Review: The Coal Elf by Maria DeVivo



Title:  The Coal Elf
Author:  Maria DeVivo
Format:  Paperback and eBook
Publisher:  Paladin Timeless Books
Pages:  210
ISBN:  978–1606192160
Source: Author
Genre: YA Fantasy
Stars:  4
Purchase Now:  Amazon § Barnes & Noble
About the Book:

Ember Skye is a fed up teenage Coal Elf with a big ashy chip on her shoulder. Having been torn away from a carefree life and forced into a world of dirt and darkness has started to get the best of her. And being the only girl-elf working as a coal miner at the North Pole doesn’t help much either!

Then there’s Sturd: a power-hungry, twisted elf with a checkered past and a serious grudge against Ember. Slowly but surely, his maniacal tendencies are revealed, leaving Ember with the sacred “Naughty List” literally in her lap.

When a mysterious illness threatens to decimate elves both Above and Underground, Ember is thrust into a journey that will see her confront the literal and figurative demons of her past and lead her to the head of the North Pole himself.

Yes! Santa is real. But this isn’t your childhood Christmas tale!


Book Review: 

I really enjoyed this book, although I didn’t realize until nearly complete that I hadn’t connected with Ember as completely as I would have liked: discovering at the end that I saw the events much as Ember did, with a similar sense of remove and detachment that she uses to face difficulties.  Cleverly plotted and filled with the righteous indignation of the young female protagonist, the voice is strong and occasionally strident: chafing against rules, societal norms and even prejudices in the double-standard society, Ember is consistent in her determination and solidly crafted.

With a scenes that delves into the uncomfortable realm of overtly sexualized harassment, and the solid moral compass that Ember brings to the table: good and bad are clearly defined, and there is little room for ‘degrees’ of wrong in this tale.  Mystery, adventure and a touch of the paranormal all feed into this book: while the ending is completely logical and satisfactory, there is no huge crescendo of culmination.

A good read for young and old alike, there is enough mystery, adventure and clever plotting to please readers young and old.

I received an eBook from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About the Author: