Since Harry Potter, there has been an increasing demand for fantasy novels. Fulfilling the desire for magic, Reshma Barshikar has brought to the readers, a mix of fantasy and contemporary fiction.
The book is primarily the story of Shayamukthy a.k.a Shui, a US-returned girl who have been mocked and bullied for her accent and also the fact that she used to be an NRI. Nonetheless, she manages to get a few friends. While her life goes on amidst the little fights, basketball practice, and lectures, she meets Anya, a girl who is as different as her and another target for the bullies. With utmost astonishment, Shui learns that she has magic in her and that her dyslexia is not a defect anymore. Her first foray into the world of magic, when she summoned butterflies, which Anya calls Kairos, changes Shui’s life forever. How her life proceeds further is the rest of the plot.
The author has maintained a balance between fantasy and reality which widens her target readers. The strategy is commendable. The characters are the highlights of the book. They are all crafted such that each one has an individuality of its on. Simultaneously, they represent the current generation in general. The introduction of magic takes the book to another dimension. The choice of names is another factor that needs mention. It has been a general tendency of fantasy authors to name the characters such that their names sound bizarre and inappropriate to the current scenario. The author has chosen to give normal names to the characters, which in turn attracts hardcore fantasy lovers and YA lovers alike.
Nonetheless, the pace of the book is inconsistent. Midway through the book the story starts dragging but gains momentum towards the end. The parallel plot of the subtle attraction between Shui and Adyant is interesting to read. The title Hidden Children and the cover image is perfectly representative of the book and does justice to the overall plot.
Perfect YA Fantasy
Scenario: 4 /5