Book Review: Small Blue Thing by S.C. Ransom

Small Blue Thing is the first book in a trilogy by S.C. Ransom. It was published by Nosy Crow on 13th January and the book is 320 pages long. It was originally written for the author’s daughter, mostly written on her Blackberry.

Seventeen year old Alex is just about to celebrate finishing her exams. While out with best friend Grace, she manages to save a swan caught up in the Thames but she ends up with more than she bargained for. When Alex finds a mysterious blue bracelet in the river, she doesn’t think it is anything more than a piece of jewellery but then she begins to see it for what it really is.

From the bracelet comes Callum. A mysterious boy who is always there whenever Alex wears the bracelet. At first Alex thinks she is going mad but realises that he is quite real, only he isn’t exactly alive. Callum has a complicated history but Alex doesn’t care, she wants to know more and to spend as much time with him as possible. Callum has secrets though and they’re about to cause a whole lot of trouble for Alex. Can she find a way to be with Callum for real or are they destined to be apart forever?

What I thought
I originally bought this book because of the beautiful cover. I couldn’t resist it when I saw it in Foyles and after seeing that it was also signed by the author, I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately, the story did not match up to the amazing cover.

The basic idea of this book was interesting and different from anything else in the YA genre that I have read before and other reason why I wanted to read it. I love to be surprised when it comes to books and was looking forward to not reading about vampires or werewolves etc for once. When it comes to this kind of thing, the YA genre doesn’t offer too much variety in its fantasy books but this is where S.C. Ransom stands out. A completely new idea was introduced and I did love the idea behind the story. Unfortunately, the idea was the most exciting part of the book. As you can see from the synopsis, some of the dead do not truly stay dead in this book and the way it was done was new and refreshing.

Just when the story began to get really interesting, it was all over in a matter of minutes. The action had been building up for a while and I was getting quite excited to see what was going to happen but it was all very rushed. The action scenes were very small and far too short. I wanted much, much more from this aspect of the book and was sad when the short amount of action was all over. I think that this was something that could have been expanded on, even if only a little more, and it would have made the book as a whole much better. This was not the only place where the story felt rushed either. The pacing as a whole throughout the book was quite uneven. There are some other events in the story which happened far too quickly for my liking but wont say what, just in case it spoils the book for anyone who does want to read it.

I really didn’t ‘buy’ Alex at all. As a main character, I think the purpose is to like her, maybe relate to her a little bit and also feel for her and the things she is going through. I felt none of this while reading this book, which was very unfortunate. My biggest gripe with Alex was the way she spoke. Small Blue Thing is told from her point of view but the narrative was far from believable. The way Alex spoke at times, the way she told the story, was outdated. I don’t know any teenagers now, nor when I was one myself, that spoke the way she did. Her language made her seem quite uptight and ‘prim and proper’ when that wasn’t really what she was like at all. I had a hard time liking Alex even after only a couple of pages due to this.

Even though I had this one major problem with Alex, she did have some redeeming moments so it isn’t all bad when it comes to her. There were a couple of moments where I absolutely loved her. Well, I loved the way she acted or reacted to different situations more than Alex herself but it was better than hating her completely. The way she reacts to one situation was amazing and I kind of wanted to applaud her for it, if only she had spoken a little more like a teenager, instead of sounding like an old woman.

I didn’t see the appeal with Callum either, which was a real shame. He was supposed to be this mysterious with lots of secrets but I just didn’t see the attraction for Alex. The only thing I could understand was the fact that he was someone she couldn’t really have, which is something I could relate to. Girls are always wanted the guys they cant have in books, which gives the basis of their appeal but that was the only really good thing about Callum. His appearance in the story was great but then it suddenly went downhill. Once he had kind of told Alex who he was, everything between the two happened quickly. Too quickly for me. The way he spoke and acted around Alex was unnatural and I just didn’t understand where he was coming from most of the time. There wasn’t that much about Callum that would have made me want him myself and there was nothing really drawing me to love this character.

I really wanted to love this book but it was such a struggle to get through it and even finish it. The only reason why I persevered with it was due to wanting to know how things would work out with Alex and Callum and their impossible situation but I wont be reading the other books in the trilogy.


  1. I thought this one sounded good but I think after your review I'll give it a miss. Great review :D

  2. Wow, what a shame that this book didn't live up to your expectations :(


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