Saturday, March 23, 2013

Owlet by Emma Michaels

Title: Owlet (Society of Feathers #1)
Author: Emma Michaels
Format: ebook, 138 pages
Pub. Date: October 13th 2012
Source: Tribute Books


A solid four stars.

Iris never really gets to see the outside world. An asthmatic plagued with memory loss, she dreams of being free. Specifically, she dreams of flying to an island with white feathers that fall like snow. This dream world is so familiar, and yet so far away. When she is sent to this island, and she learns that it's real, the world around her rapidly changes as the lies that her family told her come to light. She must learn for herself what her soul truly is, and make the ultimate decision: continuously flee so that she may stay safe or rise to be the leader that the Eyrie knows she can be.


This book has a lullaby like, dreamy tone about it for the length of the novel. The words are airy and light but laced with the ominous darkness of an oncoming storm cloud. This is a new take on the paranormal, and I loved it.

+What this book really reminded me of (in some respects) is Alice in Wonderland. A girl with fair hair who views the world just a bit differently than everyone around her. She remembers a place that she's convinced is fictional, and has a general air of naivety and innocence about her. It is this whimsical type story that initially drew me in.

+Another strong point that this work has going for it is simple: The heroine isn't perfect. I have read countless stories in which the protagonist female is everything that is good in the world. Or, she has some plot shattering secret that always works out in the end. In Owlet, the lead character Iris has asthma. This simple condition made her seem more human, more relatable. It's nice to see characters that aren't unrealistically put on a pedestal that no one on Earth could possibly reach.

+The language in this book is beautiful. I want to live on the Sand Dollar. The island sounds so beautiful, so lively and full of the most exotic flowers and scents. I want to see Iris' little house with the feather door knob and the view of the dangerous waters that surround it. Emma Michaels successfully whisked me away to this bridgeless island- in an Illinois winter, it sounds like a paradise.

-One thing that did irk me about the language used in the dialogue, however, was the lack of contractions. I understand that these are often omitted to make the writing more formal and to stretch the length/word count. But at times, the proper speech made the characters seem a bit robotic.

+What really made me love this book is the avian theme. There is a group of people called the Stryx, who have human bodies, but their souls are half bird. A strange concept, every soul has a different bird half. Owlets are wise, Ravens are destructive. These unique characteristics of personality blended with the birds came out as a beautiful fantasy humanoids. Plus, on the island there are tons of birds that live there. The fairy tales consist of birds, and everyone's pet names are birds.... I think I relate to this on a personal level because my girlfriend has a slew of nicknames for me and most of them are bird-related. I loved this motif.

+Iris and Falcon are the cutest thing since..... Well not sliced bread. That's not cute.... How about, the cutest thing since frosted cupcakes? Because of her memory loss, she doesn't remember him. But he is so unbelievably loyal, loving and protective of her. Because she's frail (due to her illness combined with her unknown true self), his protection means that much more. I want them to be happy and live on the island forever and the fact that there's still more books in this series terrifies me because I suspect the drama is yet to come.

+This book is filled with poems and songs that help add to the song-like flow of the book. These stories are beautiful on their own, and I sincerely hope that the author intends to make a companion book including more of these types of interludes, giving them their own due.

+I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but just look at it. The font is elegant, the coloring is enchanting. It was part of what drew me to the story initially, and would catch my attention on a bookstore shelf.

It's true that in Owlet, not all of the questions that are raised are answered. I have faith that since this is in fact a series, answers will come in time. I have added the next book, Eyrie, to my TBR list, and I eagerly await it. I recommend this book for YA fans, those with quirky bird obsessions like I have, and readers looking for a new type of fantasy (there's no vampires, werewolves, or zombies in this baby).

A few of my favorite quotes from this story are:

"Leaders are not born; they are made in the difficult moments when others turn their backs. Love is what makes a true leader, not command."(Location 417)

"My heart started to dream in color.
I may be blind but he showed me the beauty the world had to offer;
By giving me one breath of his life at a time.
(Location 1384)

A special thanks to Tribute Books for sending me my copy of Owlet.


  1. Oh my god I want to read this right now! It sounds positively amazing, and the bird theme is catching to me, my little Dove. :)

  2. I was definitely not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.

  3. Sounds like a win! :D Great review. And I like it's got a dreamy feel to it in style. :) Thank you!

  4. Thank you. I'd totally mark it a win!