The Enlightenment of Abigail Brown by Mark Waters
Review by Jasper de Joode
Thrown into a world of magic, myth and dragons, Abigail has discovered her true self and now relishes her new existence as Princess of Nousidia. This life, however, is to be short lived, as the arrival of a dark visitor plunges her into new and perilous depths, her world threatened once again by agents of evil. In her quest for discovery, Abby uncovers memories long forgotten, truths obscured by history and an acceptance that may break her heart. Can the fragile balance of life survive this new upheaval, or will her world succumb to the darkness of perpetual winter?
The Enlightenment of Abigail Brown is the second book in the Nousidian Chronicles. In its prequel the story was pretty much closed so I was wondering how Mark Waters would start off the second book. It could go any which way. I was actually surprised with what happened in the prologue. Where I thought that Abigail had defeated her evil aunt Belladora, there is now a sudden return of her. Looking back on the part where she was defeated in the first book I can relate to the reappearance. This reappearance could prove an interesting start so I had high hopes for The Enlightenment of Abigail Brown.
As I mentioned the prologue which featured the return of Belladora, both in the presence of Abigail and Apollo, could have proved a very interesting tale. But then from the chapters that directly followed there was no follow-up of this presence of Belladora, to my disappointment. And to be honest I could not find a very strong plot line developing around the sudden appearance of Belladora. Instead it felt like that this was put in the background. Only in the last chapters, where Abigail is confronted with her aunt is this followed up. I would have liked to have seen a stronger plot line around this and again more interludes featuring the villain, Belladora.
What Mark Waters does manage to do great is to tell a rich and still enchanting story about the magical world of Nousidia. In The Enlightenment of Abigail Brown Mark Waters further explains the coming and going in Nousidia. Visiting and revisiting not only places in Nousidia but also a short travel back to the real world. And with Abigail now being introduced to Nousidia, there is more building around the magic of Nousidia with special hubs in the real world, and more portals into Nousidia. The singular events in which Abigail is placed are great and explained in a good manner. But there was a lack of a whole well rounded story.
Looking at the timeline, where Abigail travels back to the normal world. When she returns to Nousidia again, she has been missed for a couple of years. Doing a bit of math. Abigail is 13 but in Nousidia she is 200, so a factor 15. I felt that she was only a few days to a week in the real world with how fast everything went so at most she could be missing 15 weeks and not a few years. This just didn’t add up with missing years in Nousidia.
Where there was a certain character development in The Enchantment of Abigail Brown I found that it was completely absent in this sequel. Well in the end she become the new queen, but there was not more than that. I do think that this is owing to the fast pace of the storyline in the first book, where she took a sudden leap into adulthood. But I must say that Abigail by herself is more consistent throughout the storyline, not the sudden changes of an child Abigail and adult Abigail mixed.
I was pleased with the ending and the final showdown between Abigail and Belladora (or was it?). Especially with the interferences of some of her friends and a mysterious stranger. The battle that occurred between the two was well described and interesting to read, especially what Abigail did in the end and how she managed it. I hope to see more of this in the further books.
The Enlightenment of Abigail Brown adds much to the already existing world of Nousidia in terms of world building. I found the character development a bit lacking, and I hope that this will continue in the books to follow. There were many places visited and many new characters introduced that I felt that the overall plot line lost its focus. I also hope that there will be a better constructions in the next book with a strong plot line.
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