I don’t know if I expected too much, after reading a review that likened Oksa Pollock to Harry Potter, or a lot was lost during translation but I was not impressed in the least.
The book had a good backstory to work on: a young, clueless Oksa Pollock found herself in the center of a group of magical people who had to escape from their magical world because of internal strife but now had to go back. Good, really. Sadly, the plot and character development were very bad.
Sure, there were quite a lot of magical “things” that made me interested but how they were introduced and explained were very, very different from Harry Potter: whereas Harry Potter learned a lot by riding a broom to stand up for Neville or practicing turning a boggart to something riddikulus, Oksa Pollock learned everything as if she was in Professor Binns’ class.
In almost all the chapters Oksa asked a question about something and given a (really lengthy) answer. There was no action or adventure or even a little poof to let my imagination start running. All that was offered were FAQs, which are very useful but never really interesting.
For a class-smart girl, Oksa was slow to pick up. Even up to the end of the book, there wasn’t a change in her to inspire me to cheer for her or feel sorry for her or to feel anything but annoyance for her. The worst thing about this was that she kept making the same mistakes over and over even when she knew she was doing it all wrong or even when her actions had large repercussions.
Finally, the humor! I was always lost at what the characters ever laughed at in the book. While they were guffawing, I was like:
. . . . .
Alas, the second fantasy book (after Percy Jackson) I hope would be something like Harry Potter has failed me as well.