ARC REVIEW: The Oddmire: Changeling by Will Ritter 💭Middle Grade Meets the Jackaby Series with Heart, Goblin Boys, and More

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Title: The Oddmire: Changeling
Author: Will Ritter
Pages: 272

Release Date: July 16th 2019
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Format: ebook

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 4.31 (of 99 ratings)

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Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind—a newborn changeling. But when the fateful night arrives to trade a human baby for a goblin one, something goes terribly wrong. After laying the changeling in a human infant’s crib, the goblin Kull is briefly distracted from his task. By the time he turns back, the changeling has already perfectly mimicked the human child. Too perfectly: Kull cannot tell them apart. Not knowing which to bring back, he leaves both babies behind.

Tinn and Cole are raised as human twins, neither knowing what secrets may be buried deep inside one of them. Then when they are twelve years old, a mysterious message arrives, calling the brothers to be heroes and protectors of magic. The boys must leave behind their sleepy town of Endsborough and risk their lives in the Wild Wood, crossing the perilous Oddmire swamp and journeying through the Deep Dark to reach the goblin horde and discover who they truly are.

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🧚 Excerpt of Chapter One 🧚

The Oddmire – Prologue Excerpt

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Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of  Algonquin Young Readers. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. 

The moment I saw that William Ritter was writing a new book, I knew that I had to get it. Ritter wrote the Jackaby series, and if you haven’t read it yet, I totally recommend getting it on your TBR. It’s a quirky little series that brings together Sherlock, the supernatural world, and empowering females in a unique way that still gets me every time.

This book brings a bit of the Jackaby world together but instead focuses on middle grade, family, and more. Two boys – Tinn and Cole – who discover one of them is a changeling that was accidentally left at birth. When they receive a note from the goblin who failed to steal the human boy, they discover that magic is dying in the woods, and they must go into the Wild Wood to save the forest and magic. This book blends a fairytale feeling with adventure, coming of age stories, and more. 

What I loved the most about this story was that fairytale feeling. The atmosphere was perfect. I felt utterly immersed in the Wild Wood. It was a creepy but still intriguing forest filled with unexpected turns at each bend of t he woods. Ritter created a captivating world inside this book, and it honestly felt straight out of a Grimm’s fairytale – although far less creepy and people cutting off their toes (hello, Cinderella). It was even complete with morals that were great – about learning to accept yourself, family love, there is a story behind every story, and more.

The writing was good as well. Ritter always has an easy breezy writing, and this book is no exception at all. I sped through this book in about two or three sittings, and I probably could have done it quicker if I wasn’t so tired each time I was picking it up. Despite the complex world he created, it was always very easy to read.

The pacing – despite the ease of the writing – perhaps went a bit slow at times? I’m not quite sure how to explain. Everything went pretty fast, but I wasn’t as invested in it? I felt my investment dropping at times besides everything moving really fast and effectively.

What I also really loved in this novel was the aspect of family. When Tinn and Cole find out that they’re not blood brothers, it doesn’t matter to them at all, and nothing changes. Their mother fights so hard to get her boys back – and throughout the story, she makes it plain and clear that it doesn’t matter who the changeling is – both are her boys. The group in the forest really became a family as well, and I loved these dynamics.

I also found a bit disconnected from the characters? I enjoyed them all, and I did root for them, but I wasn’t really in deep deep with them. I think the story got so focused on the story so much that it kind of veered away from the depth of the characters as much as I wanted it to be. I mean, they were great from the surface level, but I wanted much more.

Overall, this is a fun, light middle grade novel that is perfect if you would like to dive deeper into if you’re looking for a book about family, fairytales, and heart. It has a few slight bumps with disconnection but overall, a solid, fun read.

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Jasmine

rating: Jasmine because while I loved being part of this world, I still had some slight bumps on the magic carpet ride
representation: n/a
content warnings: n/a

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🧚 About the Author 🧚

Ritter,_Will_HR (c) Katrina Santoro

William Ritter is an Oregon author and educator. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark.The Oddmireis Ritter’s first series for middle-grade readers. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling, award-winning Jackaby series for young adult readers. Visit him online at rwillritter.wordpress.com and find him on Twitter: @Willothewords.

What do you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

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12 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: The Oddmire: Changeling by Will Ritter 💭Middle Grade Meets the Jackaby Series with Heart, Goblin Boys, and More

  1. I’m sorry if this is a repeat comment– I don’t think all my comments have been going through lately!!
    But I loved this review– I need to read the Jackaby books and this post had reminded me that!! This books sounds wonderful– I love the magic– it is perfect for middle grade. And I think it is so important that is touches on family and morals!! This sounds like a fun read and I’m glad that you enjoyed it overall!! 💛 Great review!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just had a same issue with that too! But it did go through!! And YES, omg, the Jackaby series was a lot of fun. It had wit, humor, a cute side romance, intriguing world/adventure, and female empowerment. And yes, I think middle grade books that include magical whimsy like this are my favorite kind, and this did it well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know wordpress can be a bit odd sometimes but I’m glad it went through!!
        Ahh.. The Jackaby series sounds amazing– I love wit and female empowerment. So I am very excited to read it!!
        Yes I think it fits the age group very well and it is so fun to read about!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Jackaby series has been on my TBR for far too long; I can’t wait to finally get to it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this ARC! I love seeing middle grade novels focusing on familial love and loyalty! Also we need more books with goblins 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesssssss. It’s so so good. It’s literally such a fun and interesting world. You’ll have so much enjoyment with them. And YES. I think middle grade does that so well, and this one for sure. And ahaha YES. Goblins are always an underrated creature in books.

      Liked by 1 person

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