Ije Ajibade writes in NetGalley: Thaddeus doesn't question why he and his father are constantly on the move. All he knows is that it isn't worth making friends because as soon as he does it will be time to move on to a new town and a new school. This is very much the pattern of his life and he is used to it although he sometimes wishes for stability.
Things start to change when they move to the small strange town of 'Superstition.' Appropriately named because all is not what it seems in this small town.
Thaddeus settles in to his new home but begins to realise there is more to this town than meets the eye. The young man next door who nurtures his garden during the night is actually a gnome called Teofil, there is a strange wild beast in the woods and it seems to be hunting Thaddeus, and his long dead mother may not really be dead.
And there is magic, real magic that Thaddeus must both learn how to wield and how to protect himself from and there is the potential for love with this mysterious Teofil from next door.
This is a really lovely YA story which combines magic, love and mystery in a really lovely way. At the heart of the story is a mystery:
Who is Thaddeus really and where is his mother?
What has his father been hiding from him all these years?
Who are their neighbours and why is Thaddeus being hunted?
As the story unfolds and reveals these answers we are slowly taken into a world of magic, fairies, gnomes, shadowy people and dangerous beasts but also we are taken into the beauty of a first love. It is a lovely story which is just right for the YA audience that the book is written for but which can also be enjoyed by adults.
I loved the way Thaddeus slowly realises that there is more to his life than he has previously understood and that he stands on the precipice of great love and of great danger.
Although I don't normally read many YA novels I found this to be refreshingly different to my normal adult novels, and it also held my attention. I was drawn into the story from the word go and kept guessing and the story wasn't at all predictable.
This is also a feel good story. There is danger and darkness and the story shows how Thaddeus and his father have to work together with others in order to overcome this and fight for love and the peaceful life they both desire. Of course this is book one of the series so I hope subsequent books will continue to be as good as this first one.
The story is well written and imaginative and I would definitely read more from this author. All in all this is a lovely YA story, with the potential of becoming a really nice series and capable of entertaining adults as well.