Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: May 10, 2014
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Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), one of the greatest violinists who ever lived and rumored to have made a pact with the devil, has somehow transferred unique powers to another.
When violinists around the world mysteriously vanish, 16-year-old Emma Braun takes notice. But when her beloved violin teacher disappears… Emma takes charge. With Sherlock Holmes fanatic, not to mention gorgeous Corey Fletcher, Emma discovers a parallel world ruled by an ex-violinist turned evil sorceress who wants to rule the music world on her own terms.
But why are only men violinists captured and not women? What is the connection between Emma's family, the sorceress, and the infamous Niccolò Paganini Emma must unravel the mystery in order to save her teacher from the fatal destiny that awaits him. And undo the curse that torments her family—before evil wins and she becomes the next luthier's apprentice
"The Luthier's Apprentice" by Mayra Calvani was a fast and easy read for me. At less than 200 pages, it's a book that can be read in just a day or two, and the story was interesting enough to keep me interested all the way through.
For those of you who don't know (because I surely didn't before I read this book), a Luthier is someone who makes violins. The main character in this book is Emma, and she's a teenaged violinist who gets caught up in a mystery when her music teacher vanishes along with other violinists around the world. She's set to solve the puzzle along with her best friend and a new friend named Corey, who is also one of her teacher's students.
If you didn't know anything about violins before reading this book, you will know at least a bit by the time you've finished. Emma isn't only a violinist, but her grandfather is a Luthier and she is studying under him in order to learn to make violins herself. There's a lot of musical and technical jargon thrown in throughout the story, and it works to give the story a bit of extra depth. These are people who live and breathe violins and the music that the instrument creates, and Calvani did a great job of incorporating that into her story to give it a more authentic feel.
This may be a paranormal young adult book, but there's also mystery thrown in there too. Who (or what) is behind the disappearances of the violinists and what is the purpose? Emma and Corey need to work hard in order to solve the case, and even trade Sherlock Holmes quotes back and forth while they're at it. The mystery and answers that come after it kept me turning the pages, and the short chapters made "The Luthier's Apprentice" a quick read.
Once the answers to all the questions the characters were facing started to form, I liked how things seemed to all be connected. Something that may have seemed trivial to begin with can actually make a difference, and everything has meaning. However, a lot of answers and explanations end up coming through dialogue between characters, and at times it didn't always seem organic. There were points were the ‘villain’ of the story (whose motives seemed a bit sketchy and far fetched to me) reminded me of a Bond villain laying out their evil plan, and in turn giving Bond the time he needs to escape. I would have just liked to see a bit more natural dialogue and interaction between all of the characters.
I enjoyed reading "The Luthier's Apprentice", but it's not exactly a ‘must read’ for me. Although it is a nice book if you just need a quick fun read one day. Or if you really love violins. If you're a violin enthusiast, then this is definitely a book for you.
Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. When she’s not writing, reading, editing or reviewing, she enjoys walking her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family. Represented by Serendipity Literary.