Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: For as long as Lottie Fiske can remember, the only people who seem to care about her have been her best friend, Eliot, and the mysterious letter-writer who sends her birthday gifts. But now strange things and people are arriving on the island Lottie calls home, and Eliot’s getting sicker, with a disease the doctors have given up trying to cure. Lottie is helpless, useless, powerless.
And then a door opens in the apple tree.
Follow Lottie down through the apple roots to another world—a world of magic both treacherous and beautiful—in pursuit of the impossible: a cure for the incurable, a use for the useless, and protection against the pain of loss.
Huge thank you to Raincoast Books for this ARC!
Admittedly, I had never heard of The Water and the Wild, but after reading the description, I knew it was my kind of book. Full of imagination and creativity, K.E Ormsbee’s debut is really quite delightful.
I think the main draw of The Water and the Wild is its rich storytelling. Ormsbee captures the reader’s imagination, painting vivid pictures of the world in which Lottie and her companions inhabit. The book is filled with lush description, charming characters, and a wonderfully simplistic narration. Even the dialog has great punch to it, never reading dryly — everything about The Water and the Wild is just such a refreshing ride compared to a lot of the middle grade fantasy out there.
I think Adelaide was my favourite character of all of them. She was just so sassy and blunt. Unafraid to speak her mind, though very rough around the edges. She was completely my kind of a girl! I also loved Lottie, whom I thought was a strong protagonist. She’s got quite the curious side, but she values love and friendship like no other. Every character in this book is wonderfully crafted and has their own motivations in this world. Each one is wild, difficult to tame, yet not always in tune to consequence. In a lot of ways that is what made them so striking and so different — they weren’t predictable in any way.
The Water and the Wild is a fantastic debut novel, and it’s one that offers so much adventure, creativity, and will spark the imagination of readers young and old. It’s a book that wants its readers to dig a bit deeper, but it’s full of life. I loved my time with this novel, and I am eager to see what K.E Ormsbee writes next.