Cover Image: CHENDELL

CHENDELL

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Member Reviews

This is an interesting concept, but all in all this wasn’t for me. The first person narrative is fine until we reach the fight scenes and it just became a jumble from there.

BUT I finished the book and enjoyed the majority of it.

*I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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I listened to the Chendell audiobook excerpt when Netgalley first started posting them and I was drawn into it. And that's saying a lot because I'm extremely picky with my audiobooks and narrators. I've been trying to find the full audiobook and haven't yet been able to purchase it anywhere. Since the epub has been archived I'm going ahead and submitting feedback. Once I'm able to read the audiobook, I will update my review. Still interested in this book and will be picking it up soon! 👍
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I went in the book having low expectations,but it turned out to be good!
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me the eARC of this book!!!
Solid 4/5 stars.
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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Chendell tells the story of Jinsong from several different points of view that change every few paragraphs. I found this structure to be jarring and repetitive. The story reads like snippets from a diary or short memories spoken aloud. The focus is more on telling the reader about the events of this boy's life rather than putting you into the situation and showing it to you. 

Throughout the book there are so many unnecessary blocks of information from too many perspectives, I couldn't connect to any characters or situations, or feel immersed in the story at all. I felt as though I was reading an outline and not the actual book. The only reason I didn't DNF this book is because it's so short.
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With the global pandemic going on right now, we're all stuck indoors and going crazy. I really miss spending time with nature and hanging out with my friends, and so I needed a book that will somehow relieve my longing for the outdoors. So when I stumbled upon Chendell, I felt the timing couldn't be more perfect.

The story follows the lives of a Chinese boy and an American girl who both have a deep passion for nature and possess their own special natural powers. They both come from completely different backgrounds and yet they also bear a lot of similarities. The universe makes the two of them meet and soon they set out an journey that will ultimately lead them to their true calling. Chendell - nature's very own superheroes.

To be honest, I have plenty of mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I like its unique concept but on the other, I feel like the author wasn't able to utilize its full potential. What makes me say this?

Well, for one thing, I was expecting a much more action-packed story, and in some places it was. The battle scenes in particular were very well-written. However, for some reason I couldn't summon up any enthusiasm while reading them. Somehow the antagonists (ex. loggers, sleazy dude) seemed lackluster while the MCs clearly have the advantage, making it a tad predictable. Also, I felt there was some missing element. Something like a big, mean wicked villain who can raise the stakes and prove to be a real challenge for our MCs. Personally I was hoping it would be Casey Dee Roy. It didn't happen. But since I realized there's a sequel, I figured there'll be more chances and possibilities to come. So I'm crossing my fingers that the sequel will be better than this one.

Another thing that ticked me off was our way too perfect MCs. Don't get me wrong, I love that they all got great personalities, very supportive and understanding families, the coolest friends, good relationships and certain careers - but that's exactly the problem. It's too idealistic. I understand that this is a fantasy novel but even so, I always like a semblance of reality in the stories I read. I felt that everything has been a smooth sailing for the characters, and that's just not what I'm looking for. But this is just my own opinion. For others, this might not even be an issue. It all depends on the one who's reading. 

And even though I'm coming off as pessimistic, I assure you that I did actually enjoy the book. All the humor, the amusing anecdotes and light-hearted dialogues. Even someone like me could not resist the good vibes that Chendell gives off. 

I also wanted to point out... why are there some unnamed POVs during the story? Someone please remedy this situation so we could avoid future confusion. However, I do like the multiple and constantly switching perspectives, as well as the first person narrative. It's the first time I came across a book where all characters, including the minor ones, even down to Waldo the dog, were given their own POVs.

What's more important is the message of the story. Protect our environment and save the earth. This book doesn't just target children, it applies to all ages. Everyone can learn something from reading this book. And even if you don't, you can still glean a lot of life lessons from most of the characters and their respective backstories. 

All in all, Chendell: A Natural Warrior is indeed a book that sets itself apart from others. With its charming narration, diverse characters and inspirational lessons, I can guarantee that it's a worthwhile read (just ignore my rants). And I'm not lying when I say this is something I would be glad to recommend to others. As a former Biology student, I want to share it with my fellows as well and see if they like it too. It may even make a good gift for my niece and nephews. 

Before I end this review, I also want to say that there's an audiobook coming out for Chendell: and the narrators are none other than Alicia Silverstone & Adrian Grenier (❤️). If you'd like to hear a sample, simply go to Netgalley and search for the book title. An audio excerpt is readily provided on the site. 

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an e-copy of this awesome book! 

#CHENDELL
#Netgalley
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