. I loved how they poke fun at each other, get frustrated when they’re scared, but their unconditional love really pulls the weight of this book. We also see how their mother Annie sees both boys as her own and how she never abandons the other boy for one second. I loved seeing all of their determinations unfold as they try to uncover which one of the boys is the changeling and how they can restore balance. Everyone had their own voice and I really felt for these two young boys. Their fear and self doubt felt so real that I think many kids will see themselves in Tinn and Cole and this book would also have great topics for family discussions. This book also has a great and unexpected ending that will you leave wanting the next book right away! This really matched my expectations and I highly recommend this middle grade book for about grade 4 and up for younger readers!
My only small con with this book is that I wanted more from the ending in a good way! I loved how unexpected it was and how it slowly builds up to more questions still to come. The mythology of all the creatures and the world building was fantastic and this was a middle grade book I couldn’t put down. This was another great read for 2019! I hope you guys check it out and enjoy it as much as I did 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
William Ritter is an Oregon educator and author of the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and the indomitable husband fo the Queen of the Deep Dark. The Oddmire is Ritter’s first series for middle grade readers. Visit him online at rwillritter.wordpress.com and find him on Twitter: @Willothewords.
Have you heard about this book? Have you enjoyed his Jackaby series? What’s a similar middle grade book that you enjoyed and would recommend? Let me know in the comments!