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Emily Knight I am Paperback – June 1, 2017
'A. Bello represents the long-awaited evolution of diversity in the literature world. Creating a character like Emily Knight who provides YA readers of colour their own heroine to look up to! Really excited about this series!'
- The British Blacklist
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Genre: Junior Fantasy
Recommended Age: 13+ (some mature scenes)
Favorite Quote: “She understood if she wanted to live, this was a war she had to be ready for.”
How does it feel to be different and misunderstood? And who cares? Emily Knight is young and famous, self-aware and intelligent. But what if the one thing that makes Emily different also makes her a target for evil? Can she defend herself...and everything she loves? A.Bello breaks boundaries with this gritty and gripping fantasy novel – Amazon.com
I received a paperback copy of this book for free from the publishing company in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my decision in anyway.
I enjoy reading junior novels. They’re simplistic and relaxing. Emily Knight is not any different. This sweet novel features a diverse cast of characters and their journey to discover and explore their growing powers in a special school. The main character, Emily Knight, is a famous, intelligent young girl who is on the wrong side of the law at the beginning of the novel. She has tremendous character growth throughout the novel, as do a few of the other characters in the novel. The plot is also well developed and the writing was very easy to follow.
While I generally enjoyed the novel I did feel that there were a lot of characters in the novel that were just off-handedly mentioned. It made the book a little confusing at times to have such a wide cast of characters. The book only really focused on about a dozen of these characters and I feel more time should have been devoted to them and their development. I also felt the pacing was weird at times. It went from slow to fast pace at times in the novel. Other than these issues I really loved the novel and I feel that this would be a perfect novel for any kid that fell in love with the Harry Potter series. And that includes any kid at heart.
But Emily is crying out for attention. Her father hasn’t been home in years, instead he’s searching the planet for her long-lost brother, Lox. Both Emily’s father and brother are famous fighters, with the ability to fly, breathe underwater, command fire. While Emily is struggling to control her power. Surrounded by wealth and privilege, she’s still unhappy.
When Emily gets the chance to go to the Osaki Training School, where her father and brother attended, she’s nervous. She wants to learn, but is worried the other students (and teachers) will expect more from her and she won’t be able to deliver. She’s Thomas Knight’s daughter, after all.
Soon, what everyone else thinks doesn’t matter as an evil older than she is resurfaces, and Emily will have to use her intelligence and cunning to protect everything and everyone she loves.
It’s rare for me to read about a character of color from a wealthy, famous family who is tested and challenged to become something more than she started to be. The teachers as well as the students in the Osaki Training School are of diverse backgrounds, both racially and socio-economically, which makes it feel like a real specialist school. The lessons are fascinating, and I was amazed to find out that there is real danger of injury and pain for the students.
Emily Knight I Am… is a page-turner, full of magic and dojo-style fights, perfect for any reader that loves to watch an imperfect character grow into a hero.