WUNDERSMITH (Nevermoor #2) - by Jessica Townsend

WUNDERSMITH - Jessica Townsend.
Published: November 2018 - Hachette.
Genres: Middle grade / fantasy / adventure
Pages: 467.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild fantasy violence.
Format: ARC paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Wunder is gathering in Nevermoor... 

Morrigan Crow may have defeated her deadly curse, passed the dangerous trials and joined the mystical Wundrous Society, but her journey into Nevermoor and all its secrets has only just begun. And she is fast learning that not all magic is used for good. Morrigan Crow has been invited to join the prestigious Wundrous Society, a place that promised her friendship, protection and belonging for life. She's hoping for an education full of wunder, imagination and discovery - but all the Society want to teach her is how evil Wundersmiths are. And someone is blackmailing Morrigan's unit, turning her last few loyal friends against her. Has Morrigan escaped from being the cursed child of Wintersea only to become the most hated figure in Nevermoor? Worst of all, people have started to go missing. The fantastical city of Nevermoor, once a place of magic and safety, is now riddled with fear and suspicion... 

If you love Middle Grade, or even if you don't, you need to read this series! It's lovely.

Townsend's writing is fabulous. Her style is beautiful, and there's so much great humour. It's heartwarming in every way. The plot isn't as tight or fast as Nevermoor, but it's still an entertaining, if not predictable, story; overall, I still enjoyed it. The ending is also satisfying, which I appreciate.

My only big issue with this series - particularly this book - is its similarities to Harry Potter. I just wish the author would take more risks and break into her own. She plays it too safe and seems to be relying on Rowling's ideas. Wundersmith reminds me so much of the Philosopher's Stone  - the story arcs are incredibly similar, what with the gang of friends, the Wunder identity, the ominous threat of Ezra Squall, and Morrigan's relationship with the villain mirroring Harry and Voldemort's - and it's disappointing. Frankly, it's a waste of Townsend's skill as a writer. 

The characters are wonderful. Morrigan is so endearing and relatable, and I love how many new characters we get to meet in this sequel. They're all so diverse and well written. I especially love all the great friendships, particularly the one between Morrigan and Hawthorne. Juniper's fatherly relationship with Morrigan is also so sweet.
There are just so many healthy, lovable dynamics.

Wundersmith isn't as brilliant as Nevermoor, but it's still a beautifully written tale with delightful characters and friendships. Think Harry Potter for younger readers :)