Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: The Luthier's Apprentice by Mayra Calvani

Title: The Luthier's Apprentice
Author: Mayra calvani
Author web site:
Publisher: Twilight Times Books,
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; Nook; Kobo Books; OmniLit, etc
Release date: 

May 15, 2014 (ebook)
August 15, 2014 (print)
Pages: 184

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), one of the greatest violinists who ever lived and rumored to have made a pact with the devil, has somehow transferred unique powers to another…

When violinists around the world mysteriously vanish, 16-year-old Emma Braun takes notice.  But when her beloved violin teacher disappears… Emma takes charge. With Sherlock Holmes fanatic, not to mention gorgeous Corey Fletcher, Emma discovers a parallel world ruled by an ex-violinist turned evil sorceress who wants to rule the music world on her own terms.

But why are only men violinists captured and not women? What is the connection between Emma's family, the sorceress, and the infamous Niccolò Paganini?

Emma must unravel the mystery in order to save her teacher from the fatal destiny that awaits him.  And undo the curse that torments her family—before evil wins and she becomes the next luthier's apprentice

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My Thoughts: I have read Mayra Calvani's children's books and have quite enjoyed them. When I learned that she wrote a YA book, I could not wait to read it. The Luthier's Apprentice was a very unique story with a mixture of fantasy and mystery. I was very entertained with this book.

As I mentioned before, the story was very unique. I would not think that a plot concentrating on violins would be exciting. I found myself fascinated to see how Calvani was able to wove a mystery tale of violinists  disappearing with a twist of fantasy elements. It was told in an easy, simplistic manner that made it quick to read yet it was filled with very rich details. The descriptions on the curse of the Luthier's family, the reason behind the disappearances, and the world with the trees were captivating. I was eager to learn more about the secrets behind everything and I couldn't wait to find out how the problem would be resolved.

Also, the characters were fun. The protagonist, Emma, was a sixteen-year-old who was smart, brave, and talented. It was interesting to read how she was an apprentice to her grandfather in making violins. Though she was more "sophisticated" than other teenagers, Emma still acted like your everyday teen. This was great because it made her character believable. Unfortunately for me, I don't relate to teenagers as much anymore, so this aspect made me not care as much as I should have about Emma's insecurities when it came to boys. Next, we had the antagonist, who's identity was a little obvious in the beginning. However, I found myself liking her character the most. The reasons behind why she did what she did was something refreshing. I loved how there was a feminist aspect to her, even though she was evil. 

Another element that made this book enjoyable was how it alluded to Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes was the inspiration for Emma's investigation on the disappearance of her violin teacher. Quotes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works were sprinkled all over the book. It was nice to come across something familiar while reading this book. 

As a whole, this was a wonderful book with a different kind of topic. Other than me not relating to teenagers as much, I highly recommend this book. It is fast, it is clean, and it's simply a great story! I rate it:

Author bio:

Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to nonfiction to paranormal fantasy novels. She’s had over 300 articles, short stories, interviews and reviews published in magazines such as The WriterWriter’s Journal and Bloomsbury Review, among others. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now resides in Brussels, Belgium. 

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