ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.
‘The Shark Caller’ left me sad and a little confused. Definitely a little shaken yet also connected and a bit horrified. This is one of those novels that literally transport you into a different world where you have such a surreal yet complete experience that it’s a bit hard coming back to reality. I’m honestly still not quite sure what to think of all this…
What enchanted me from the beginning was how well designed and aesthetically pleasing reading this novel was! I loved the colours used on the cover – which I have absolute cover-lust for – and the contents page! People, I have an absolute LOVE for novels that publish with a contents page! They make reading the novel so more…enriching and sophisticated! It’s like an old tradition has come back to life! And it had all these small illustrations on the inside! So cute!
I loved the fonts used throughout the book. There were these curlicued chapter titles and little quotes underneath that absolutely captured my heart. They were like little windows into the chapter’s content! And every now and then there were these poems that fit in so well with the world Dianne Wolfer created!
Seriously, everything about this novel was gorgeous!
But what left me slightly reeling and deeply touched was the fact that Izzy had a twin, Ray, who passed away.
As a twin, I know the bond that exists in such a close relationship. I understand the depth of emotion and connection that Izzy and Ray experienced on a daily basis and how unimaginable it would be to lose your other half would be. I for one would never wish it upon any twin and to read about such a loss was almost like experiencing the loss myself. This definitely ended up being a hard read for me emotionally – not just because of my understanding of such a relationship, but because of the beautiful and simple way Dianne Wolfer put those emotions down onto paper and managed to tattoo them onto the heart of her reader.
‘The Shark Caller’ also did not lack in world-building. This imaginary island that the author wrote of seemed to utterly real to me. I’ve never been outside of Australia or anywhere remotely close to Papua New Guinea, but I could imagine the forests and the underwater world which left Izzy so captivated.
I could understand her attachment to such a place, but what boggled my mind was how closely and believably fact and fantasy were woven together.
As I got deeper and deeper into the story, the more bizarre the events. Being able to talk underwater; webbed feet (alright I can understand this but still otherworldly to me); talking sharks; shapeshifting creatures; evil sea creatures! There was so much but so well done! This all seemed to stem naturally from the culture, traditions and beliefs of Izzy’s people! They left me astounded yet very much captivated.
A very flowing and poetic style to the writing! And I loved the new and unique language which Izzy’s people spoke in! It seemed hard to understand at first, but I got the hang of it and loved its sound on my tongue!
Congratulations to Dianne Wolfer on publishing a richly fantastical novel for young adults! I can’t wait for more!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!