When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might’ve been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – and it’s one she’s not sure if she wants to be a part of. (Goodreads)
Ever dream about being a princess? Me either. But dreaming about being pulled from reality into an alternate reality where you are really special, find out you have cool powers, and live in a mansion, surrounded by gifted and attractive people is something I think we can all relate to. In this case, finding out she’s really a princess is exactly what happens to Wendy Everly (plus all that other stuff).
Ok, let’s back up a bit.
Wendy is a socially awkward, troubled girl who lives with her aunt and a very caring and
overbearing protective brother named Matt. She’s pretty much bumbling through life, barely getting by.
One day she begins to notice a weird guy, Finn, always staring at her. She thinks he’s cute but also weird. He stares. A lot. Like Edward Cullen staring.
Luckily, Finn turns out to be pretty cool.
Finn is what’s known as a tracker. His job in the Trylle world is to hunt down changelings, babies switched at birth, and bring them back to Förening which is their compound/community. Finn’s character is semi-tragic though because his job places him low in Trylle society, making him the forbidden would-be lover. Nevertheless, Wendy has feelings for him and wishes he’d stop being so stubborn about her new found responsibility.
Wendy takes the whole change really well because deep down she knows she’s never fit in well with humans.
Fun Story, Cool Powers
There are a lot of reasons to like Switched (and Torn, too, but I’ll review that later) even for non-target audience readers like me. There’s romance, sure, but Amanda has written it in a way that didn’t make me feel weird for reading it.
There’s also action, mutant-like powers (wind control, precognition, mind control, telekinesis, etc.), and some politicking. I like Amanda’s take on trolls, which is derived from Norwegian lore. They’re different enough culturally to be interesting but similar enough to humans that their existence feels much more believable.
Amanda always has solid pacing in her books and Switched is no different. One thing that helps is that the Trylle compound, while unique, is similar enough that Amanda doesn’t have to spend a lot of time on world-building details. Switched is focused more on emotion, relationships, and character growth. If you enjoy detailed world building then you might be disappointed by this.
Hmm, Two Things
One thing I didn’t like much was the rather abrupt ending which simply begs for the sequel to be on hand so you can keep going. The only real “mission” for Wendy in Switched was to learn about her ethnicity and get through the christening ball. All the other stuff is left for the next two books.
Another thing that bugs me is a character who is a victim, a pawn that everyone moves around. Finn, Tove and others do the fighting, Rhys helps her feel welcome, Matt loves and protects her and Wendy just kind of fumbles around not really being good at anything. Granted, she’s in a new situation but I like a hero I can root for not just a main character that narrates all the cool stuff everyone else is doing. (Note: Torn fixes this. Yay!)
I never read the ebook version so I really enjoyed how the book segued into the bonus short story at the end. This helped to take the edge off of being left hanging. The bonus story at the end of Switched is called The Vittra Attacks. It provides a wonderful look at how the Vittra operate. Being a first person POV from Wendy’s perspective, it’s nice to see a different side of things.
I was initially drawn to Amanda’s work out of curiosity after hearing about her success. Since then I’ve evolved from mild interest after reading My Blood Approves (#1), joyful surprise upon reading Hollowland and now solid appreciation of her work with the Trylle Trilogy. Keep on writing ’cause I’m gonna keep on reading!
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