Book: The Zanna Function by Daniel Wheatley
Release Date: March 20th 2018
Tags: Fantasy / Science Fiction / Science / Middle Grade
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this review copy in exchange for an honest review.
When fourteen-year-old Zanna Mayfield gets an acceptance letter from St. Pommeroy’s School for Gifted Children, she jumps at the chance to put her considerable intellect to good use. But nothing can prepare her for the first day, when she discovers that she is a Scientist —one able to see and bend the basic functions of the universe like velocity, gravity, and chemical reactions to her own purposes.
As Zanna struggles to make friends and learn how to use her abilities at her new school, her troubles multiply when a mysterious stranger begins stalking her, dead set on keeping Zanna out of St. Pommeroy’s. If Zanna has any hope of finishing her first year, she’ll need to master every function she can get her mind around—including the one that defines Zanna herself.
The Zanna Function is a middle grade fantasy read with a very interesting idea for magic. While I do have some bits and pieces to pick with this book, I overall enjoyed it very much and will eagerly await to see how this will continue. Because this cannot be a standalone!
Overal the Zanna Function was written well. I did find some of the descriptions a tad on the boring bit. They made me zone out a bit which is a shame because some of those descriptions did tap into the magic bit. This is a magic school but please don’t let that bit stop you from picking this up. The magic is basically science and I liked how that was approached.
Story wise I thought this was an interesting, action and adventure plot. There were certainly moments where I was sure Zanna was right in her assumptions and other times where I doubted her. This mostly in case as to who the protagonist really was. I did find that the jumps we made throughout the school year were too big. I just would have loved more of a slower line in that. It was hard to feel that the end of the book was also the end of the school year. It felt like we were fast forwarded.
I did find that I found it hard to really feel as if our protagonist was really a threat. Their intentions did not seem to be very clear or jointed. I think that did take some of the impact out of the story at the end. However I see a lot of potential here. For a great world building. Great characters and an interesting magic system.
Speaking of characters, Zanna was a delight of a main character. She is actually really smart. It isn’t just said that she is but you can actually see in her actions and thought patterns that she is. This counts for her class mates as well. But the author also doesn’t forget that they are also still just 14. I liked how she seemed to instantly gravitate towards the girls. There was no real animosity there which was a great fresh of breath air to other school books. She does struggle with a boy but that didn’t really turn a romantic way.
I have to say that I loved Zanna’s relationship with her grandfather. She lives with him because of her father’s job that takes him away often. He is so supportive of her and there are just bits and things that show how well they know each other.