Title: A WILD AND UNREMARKABLE THING
Author: JEN CASTLEBERRY
Publication Date: JANUARY 23, 2018
Cayda has spent her entire life training to slay a Fire Scale. Now the time has come to leave her dragon-ravaged village behind, march into the Summer Alps, and reap the rewards of a Champion.
But the road between poverty and prosperity is rife with beasts, betrayals. and baser temptations. Sensible Cayda soon discovers she’s not the only Champion with her eye on the prize, or the only one wearing a disguise.
This is a novella, and I enjoyed it. I loved the plot and a little twist in it. I loved the storyline and the characters are so remarkable. The whole story isn’t just about slaying a Fire Scale and winning a prize, but it was also about the characters wanting to make a name for themselves, wanting to feel like they are important, and wanting prove that they aren’t useless at all. I liked the whole Champion concept, I can see that this book has a bit of a Greek mythology style which makes it more interesting and unique.
The story brings four characters together: Cayda, Penn, Fares, and Wolfe. These four characters play an important role in the story, each of them get their own time to shine. Cayda is the main protagonist of the story since she is supposed to be the one who slay the Fire Scale, and she has a lot of her own story to tell compared to the rest. Her journey to become a Champion was rough, she had to go through a lot of harsh training and even had to hide who she really is which made me feel sad for her. She had to concealed her true identity for the majority of the book and pretended to be someone she’s not. Embracing who she really is was very hard for her because she spent her whole life being someone else. Aside from that, she also had to overcome all the struggles if she really want to be the Champion, and she really is a hardworking person. She made it her mission to be a Champion because not only she wanted to slay a Fire Scale to win a huge prize, but she wanted to do it to help her family. She is a brave person, and is very determined to achieve her goals. Cayda is a great and strong protagonist for this kind of story.
As for the others, they were great too but they are very different from Cayda. Penn was a bit mysterious when he first appeared, and the twist about him caught me off guard but that’s what makes him unique and far more interesting than the others. I was really invested in his character because he was so different in terms of everything. He was a nice gentleman and really cared for Cayda. He doesn’t do much in the story but he delivered some important informations regarding the Fire Scale and also the whole ‘Death God’ thing. He knows too much about the whole competition and has great knowledge about it too, so that made his character very important to the story.
As for Fares, he obviously didn’t do anything except for being the comic relief of the group. I enjoyed reading about his character, he was so funny and always be the one to lighten things up in a very dark moments. All he did was to give support to the Champions who are competing against one another. He knew that the whole thing was very deadly, but he was still there to give his support.
Lastly Wolfe, this is the most hardest character to figure out for me. I find him to be a bit difficult to read because he was quiet most of the time and just keep what he feels to himself. It saddens me when he thought no one would care for him and that he’s nothing compared to Fares and Zoe. I can see why he thinks like that and why he was so determined to be the Champion. I really-really feel bad for him but toward the end he seems like he would be the person to betray his own team member to achieve his goals, so I wasn’t sure which path the author will take his character to. The ending showed a little glimpse of his new life, which was very dull and sad because he lost himself and all he will feel is loneliness. Despite his character being so quiet and is a book nerd, he was also a very hardworking and ambitious person.
All these characters are amazing in their own way. They didn’t interact much together; Cayda is with Penn the whole time, and Fares is with Wolfe. The four of them only had a little conversation, and they also formed a bit of a close bond, so they are basically a group of strangers who become friends. Fares is very friendly with everyone, Penn is the type to just make an easy conversation with anyone, Cayda is the type to wander around on her own and only letting a few people she trust to accompany her, and Wolfe is the type who doesn’t get along with just anyone but he surely would make an effort to be friendly.
I would love to see Zoe and Cayda interact with one another, both are kind and fierce ladies but sadly they had zero interactions and Zoe doesn’t appeared much. I was hoping for Cayda and Wolfe to be friends at least since they are both Champions but they didn’t interact much either. Fares doesn’t hang out much with Cayda or Penn, he spent his time accompanying Wolfe and just find new people to flirt with. What happened to him later on only tighten his friendship with Cayda due to him being friends with Cayda’s sisters. Fares is like the only one who get along with anybody and that is one of the reason why he is so fun and great.
As for Penn and Cayda, these two grew closer the more time they spent with one another, and they developed a strong and powerful bond. They went from strangers to friends to lovers real quick. It wasn’t an insta-love type. As much as I wanted to see more of their romance, I was glad that there wasn’t much romance at all in the story and that the romance didn’t overshadow the plot, so it was all good. The romance between Penn and Cayda was a slow-burn type of romance, I liked seeing them just talking with one another, and getting to know each other. I didn’t expect them to be a couple, I thought it would be Cayda and Wolfe for some obvious reasons. So it was surprising to see Penn and Cayda but I truly support their relationship, it doesn’t matter that their relationship had a small development, but they were so sweet and are a good match. They were so compatible together in so many ways.
There was a little action in this book, and the ending when the Champions was trying to slay the Fire Scale, it wasn’t as epic as I imagined it to be. I was a bit disappointed but I get why it wasn’t epic, after all this is a novella and not a full-length novel. Also, I don’t see the Fire Scale to be the villain of the story, it has its own POV too and it was sad when it was talking about not waking up for another 15 years because it will be slayed. This book basically doesn’t even have any villain.
I also loved the world-building, it was a well-crafted, purely brilliant and just epic. There was also a mention of some places, like Ithil and Yurka. Ithil doesn’t look that great, but Yurka was so alive, everyone are free and happy and totally enjoying their time there so it was cool to see that place after witnessing how dull Ithil was. The Royal City also made a small appearance in the story, I don’t exactly know how it looks like, but I bet it look so beautiful. And I was curious about the Under Realm, the book only showed a glimpse of it but I was wondering what does it look like. Was it a dead city? Or is it exactly the same as the Underworld? I won’t be surprised if it is the Underworld—just with a different name—since this book has a bit of Greek mythology in it.
The whole story was very enjoyable, it was a unique and well-written story that I think will interest many people, especially those who loves Greek mythology. It has a fast pacing that won’t make readers lose interest with the book, and the plot is very easy to understand. The story flowed so well, and it was all clean and smooth. I think this is the type of story that anyone can get into and can easily enjoy it. I honestly loved it and I’m not sure if there is a continuation, doesn’t seem like it to me, but if there is any then I surely look forward to it.