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Ondine Paperback – Jun 10 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont UK (June 10 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405249617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405249614
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #478,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

The decision to leave a career in journalism was a logical choice for Ebony. There wasn't enough time in the day to write the fictional stories she wanted to tell, against the factual that she had to tell. She followed her heart towards writing science fiction, romance and young adult adventures. Ebony now writes full time and lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her husband and young son.

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Format: Paperback
Source: Received from author. Many thanks goes to Ebony McKenna for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5/5

Ondine de Groot is a normal girl, residing in Brugel. She has adopted a ferret named Shambles, and is surprised to learn that he talks. She is further surprised when she learns that he was once a young man, and that a witch, related to her, had cursed him to spend his life as a ferret. She sets out to break the spell on him, but can she do it, or is he doomed to spend eternity as a ferret?
I absolutely loved this book. I found both Ondine and Shambles engaging, I loved their banter, and found myself immersed fully in their world. Shambles is a cheeky ferret, and it's quite easy to see how he got into trouble in the first place. His Scottish accent makes him all the more endearing, and his phrases will have you giggling in no time. I absolutely loved, and have never seen before in a fiction novel, the footnotes. They explained certain phrases, so we could follow along easily. Most of the time, the footnotes were tongue in cheek, and the explanations were just as funny as the original phrasing.
Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the characters; and enjoyed getting to know Ondine's full family, as well as Shambles, and Ondine herself. Her parents, and siblings, as well as their respective partners kick up the action, and they keep Ondine on her toes. Things are quite lively, and I found the book refreshing. I cannot wait for the next installment in this series. I'm rooting for Shambles/Hamish and Ondine, and can't wait to see where McKenna takes them next. If this book is any indication, we are in for a treat.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Funny & lovely read Oct. 30 2010
By Carla - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Oh this book...SO. MUCH. FUN.

Really it is. I pretty much laughed my way through it, only pausing for a brief period of time almost at the end when it looked like a line of people had formed itself to slap Ondine straight in the face - not cool, you bastards. So, as I was saying, I laughed so hard with this book that the laughing itself was the main reason for me not to finish it in the same night I started it, because my neighborhood was so quiet, rested, self asleep...and then there was me, laughing-out-loud like a mad hatter. I was positive that if I didn't put the book down, I was going to awake someone up.

And why this book is so hilarious, you ask? Well, it is the tale of a spitfire teenage girl, a Scottish ferret-boy, and of a normal (meaning: a lovely, crazy and sometimes embarrassing) family, so of course it is hilarious. Plus, they all live in Brugel. A fictitious European country that never once won the Eurovision Song Contest and always gives 12 points to Slovakia. (Hang in there people of Brugel, my country has never won it either, but our turn will come!) And if this story takes place in the contemporary era, one barely notices because Brugel is stuck in time. Proof number one: there's no internet, which gives the story yet more of that fairy tale tone I appreciate so much.

Please note that this is one of those lighthearted, warm and fuzzy, to-read-in-a-couple-of-hours book, which was just what I needed when I picked it up. Ebony has one of the most amusing, clever, altogether entertaining voices I've ever came across, which is precisely why I'm not even telling more about the plot of the story in the review - because, despite the fact that it is a delightful tale, full of creative scenarios and great advice -especially for the youngsters-, I also feel like it doesn't even matter, for I'm sure I'd have enjoyed reading the phonebook this much if only Ebony had written it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Courtesy of Lost for Words Aug. 20 2010
By Cor Lost For Words - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Source: Received from author. Many thanks goes to Ebony McKenna for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5/5

Ondine de Groot is a normal girl, residing in Brugel. She has adopted a ferret named Shambles, and is surprised to learn that he talks. She is further surprised when she learns that he was once a young man, and that a witch, related to her, had cursed him to spend his life as a ferret. She sets out to break the spell on him, but can she do it, or is he doomed to spend eternity as a ferret?
I absolutely loved this book. I found both Ondine and Shambles engaging, I loved their banter, and found myself immersed fully in their world. Shambles is a cheeky ferret, and it's quite easy to see how he got into trouble in the first place. His Scottish accent makes him all the more endearing, and his phrases will have you giggling in no time. I absolutely loved, and have never seen before in a fiction novel, the footnotes. They explained certain phrases, so we could follow along easily. Most of the time, the footnotes were tongue in cheek, and the explanations were just as funny as the original phrasing.
Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the characters; and enjoyed getting to know Ondine's full family, as well as Shambles, and Ondine herself. Her parents, and siblings, as well as their respective partners kick up the action, and they keep Ondine on her toes. Things are quite lively, and I found the book refreshing. I cannot wait for the next installment in this series. I'm rooting for Shambles/Hamish and Ondine, and can't wait to see where McKenna takes them next. If this book is any indication, we are in for a treat.
All in all, McKenna's humour adds another dimension to the book, and leaves us begging for more. An excellent debut novel; one, that I think we should all read. It is a lighthearted, and vibrant read that will burrow itself into your heart. This is one book that I know I will be re-reading in the future. It is a feel-good tale that kept me involved, and guessing what would happen next. The next book isn't out until February 2011. February cannot come soon enough.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Original, cute, fairytale romantic comedy June 19 2010
By Kate McMurry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Fifteen-year-old Ondine de Groot lives at her family's business, a combination hotel and pub in the imaginary Eastern European country of Brugel. Ondine has worked for years alongside her mother, father and two older sisters cleaning rooms, serving customers and scrubbing dirty dishes. But at the start of the story her mother has sent her to the other side of Brugel to Psychic Summercamp for several weeks in order to develop her extra-sensory skills. Though these are accepted as a normal and desirable part of life in Brugel, Ondine doesn't believe she has any such talents, in spite of her mother's insistence that Ondine must be psychic because it runs in the family. Bored and homesick after only a week at camp, Ondine decides to sneak out of camp and run away to her home. Her only hesitation before leaving is what to do with Shambles. He's an adorable ferret who showed up not long before, "face-deep in her secret stash of Brugelwurst sausage," and he's been following her like a lap dog ever since. He's so attached to Ondine, in fact, she feels guilty about leaving him behind. She's convinced her mother wouldn't want a ferret at their hotel, so she tells herself if she brings Shambles along, she can find him a good home with someone else. In the midst of her trip home, though, Shambles suddenly begins talking to her in a thick Scottish accent, and Ondine wonders if she's gone crazy. Shambles assures her she hasn't. He can talk because he used to be a Scottish laird named Hamish until he angered a witch. She put a spell on him that changed him into a ferret and has also preserved him, in a non-aging state, for scores of years. And thus begins the hilarious adventures of Ondine's "Summer of Shambles."

The structure of this book is quite original. The author has written it in a fairy-tale, omniscient voice with a witty, intrusive narrator who reminds me of a combination of the narrator in Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice and the voiceover narrator of the classic movie, A Christmas Story. Ondine is an appealing character, producing many very amusing moments as she is tugged in multiple directions by the demands of her various family members, but most of all by the antics of Shambles/Hamish. Ondine's quirky relatives are a big part of the fun, especially her mother, and the villain is very well suited to a fairy tale. But of all the great characters in this book, Shambles/Hamish steals the show. He is outrageously outspoken, and a hilarious mixture of man and ferret in his living habits. His eternal pursuit of sausage is one of the cutest plot devices for getting Shambles in trouble throughout the book, and his distinctive take on life expressed in a steady stream of Scottish colloquial expressions had me constantly chuckling. Finally, like all good romantic comedies, this book has a satisfying, upbeat ending.

The author of Ondine is from Australia, and this book was originally published in Great Britain. According to the author's website, she is busy writing a sequel so we have more of the wonderful world of Shambles and Ondine to look forward to. Hopefully the American release won't be delayed too long because I can't wait!

I rate this book as follows:

Heroine: 5 stars
Subcharacters: 5 stars
Fantasy World-Building: 4 stars
Writing: 4 stars
Chick-Lit Plot: 4 stars
Romantic Subplot: 4 stars
Overall: 5 stars
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Witch Did This! Oct. 8 2010
By Larissa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the small country of Brugel a girl is spending her summer holidays at Psychic Summercamp, a very real summer school that is not at all as fun as you might believe. Ondine having slept through an exam has had enough and has decided to run away to home, but she doesn't leave alone. A ferret, Shambles, has decided to leave with her.

On the journey home Ondine is shocked to discover that Shambles, the ferret, can talk. More then that he was in the past a real boy. By the time she arrives home she has learnt the how and why this is possible, however there is little time to ponder this now as things at home are hectic.

As the youngest of three daughters, Ondine along with her sisters face their greatest challenge in their overprotective father. This is despite the murderous plots, crippling gossip and thieves in the night. But there are some good things to look forward to too; a recovered treasure, a handsome duke and a new romance.

Ondine is a very simple but charming story of magic, mystery and love. As the first in a series this book offers a little of everything, including some very quirky little footnotes. Although not the story of water nymphs I had imagined it to be, those of you who know the mythology behind the name Ondine will know what I'm talking about, it is non the less an ideal read for any young girl looking for a pinch of mystery, a dash of enchantment, and a stirring of romance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Funny, Ferret-y Book! June 22 2014
By Aditi@AThousandWordsAMillionBooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
REVIEW+ GUEST POST+ GIVEAWAY ON: http://athousandwordsamillionbooks.bl...

This book is SIMPLY BRILLIANT!

A fairy tale retelling- that makes you feel like you’re riding with Cinderella in the carriage to the ball or singing with the animals like Snow White- with a modernized, hilariously unique twist- The Summer of Shambles is one book you CANNOT miss!

Ondine is your perfect teenager- craving romance, freedom a little bit of drama and more that a bit of magic all while searching for her individuality. She has fights with her mother, sisters, arguments that finally land up in her winning with her father- and now, a talking ferret that she can’t stop thinking about!

Shambles was simply brilliant- a Scottish ragamuffin with a conscious and so, SO delightful! He comes off as a rouge in the beginning but not too much after you see what an absolute darling he can be! When he does turn temporarily into a man, all of this gets even better!- I LOVED every minute of the romance between Ondine and Hamish!

An assassination plot, a gorgeous, sneaky prince, a ferret that can’t remain a man, a fun loving, all around crazy family, a whole boatload of romance!- READ IT!

My Verdict:

If you’ve ever read a fairy tale, this is the perfect YA book to make you feel the same way!


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