When I try to think about how I would like to describe this book, the first word that pops into my mind is "cute". I feel like the author had a very i...moreWhen I try to think about how I would like to describe this book, the first word that pops into my mind is "cute". I feel like the author had a very intriguing premise and her take on magic in the early years of the French Revolution and I wish she had taken more time to go deeper. It could be that this is aimed at children and I was hoping for something with the finesse of a historical/fantasy aimed for an older audience... As I was reading this I felt that the potential was there but that she somehow missed going that extra step to make it truly engaging and in-depth. (less)
**spoiler alert** Well, that awful movie of the same (well, similar as it knocks off the latter part of the title) name led me astray. My expectations...more**spoiler alert** Well, that awful movie of the same (well, similar as it knocks off the latter part of the title) name led me astray. My expectations where not fulfilled. Which is actually a good thing.
The introduction however claims that we, as the reader, come to sympathize with Eleanor. Not so, for me. She was distinctly crazy from the onset (in my opinion) and slowly spiraled out of control. Would also like to say that she is the absolute last type of person I would ever want with me when investigating a haunted place. Also, I couldn't help think of how some research claims that poltergeist activity is usually brought on by adolescents (thought somehow to do with puberty, the fluctuation of hormones or emotions) Though far beyond the age of adolescence, Eleanor had some previous experience with that when younger, so to me it almost brings into question the haunting itself, what with her erratic state of mind and pendulum swinging emotions. One minute she can't imagine living without Theadora, the next she's wishing squishy deaths upon her. It was more like watching a train-wreck with me cringing all the while at her madness.
In some ways I almost wish there had been more perspectives. It would've been interesting to see what the other characters thought (or didn't think, as Eleanor portrays them as self-absorbed) about her. Having said that, Eleanor was the most self-absorbed of all, wrapped as she was in her little, ever-expanding imaginary world.
Anyway, I was between a three and a four for this one but wound up with the four as I was delightfully surprised (and relieved) this didn't end with the slasher bent of the film. I don't have anything against slashers really, though they tend to rely on the gruesome to strike horror into the heart rather than a sense of suspense, of tense anticipation. It remained a ghost story for the believer and non-believer alike. Was it the house itself, sulky, resentful, jealous, hungry? Was it a spirit in the house? Was it Eleanor herself, her emotions and her deranged mind calling out the poltergeist aspects?(less)
This proved to be a fairly straight-forward ghost story. I suppose, if I squint, there's a tiny twist at the end (if one takes a moment to consider in...moreThis proved to be a fairly straight-forward ghost story. I suppose, if I squint, there's a tiny twist at the end (if one takes a moment to consider intention of particular characters) but for the most part it played out as expected. I personally didn't find it scary or suspenseful and the only thing that gave me pause was the entirely unanticipated addition of illustrations. After the first two sprang upon me, they sort of lost their charm (though there are only 4 in total). I've not yet read famed The Exorcist yet but I suppose I will get around to it eventually.(less)
While I enjoyed the series as a whole, I found the ending slightly anti-climatic. Perhaps I was expecting a real clash for the inevitable battle scene...moreWhile I enjoyed the series as a whole, I found the ending slightly anti-climatic. Perhaps I was expecting a real clash for the inevitable battle scenes at the end but found them a little underwhelming. Then again, battles are usually better viewed than written about and perhaps it was not the author's intended focus as they were so abbreviated. I did enjoy the history of the world Sean Russell created, the storytellers and myriad mythos. (less)
**spoiler alert** Surprising how much I found myself enjoying this book as I neared the end when it had such a rocky start (for me at least) as I wasn...more**spoiler alert** Surprising how much I found myself enjoying this book as I neared the end when it had such a rocky start (for me at least) as I wasn't able to connect or even like any of the characters. If I'm to be perfectly honest, I think it was the presence of the Unmer that really snagged me (though I have to say that they make a lot of weirdly pointless weapons/knick-knacks--the contrariness of cats, that's the Unmer for you). They lured me in with the little Unmer girl in the beginning and then left me adrift until the end when the fallen Unmer were re-introduced into the story again.
I keep trying to think of ways to describe this book and I can't come up with anything satisfying. Post-apocalyptic (sort of as the Unmer were the lords of the age before this one)? Space ships (albeit it at a distance)? Bizarre conversations about parallel universes and paradoxes and the like from something like a mafia-boss-physicist-anitque-collector equivalent? An ex-soldier father on his quest to get his daughter back (perhaps not due so much to sentiment but instead more due to the principal of the thing? At least I didn't sense too much sentiment on his part unless buying them frilly dresses is supposed to indicate a wealth of caring and other fuzzy emotions)? A teenage girl with powers she doesn't quite understand (these days I guess that's not too surprising...)? Um, dragons addicted to... brine? Shark people, which is not to say they are mer-people but with shark bottoms but instead that they are shark skinned and horrible things happen to them when they are dragged out of the brine-water?
I'll happily pick up the next book if it'll reveal more about the Brutalist and prince of the Unmer. I think Ianthe may even be growing on me (at last), now that she bared her teeth in the last few chapters. I also still can't get over just how grim and unappetizing the brine concept is. I also hope to see if the concept of the Drowned are delved into more in the next book. Guess I'll just have to wait until 2013 or whenever book two is slated to come out.(less)
What?! We end on a cliff-hanger, with everything up in the air?
This is definitely a slow-starting book despite the jarring opening scene... it took me...moreWhat?! We end on a cliff-hanger, with everything up in the air?
This is definitely a slow-starting book despite the jarring opening scene... it took me 300 meandering pages to finally get to the point I knew it must reach, the joining of the two main story segments. After that, smooth sailing (and yes, there is much about boats and water in this story). While I can see the echo of some other fantasy authors in this work, I quite like it as a whole, the joining of the past history (revenge vendetta really) bleeding into the present social unrest. It hops back and forth between multiple character perspectives which has, as always, its benefits and drawbacks (particularly if the segments dwell on characters one doesn't care for). (less)
Perhaps one of the worst books I've subjected myself to this year. Maudlin, redundant, pointless are words that come to mind when I think of the book....morePerhaps one of the worst books I've subjected myself to this year. Maudlin, redundant, pointless are words that come to mind when I think of the book. I'm only too glad to put it behind me. That's the last book recommendation I take from my mother.(less)