My takeaway: I am not the target audience for this book, but I bought it, read it, and I’m reviewing it anyway. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi is quite simply an enchanting read, and though my old and cynical self wasn’t wholeheartedly swept away by this fantasy, I’m very excited to gift it to a few young readers that I know.
My experience: There were more than a few times when I felt as if I was pulled back in time as I was filled with childlike wonder. Particularly, in the beginning of the novel, which I found thoroughly enchanting and funny, quirky and clever. Tahereh Mafi’s writing is magnificent, and exactly the kind of prose you would expect for a dazzling fantasy for children. This was my first read by her and I was more than impressed.
Additionally, I experienced Furthermore mainly through audio, and it was fantastic. I (mostly) loved Bronson Pinchot’s narration. The story is told using a third person omniscient point of view that is mischievous, and adds an irresistible quirkiness to an already unique storyline. The actor portrays that voice exceptionally, as well as delivers Mafi’s clever and memorable lines perfectly. I also liked how he voiced Alice, showcasing her insecurities, her grief, and her extraordinary resilience. I didn’t like his voice for Oliver. To be fair, I didn’t much like Oliver in general, and felt like the worst adult for keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that he’d be eaten at some point, but Pinchot’s voice for the character made him even more annoying. He sounded too old, and condescending, but who knows, maybe that’s how he was written. (He does redeem himself in the end ;))
That aside, my only other gripe with Furthermore was, well, Furthermore. Some moments when listening I lost interest because the story became more about the world building for Furthermore than the characters. As a reader, I’m always more interested in the characters and their relationships that what’s going on around them. But, as I said, I’m not the target audience, and I can see a young reader being completely enraptured by this rich and imaginative world. Also, gripes aside, once it was all over I wanted more and I’m excited to read more about this universe, especially if Alice (and, yes, Oliver) makes a reappearance.
Recommendation: In a world even more vibrant than the stunning cover, readers are taken on a fantastic journey. If you’ve got a road trip planned, then download this gem and take it along for the ride. I imagine it’ll be an even more fun experience to share with family, of all ages.
Book InfoFurthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Furthermore #1
Genres: Children's, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook, Hardcover
Source: Amazon, Overdrive
Buy on Amazon, Buy on B&N, Buy on iBooks
Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.