Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Something that I enjoy but definitely don’t read enough of is middle grade fiction. A couple months ago, I picked up Autumn Eternal by Kyle Bagsby on Kindle during a free promotion. Literature Approved had said it was one of their top-viewed reviews of the month, so I gave it a shot! So, without further ado, let’s get to the review!
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy
Autumn Eternal is like a cleaner version of the cartoon, Gravity Falls. There are still magical elements and brief mentions of witchcraft, but the author does an excellent job making it kid-friendly. In similar fashion to Gravity Falls, the main character is a middle school boy named Kip who is on a mission to discover why his hometown, Arno, is so weird. He’s the only one who finds it peculiar that the birds moo and that autumn is the only season the town experiences. With the help of his best friend, Marleigh, Kip discovers a book that helps him solve the town’s mystery.
As to not spoil the events of the book, I’ll now review the highlights and lowlights:
Arno’s Charm: The town couldn’t be more adorable! I would love to live in a town where autumn is the only season! It sounds like paradise. ❤
The Crazy Creatures: The author did a great job coming up with crazy creatures for this town: mooing birds, and squablins: a squirrel/goblin hybrid. The squablins were very entertaining and were my favorite part of the book overall.
The Mystery: The town’s mystery was creative and the results of the magic discovered in the mystery kept me on the edge of my seat. I’m curious about the remainder of the series!
Characters: Aside from Kip and Marleigh, the other characters felt like stick figures almost, as their personalities were much flatter than the two main characters. However, it didn’t really take away from the story.
Repetition: The author’s writing style used a lot of repetition (i.e. always referring to a certain porch step as something along the lines of ‘the second to the last step that should barely count as a step at all’; always having Kip’s uncle read the newspaper every time he appears, etc.). In a children’s book, I wouldn’t have found it that iffy, but being that (from what I can tell) this is marketed as a middle grade book, it felt a bit childish for the target audience. But, as an adult reader, this is just my personal opinion. I think young readers would enjoy this aspect.
I’m looking forward to finding out more about the origin of the mystery in the rest of the series! 🙂 Overall rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars.
That’s it for today, Arrowheads! What’s your favorite middle grade read? I’m hoping to introduce one to you guys in November! 😉