The Golden Apple – Book Review
The Golden Apple by Michelle Diener is a competently written young adult fantasy. It reads like a fairy tale with the classic elements of princesses, knights, sorcerers, witches and woodsmen. There is a Great Forest filled with strange and terrible magic, a quest and of course a magical Golden Apple. Unfortunately, the author also throws in some mythical creatures/races at the end of the book that seem incongruous with the rest of the world she was trying to create.
The plot moves along at a healthy clip. It does not waste time or drag out character growth and change. That is not to say there isn’t character development. The two leads develop much as I would expect them to, they just don’t dwell much on their troubles as they move purposefully through the plot. Things are constantly happening. And the characters spend just enough time talking with each other and dialoging internally to explain everything clearly to the reader. Things are certainly not slow. And that is good.
The only down side, is that it is not elegant. It is efficient, solid and just a little juvenile. However, considering the target audience, that is perhaps the intent. It is not poetic or beautifully written prose. But it is well done.
The princess is strong, brave and good. She is the modern princess who is taking charge of her life and not going to let her father or any other man tell her what to do. Well, outside of the Evil Sorcerer who has enchanted the princess to fetch a relic for him.
The woodsman is similarly heroic, strong and good. Sure he might have lied a little in the beginning, but that is because he is trying to save the life of another. Besides, he learns quickly the princesses is definitely worth protecting; even if he will need the rescuing towards the end.
After the prerequisite rough start our two protagonists discover they work best together. They fight the Evils sorcerer and Duke. They overcome the dangers of the Great Forest. They are reckless enough to have faults and good enough to show mercy and kindness to the fairy-required strangers. And naturally they fall in love. Though all intimate scenes are kept strictly PG.
The Golden Apple is a strong young adult fantasy, with no serious flaws and PG imagery. It is good and if I was to rate it I would give it 4 stars out of 5. Why? Because it was not special. It was not wonderfully written being generic much of the time. It was competently written – which is to say that is better than most things I have read in a while. But there are still far better works out there. So solidly good, just not spectacularly great.