Quite apart from the stunning cover art and evocative illustrations, this young adult novel exists in a different realm altogether. And that’s not just it’s setting, either. Right from the outset, you’ll know this isn’t your usual YA Fantasy read, as author Hiromi Goto’s mastery of setting paints visual pictures that almost make you feel as if you’re watching an animated feature instead of reading a book.
Half World is the story of Melanie, an outsider. She’s the lonely, overweight child of a loving but neglectful mother who barely manages to cope with school and life. But everything changes on the day she returns home to find her mother is missing. A mysterious phone call on a phone that’s been turned off for over five months introduces Melanie to the vindictive Mr. Glueskin – a ghoulish creature who says he’s got her mother in Half World. Unsure of anything in her world, let alone Half World, Melanie turns to the only person she can think of for guidance, the owner of the local convenience store, Mrs. Wei.
To her utter surprise, Mrs. Wei knows all about Half-World.
Pick up this stunning novel and immerse yourself in Half-Word – it’s an amazing treat for the senses and the imagination. Strongly recommended, although some parts may be frightening to younger children who are able to read at higher grade levels.