I’m not sure if it’s ironic or unironc that the best descriptor I can possibly think of for Foreverafter: An Odd Adventure by K. J. Quint is quite literally the word odd. Following the long awaited adventure of a young girl called Audrey—though more commonly referred to as Odd—and her best friend Kite when a mysterious floating island appears above their home. And if you thought you knew where this story was headed, or at least had some sort of inkling, you’d probably be wrong. More than likely, you’ll leave this book wondering just what, exactly, the purpose was.
And to the credit of the author, I can’t figure out if this is a good or a bad thing.
I was rather in love with the idea of this story from the moment I first read its summary. It reminded me a little of Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky, but that was perfectly alright with me since I happened to have a deep love for that film. There was no question that I was excited to read this one. The character names were another intriguing highlight as I found myself rather in love with the nickname of ‘Odd’ for a girl named Audrey and Kite all by itself is a rather fun name for a kid. And as the novel progressed I grew quite fond of Cecil for a number of reasons. By far, the best characters in this story are Kite and Cecil.
Unfortunately, where this book fails is with its main character and its villains. Audrey, while she has a wonderful name, comes off as a massive brat. She doesn’t give consideration to anyone around her and the more I got to know her the more I wondered how any of these characters—barring her mother, I suppose—liked her at all. She was a constant pain in the side, regularly making situations worse and worse for everyone around her and only on one occasion did she ever seem to show any afterthought or remorse for being such a reckless snot and she never really seems to grow or develop from this. My issue with the villains, alternately, lies with the fact that I have not one single clue as to what their motivation was. They were so flat and underdeveloped in this area that it was just massively baffling and left me feeling that they were only part of the story to create conflict—which was unnecessary when the author could have simply stuck to Odd’s self-destructive tendency to jump into whatever danger she finds or create it herself if she can’t manage to come upon any.
The side characters, perhaps excluding Audrey’s father who only ever really had his okay moments—primarily when we meet him, since he falls apart in the end—are fairly decent and I enjoyed their inclusion, though I wish we’d spent a bit more time with some than other.s. I feel like so much more could have come from the pup creatures than they were actually utilized for, which was quite a shame. And it seems like this was a theme in the book as there were numerous interesting creatures mentioned who never really amounted to much in the grand scheme of the story.
And thus, after all of it, I continue to be baffled when it comes to what I think of Foreverafter. I enjoyed reading it, sure. But it was just such an odd and almost pointless book that I really felt left with mixed feelings. Add in the fact that this is an omnibus version that is going to be split into three separate novels and the final part conclusion ends on a cliffhanger and I’m even more unsure how to feel. I didn’t even get closure with all the mixed up pieces of the story at the very end of it all. The story is certainly very unique, which I’ll give it a lot of credit for, but I feel that the author spent way too much time on pushing Audrey’s “oddness” than actually telling a succinct, plot-dynamic, and interesting story. Had all of the characters been extensively developed, perhaps I could have forgiven this a bit more. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
Foreverafter is a pretty decent book and it certainly had its good moments. But it could have been far better.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.