RaeleighReads rating: 3 out of 5 coffee cups
“What else had he been missing? And with that simple question to himself, his mind began clicking and coughing and whirring into gear like the engine of an old farm truck taken out of storage after a long winter.”
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Felix, our main character, begins this story like so many freshmen on college campuses, by attending really boring first week activities. Felix, however, goes through it all in a fog because he is dealing with some fairly heavy internal turmoil. We soon discover Felix is not your typical college freshman, and that’s when the fun really begins.
The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen begins a series of magical adventure. The stakes? Nothing more than the free will of all mankind. You know, nbd. This series is perfect for the young adult readers out there who are looking for a different kind of hero. I think young male readers may find in Felix someone they can identify with on several levels. He’s a jock, he’s an average student who studies pretty hard, he worries a lot about girls (and one in particular), his best friend is a girl, he’s had some family trauma in his past, he’s a tad irritable and a tad depressed, and overall just a really good guy. The kind of guy you’d like to be friends with even though you know that friendship might not always be an easy one. There’s something both fragile and strong about him — he’s enigmatic really.
Obviously I really liked Felix, even though his character sometimes frustrated me. My other favorite character in this novel was his best friend Allison. Smart, funny, pretty, and uniquely in tune with Felix’s oddities. She was a nice counterbalance to Felix’s character.
So, the characters in this book were very well developed and executed. However, I’m only giving it three coffee cups because of a couple problems I had. One, pacing, and two, the verbosity. I felt personally that this story took way too much time setting itself up. Okay, they’re on a college campus. We get it. I don’t need several pages describing ivy-covered buildings to me. I don’t need thorough descriptions of the football team or games because that wasn’t really relevant to the overall story at hand. Writers can develop a backstory for their characters without making readers read pages and pages of it. Overall, this story is about magic, suspense, and really REALLY high stakes for humanity, so let’s fast-forward to that stuff! I slogged through the first half of this over the course of a month (a really slow read time for me) and flew through the second half in one day, just to provide a for instance.
Now, I hope that didn’t sound too negative because I am really looking forward to seeing where this series goes. I love the characters and the premise. I just want to see more of what’s important (the action) and less of what’s not (unnecessary description).
Some other opinions you may be interested in:
“At times I considered giving up on the book. I particularly felt this happening on chapters where the author’s focus was primarily on Felix and the main cast. There didn’t appear to be much plot progression during these chapters; just a lot of filler.“– Melissa on Goodreads
“So where are the great fantasy series that girls will naturally gobble up and that guys age 15-18 can get equally excited for?? Enter The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen by R.T. Lowe. While reading this I kept thinking “finally, finally!!” this is something I can recommend to ALL our teens that walk in the school library looking for something a little different, a little dark, and a little more.“– Jen La Duca on Goodreads