Nobody’s Story: The Golden Locket by Stephanie Mayor, e-book, 220 pages, published by This Story is Mine Publishing in 2014.
Stephanie finds herself alone in the world when her parents mysteriously disappear. Her only companion is her cat, Angel. Whilst holding a golden locket that belonged to her mother, she accidentally pops open the clasp, and the locket transports her and Angel into a very different world to the one they were living in. This beautiful new world is called Metilia, and is a land of kingdoms, castles, princes and talking animals. Stephanie and Angel embark on the most exciting of journeys, traversing the seas with Prince Aidian to the Silver Isles. They encounter diverse vegetation, an evil presence, a dragon and some terrifying man-eating sea creatures. They also take on the nasty Familians, the people of another Kingdom who enjoy plundering, hurting and killing to get what they want.
I loved The Golden Locket right from the start. It captured my imagination and reminded me of the fantastical adventures I dreamt of having as a child. Such wonderful adventures, discoveries, and animals that can talk! The story is written with such detail, the land and the characters came to life as I read. The scenery was divine, the characters interesting, and the travels exciting. Though if I were travelling through Metilia, I might prefer to avoid some of the nastier creatures such as dirwins! I liked that we were introduced to some of the history and legends of Metilia, Camtra and Famila during the book. The story also contained some romantic elements, but it wasn’t overly soppy or forced. Romantic notions within the story were fairytale-esque with nothing explicit, good for younger readers.
Angel is such a sassy cat. She is feisty, rude and opinionated, but also brave and loyal. Dedicated to protecting Stephanie, she also comes across as over-protective and paranoid, but I liked her a lot. She has such a huge personality, just as I imagine a cat would if they suddenly had the ability to talk. I really liked Stephanie as well. She is strong, intelligent and caring, with plenty of charm, whilst also being quietly spoken and gentle. She is often apologising for Angel’s brash nature, but she loves the cat dearly.
There were many other characters in the story, all of whom were well developed. Prince Aidian, as the main male character seemed to complement Stephanie well, they have similar values, though rather different pasts. He is sincere and generous to all those he meets, and he genuinely cares about Stephanie and her quest. Being a Prince, he is of course somewhat protective of her, but she still gets to be herself with him. I particularly enjoyed the banter between the animals and people, with many of the horse’s and Angel’s comments making me laugh. Muddle the donkey was a memorable character that added a little bit of absurdity to every situation.
The Golden Locket is suitable for children in middle to upper primary school and beyond. It should be especially appealing to fans of fantasy adventure. It is the first book in the Nobody’s Story series, and I am very much looking forward to the second book to see what adventures Stephanie and Angel have next.
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.