Book: Vodnik by Bryce Moore
Genre: YA Fantasy/SF
This in one that popped up in my email that said "hey, there's this book on NetGalley, we think you should read it!" When I saw that Dan Wells positively blurbed it (he said "a breath of fresh air in a very popular genre") and that the author had Utah ties, I thought, okay fine.
On further investigation, I have learned that the author spent much time here, worked at the library, went to school here and wrote the book here, so even though he now lives in Maine, I'm counting him as a Utah author book review for Utah Book Month!
Anyway, this book is about a 16 year old kid who has had some strange and weird things happen to him in the past, like near drownings and strange fire incidents. We get a brief glimpse of this as the book opens and then suddenly, his family up and movies to Slovakia, where his mom is from. Of course, at first, he is bugged, but then he finds himself very immersed in the culture there, especially with regard to their legends and myths about supernatural creatures... especially the one called The Vodnik, which is a mischievous water spirit that is as popular and well known in that country as the vampire is here.
Once he starts learning about these guys, it's then that he (and we) start connecting the things that happened, and ARE happening to him, with these creatures. We also learn that there's some mystery surrounding his grandma that no one in the family will talk about. He is determined to get to the bottom of things, before it's too late!
Then there's his cousin, who he hopes to save by making a deal with Death. And there's also something going on with a girl who lived a hundred years ago and who seems to have been buried alive in the wall!
Sheesh! And that's just the beginning! It's quite the fun and crazy adventure, this book, learning about and dealing with all these interesting otherworldy elements. It felt like a mix between Buffy and Supernatural to me, but that could just be because these shows are at the top of my mind these days! But lots of hunting and finding, and running from and making potions and looking up stuff in old books. Yep, just like in these shows.
So if you like that kind of stuff, you'll love this. I remember as I started reading it I was worried that it was going down the path of "hey, I know lots about Slovakian myths, let me tell you all about it." And I didn't want that, I wanted a story. But before I knew it, I had the story and the learning about things came naturally with it. Yeah for that!
Bottom line: I totally enjoyed it!
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