THE MANY ADVENTURES OF PETER AND FI VOLUME I: HOMECOMING
by Kelvyn Fernandes
Follow Peter and Fi as they work together, each searching for something uniquely special to them through the four kingdoms of their known world. It’s a tale of fantastical beasts, peculiar characters, remarkable settings, and a unique brand of biochemistry-based magic. My writing focuses on meaningful character interaction, delicate world building, and intense action battles.
She emerged within a dark sea of green, shielding her eyes against the crescent moon’s pale blaze. The twinkling stars hummed softly, discordant against the chattering birds below. The lush leaves rippled in the breeze, tempting Fi to dip her toes in for a swim. The wind blew at her back and she turned east to face it. The fresh air carried the salty spray of the Shimmering Sea. Although she could not see it, she knew it was right there. Her ears caught the distant waves crashing against the shore. One last step. She thought.
I’m a sucker for a good atmospheric fantasy story, and this book has atmosphere in spades. From pirate ships to living forests, I felt fully immersed in the many and varied locations this book offered. The forest was, hands down, my favorite place. Okay, it was full of dangers I’d never want to come up against in a million years, but it was just so fascinating. All the colors and the magic caught me in my fantasy place.
I also found the characters to be well-rounded. Peter and Fi are wonderful protagonists. I loved Peter’s magical ability (manipulating bubbles). I won’t lie. My first reaction upon learning this was one that most of the story’s characters had. “Bubbles?” But time and again, I saw Peter use his abilities in the most interesting and creative ways that also happened to get he and Fi out of some sticky scrapes. For her part, Fi drew me in with that “lost character” quality. Throughout the story, she’s referred to as a little girl, and that sometimes confused me. She didn’t seem so young, but then something would happen, and she’d behave as I would expect a 12 year old to behave. I think “little” set my brain on a much younger age for her.
As the title suggests, this book is about Peter and Fi’s many adventures. While I found those adventures to be interesting and suspenseful, I also had somewhat of a tough time linking them together. This struck me more as a short-story collection that had been strung together than a novel. There is a definite forward progression, but there are some jumps in the timeline that confused me. At one point, things seemed to leap years back in time. I thought this would be a flashback, but as it kept going, I realized the story had completely changed places. This really tripped me up, especially since the ending didn’t seem to resolve my confusion. Since this is first in a series, I’d imagine there’s more to come that might offer clarity.
There were also some things that kind of grossed me out. I won’t spoil, but there is a princess who just needs to be hung up-side-down until her brain melts and reforms into something appropriate for thinking. The book’s description led me to think I was getting into a kid’s adventure story. Maybe this was just a very wrong guess on my part, but there were things in here that kids would either find grossly intriguing or gag from. If you have sensitivities at all to blood, be aware.
Overall, I think this world and its characters have a lot to offer. There were some characters who were given decent “screen time” only to disappear. I wondered what happened to them, if they would be back. Some of this wondering pulled me from the story. I think a more cohesive linking of the timeline would have made my reading experience smoother. That said, Peter and Fi are characters worth following, and I wonder what mischief they’ll get into next.
Kelvyn Fernandes decided to follow his dream of becoming an author after graduating from McMaster University with a degree in Biochemistry. He enjoys travelling and going on adventures, with his favourite pastime being back-country canoeing in Algonquin Park. He uses both his experiences with nature and education in the sciences to shape the world of the stories he writes.
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