Book Reviews

The Hidden Children – Book Review

  • Author: Reshma Krishnan Barshikar
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Two Ravens Publishing (13 November 2018)
  • Language: English

BLURB as on Goodreads

Shayamukthy cruises through life: shooting hoops, daydreaming and listening to her favourite books. Even moving from the US to India, to a new school, a new culture, hasn’t really rattled her. But something isn’t right anymore and it begins when a New Girl joins the school. She pulls Shui into a world of magic and wonderment, a world she has been hidden from all her life. What starts as a quest to look for a lost book, hurtles Shui into a world where people live in trees, talk to the dead and speak to butterflies.
But like all power, magic comes at a steep price and under all things wondrous lie demons waiting to crawl out. The more Shui learns, the more she doubts everything and everyone around her. Will she be able to master her powers, or will they devour her and everyone she loves?

My Review

‘What price would you pay to be extraordinary? What would you do to speak to a butterfly?’

An extraordinary tale of a young girl Shayamukthy who apparently suffers from Dyslexia and has a quaint vibe surrounding her is The Hidden Children. She plays basketball, sees butterflies and has an illusion of a pencil floating in the air and does some antiques which bother her parents compelling them to shift from India to Denver and then back. A fine day comes when a Scottish girl arrives who pulls Shui (Shayamukthy) out of her reveries and together they embark on an adventurous ride to the Bile Rath. And there starts the search to find The Lost Grimoire.

Full of magic and surrealism, The Hidden Children makes up for an entertaining read for kids and adult alike. With a smooth writing style and ethereal places and characters, the book takes you on the journey to the realms of your imagination where you might not have stepped before. Bringing up the subject of Dyslexia was a very good thing as this is less talked about but a crucial issue. Hinting to this, the author comments,” They see more than others do.” And this does clarify that dyslexia isn’t something terrible but just a thing that makes someone different.

Shui’s character is befuddled knowing about the reality of her origin and existence. This takes a toll on her mind and relationships. But you see, she goes through all the roller coaster ride and emerges cheerfully in the end. She held her destiny and so she had to bear with it with all its black and whites. True to its title, the book opens up secrets about the children who are hidden from the world. The children who have the power to break the chains of mediocrity and be special. And this one task demand immense courage and grit which is displayed by Shui and her friends. This inspires to move ahead in life with full force and believe in yourself. Never limit yourself to the grey periphery of life.

I liked the family values displayed by Shui’s family. Her brother Subodh and their playful bickering were much relatable. Shui’s life at school with all the clamor containing academics, infatuation, friends, and sports was lively. I mean this is how all our lives are and while reading hers’, you find similarities which makes it easier to connect to the story. Shui’s friends would be something you would vouch for to have in your life as they are superb. The fantasy and idyllic world painted by the author are vivid and enticing.

The story has been treated well with a gripping narrative and lucid language which keep you intrigued by this magical book. The excellent sketch drawn of each character is wonderful. However, the book could have been cut by a few pages and a few things could have easily gotten away with. Because there were instances where it felt unnecessary dragging of the story lulling me to sleep. A shorter and crisp plot is easier to hold onto. Otherwise, the book has been a pleasant read for me.

Plus, I am in awe of the book’s cover. It is magnificent in touch and sight. So, if you are the one who loves fantasy and would totally like to be absorbed in the magic, then this one is definitely for you!

MY RATING: 4.25/ 5


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THE HIDDEN CHILDREN

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