Rating: 3 out of 5
For young Ben Boarman, it started off as a typical Halloween with his sister, Bailey. That is until they met a woman who gave him a strange warning, “Don’t forget to check the well!” Sure enough, later that evening, Ben received a cryptic message and an interesting new ability near the well in his backyard. From there, Ben and two of his friends, Dan and Althea are drawn into a mysterious battle in the small town of Linford between two powerful groups, the Keepers and the Habitue.
The Keepers have called upon Ben to help them but the Habitue have someone as well, Darell Novitski. Darell is smart, strong and utterly devoted to the Habitue.
Ben and his friends are intent on preventing the Habitue from succeeding in their plans for Linford but with Darell in their way they realize that time may not be on their side. The Habitue are everywhere. They are nowhere. They are the shadows. And they will not be stopped.
The concept for The Habitué by Douglas White is pretty interesting, with a strange mix of odd and cliche. It is odd in the sense that the main character, Ben, is given only a single ability instead of many, and he wasn’t exactly thrown into these situations like characters are in most books. He was more carefully guided. He had the choice to be a part of things, and I enjoyed that.
What I did have a problem with though were the characters themselves, as they blended together too much for my liking. Most of them were a bit bland with no big personality traits that made the characters unique. The only characters I really liked were Darrell, Lonnie, and Elma, and that was mainly due to the fact that they had quite distinct mannerisms.
The book itself was written in third person and it jumped around a bit between characters so as to follow them. While it was a tad bit irritating at times and wasn’t always pulled off incredibly well, it did help build the plot more. It was also interesting to see the different aspects of the story and how one event can effect different people.
There was a tragedy in this book, which did hurt to read, but not as much as I would have liked. If I read a tragedy in a book I want it to hurt so much I’m close to crying, and I have to put down the book so I can process it. With this I simply said, “Oh,” and felt a little emotional as I carried on reading. I think this is due to the writing style itself, which is quite simplistic with very little dramatic language used to create effect. This left little room for contrasts to be made between ‘normal’ scenes and emotional ones. Luckily this writing style suited the action-packed moments in the book as they were portrayed pretty well.
To me this is meant for a younger age group than the average YA reader. So if you know anyone who is younger and looking for a good action and fantasy book to read I would recommend that they read this, as it’s probably suited more for them than me.
Also I would just like to say a quick thank you to the author who sent this to me.