Allison Elaine Outerbridge (2017)
Reviewed by Megan Weiss – YA Reviewer for Reader Views (2/18)
”Liornabella,” Book 1 in The Viridian Chronicles by A.E. Outerbridge, follows Elle O’Sullivan, a 17-year-old who has been accepted to Liornabella’s prestigious university. What Elle does not know is that she is about to become the central actor in a sinister plot that dates back two centuries.
“Liornabella” is like a cross between Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. The region’s smartest and strongest have been brought to one school, where each year they compete against each other to see who is the best. This story brings a breath of fresh air to vampire stories. Instead of being all about falling in love with the tall, dark, and handsome bad boy vampire, this story is about uncovering how the vampires are linked to Liornabella’s most famous scandal: the disappearance of their princess some two hundred years earlier, and later, that of their king. Could it be that the answers to both are now under the same roof?
This young adult fantasy novel is unique and brings together a cast of characters that you want to root for as readers. While there are many strengths to the novel, some issues come in the way of dialogue that is a little too formal at times, and a pace that is just a little too fast. There’s a lot happening in this book, and I believe that going deeper into character development and background context could really have brought this book up to the forefront of young adult literature. Time moves extremely fast over the course of the book, and I think it would have been beneficial in this case to concede to writing a longer book with more pages, in order to get in all the twists and turns that were essential to weaving an unforgettable tale. The building blocks are there and the execution of the plot is wonderfully done, but I think this story could have been cultivated even more. Although, this is the first book in a series, which means that there is still ample time for bigger and better things to come.
In “Liornabella,” A.E. Outerbridge has certainly succeeded in bringing to the table an exciting new tale about a mysterious, faraway land with an even more mysterious background. This is definitely an author to keep tabs on to see what more she brings to the table in the future.