Those Who Wander
Reviewed by: Jessica Prieto
I must say that when I received this book in the mail, my first thought was, “This is kind of thin.” Now, I’m used to reading books of 400+ pages. In my mind, you need that many pages to tell a cohesive story that can really draw me in and fill out the world around the story.
This book showed me how unbelievably wrong I was. The story that Medford creates in “Those Who Wander” sucked me in from the very first pages. I watched as the main character developed from a snobby girl of wealth into a fighting, strong pirate.
This book is all about Song. She’s the daughter of an incredibly wealthy man, who also happens to be a terrible father. Within the first few pages we learn that her father, instead of spending time with his only daughter, simply buys her dolls as a half-hearted apology. Her mother is a real sour woman who cares more for appearances than for her daughter’s happiness.
All of this changes when a confession at a party forces Song out of the life she grew up in. Partnering with Altain, a young treasure-hunter, she embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. Filled with pirates, sword-fighting, and danger, “Those Who Wander” had me reading the entire book in one sitting, unable to put it down for even a moment.
The characters that Medford created for her novel are incredibly intriguing. Altain was my favorite, as the flirtatious young man kept me smiling at every turn of the page. However, there is more to him than meets the eye, as Song learns the heartbreaking story of his past.
Song, as well, is an incredibly interesting character. I love seeing her growth throughout the novel. As mentioned before, she begins as a snobby rich kid, but is forced to develop into a strong woman who can dominate the skies. Medford did well in making sure that readers saw just how hard it was for Song to let go of the life she knew, going so far as to show her struggle in simply washing dishes for herself and Altain.
The world that this story is set in is expansive. I loved the flying zepplins and sky pirates. The books take on a slightly steampunk-y theme in this aspect, which I thought was amazing. My only critique is that I wanted more. I would have loved more elaboration and description of the world, both the skies and the land. Some of this, I think, was due to the fact that her book has so much dialogue and not enough narrative and description. I’m hoping that I can see more of Medford’s world in her next installment of the series.
This leads to my next critique. The pacing of the book, especially the middle and ending, seems very fast. I think this is due, in part, to how much dialogue there is. The narrative between the dialogue seems very rushed in places, and I found myself scrambling to know what was going on. I had to reread some parts and put pieces together in order to have the scene figured out. Once I did have it figured out, though, the story that played out was wonderful.
This book really makes you think about the question: “Can you create the life you want, or do you have to be stuck in what others expect of you?” It dares people to be different, to take their own lives in their hands and strike out on an adventure, whether it’s as large of an adventure as Song, or something smaller, such as following your heart to a new job or moving to a different city. Song can be an inspiration for those who want to make their lives strictly their own.
Overall, I really liked this novel. The characters were my favorite aspect, drawing me in with their fun personalities and realism. The adventure that Song is whisked away on is intriguing, and I found myself wanting more. However, the pacing seemed very fast for me, and I longed to see more of the world.
My Overall Review of Those Who Wander
Characters: 10/10 – I absolutely loved the characters that Medford created. They’re unique in their own ways, and they just seem real. They were, hands down, my favorite part of this book.
Setting: 7/10 – The setting that this book takes place in is amazing to me. I loved the steampunk-y vibe of the flying ships and the sky pirates. However, I would have liked to see more.
Plot: 7/10 – I liked the plot that developed throughout this story. Everything made sense, and I found myself being absorbed in this book. However, the pacing was incredibly fast in places, and it took away from the overall story for me.
Description: 7/10 – The description that Medford has is incredible. However, I would have liked to see more.
Grammar: – 10/10 – I found no grammar errors whatsoever in this book.
Overall Score: 41/50 – This was a good read. I plan on getting the next installment in the series, as I want to know what happens in Song’s adventure. There were some aspects that took away from the novel, but overall, I would recommend it to those who like adventures.