An exquisite journey with twists and turns that keep the reader intrigued and guessing just how all these pieces are going to fit together in the end.An exquisite journey with twists and turns that keep the reader intrigued and guessing just how all these pieces are going to fit together in the end. Felix J. Palma has crafted a beautiful written story set in 19th century London with genuine characters you really care about.
There are three parts to this novel and each part deals with a slightly different set of characters. The opening story is of Andrew Harrington and his beloved Marie Kelly. The story is one of heartache and lost love. Andrew wants nothing more than to escape the life he has been living the last 8 years. With the help of his cousin and the crafty, creative H.G. Wells Andrew finds the solace he is seeking.
The second part is the story of Claire Haggerty and Captain Derek Shackleton. Claire is a woman who feels she does not belong in her time and longs to break out. She doesn't want to marry the "dandies" that are courting her. She longs for a love that is of another time and seeks it by traveling to the year 2000 via Gilliam Murray's Time Travel. Her antics cause a snowball of events that entangle H.G. Wells yet again. Once again his creativeness comes in handy. My favorite thing about this part of the book was the letters that are written. I love when letters are part of a story and these work very well in allowing the reader to get to know Claire while she does not appear too often in person in the story. I won't divulge the information in these letters, but the letter writing is what kept me reading by this point. The novel is quite long, BUT it is worth it.
The last part of the story made me wonder. I'm not entirely sure even now how it works with the rest of the novel. I understand parts and why they needed to be there, but I almost feel as though it was dream like because it was so surreal feeling. If someone else reads this or has read it let me know what you think is going on!
For my entire review visit my blog at :areadersaddiction.blogspot.com...more
I give the novel 4 stars for the characters not for the story. The plot line and the story are just odd. There are many aspects of the novel that I doI give the novel 4 stars for the characters not for the story. The plot line and the story are just odd. There are many aspects of the novel that I don't quite understand and things that are not explained, yet being able to get into the novel and suspend your disbelief and take things as they pertain to the story you can sort of over look those things. Doesn't make it understandable just makes you think okay I'll ignore that and move on. For example I still don't know what the heck a "Brownie" is or what the "Strangers" and "Wykes" are that are found in the swamp, but hey a "Chime child" is someone who is born in the midnight hour making their birth date straddle two days and THAT is what gives them the second sight. The second sight is what makes that particular person able to see the said "Brownie", "Strangers" and the "Old Ones" as well. Oh and a "Dark Muse". That at least was explained. A "Dark Muse" is a woman who "feeds" on the souls of men, and although it was never known before women can be their prey as well. Some witchery was involved too but that is not delved into either. In fact we go through nearly the entire book with Briony believing she is a witch but we never witness her do anything particularly "witchy".
Aside from all that though I think the characters are great. The main character(s) are well developed which is why it is such a shame that the plot line is so lacking. In the end the story really becomes a journey for Briony to learn the truth about herself, that she is in fact a lovable person, and Eldric is a great compliment to her. He is not as fleshed out as Briony, as she is the main character and everything is seen from her point of view, but he is better developed than the other supporting characters. I didn't let the lack of a great story detract from my liking the novel though. It is enough for me at least this time that I enjoyed the characters so much that I can look past the silly plot that makes little sense.
I can't help feeling that there should be a companion book that explains the little mysteries of the "Chime" world and the "Old ones". BUT that doesn't mean I think there should be a sequel. In fact I was glad to see that there isn't at least at this time. Kudos that it is stand alone, but there really should have been more explanation.
As to who may enjoy this book....well I enjoyed it as I said for the characters and the writing style is unique. There is definite lacking in much adventure really, although there are a few scenes that stand out in the swamp, I found myself thinking of the novel The Night Circus. It was beautiful on description and I loved those characters, but there really wasn't a lot going on. So that said this novel, like The Night Circus may not be everyones cup of tea....more
This reads very much like a text book. I have given up and will not be finishing the book. I just can't get through the book. The characters are increThis reads very much like a text book. I have given up and will not be finishing the book. I just can't get through the book. The characters are incredibly flat. This is not so much a young adult book as it is a grade school book. It is educational in terms of one young girls experiences during the plaque that took over PA, and would be a great historical introduction for the younger crowd it is intended for.
I do have intentions on reading her novel "Speak" however to see if the hype over it is true and whether it really is that great of a novel or not....more
**spoiler alert** Much much better than Revolution. I'm amazed really that this was written by the same author. This novel has much better characters**spoiler alert** Much much better than Revolution. I'm amazed really that this was written by the same author. This novel has much better characters and while there is SO MUCH going on in terms of issues the author touches on I was able to make a connection with the main character Mattie. Course it helps that she LOVES books and words as much as I do. Her thirst for knowledge is a characteristic I really enjoyed. It is inspiring as well. At one point she describes her teacher Miss Wilcox's library as though she has stumbled upon "Ali Baba's cave" and that she was "breathless, close to tears and positively dizzy with greed."
There is the issue of race with the Weaver as the only black boy in Eagle Bay. His mom is working and saving all her money to get him into college. The character is interesting but there is not a lot covered on him other than his father was killed in front of him and his mom for not having moved from the side walk when three white men told him to. Weaver experiences a similar incident and shows that he follows in the same temper and refuses to take crap from anyone. Unfortunately this is still 1906, and while he does seem to get some retribution when the men who beat him are arrested, the retribution is short lived as his mother and home is attacked and burnt and his college fund is taken.
Feminism is explored as well as it is introduced to Mattie thanks to Miss Wilcox. Mattie finds that the poems Miss Wilcox lets her borrow make her think in ways she has never thought of before. That women can be more than she ever knew possible. She finds that Miss Wilcox is actually Miss Emily Baxter: the writer of the poetry! So she exposes her to the idea and encourages her to get her education, get her diploma and also to pursue her writing into college and become a writer who makes people care about Eagle Bay and real people like herself.
Mattie also struggles with poverty. She knows she is poor but she also sees those around her like Emmie Hubbard who are worse off. She begins working at the hotel and is exposed to people who take vacations. To her "tourists are a race of people who have enough money to go on vacation for a week or two, sometimes a month or even the whole summer." Mattie can't imagine going a day without working. Its is the only way of life she has ever known. This hit home for me thanks to the current economy we live in. I can relate a bit to her thinking in this, as some people just don't know how the other half live.
Mattie does in the end decide rather than live the life that Royal is offering, one that is not a life based on love but on convenience, she decides she would much rather lead a life of her own. I was really surprised to see her leave in the end. I did not expect it. It was a nice surprise. I think what helped Mattie form her decision was being exposed to the strong willed, independent woman in Miss Wilcox.
The added twist to the novel was that there was a murder mystery element. Mattie was faced with whether or not she should uphold the promise of destroying the letters Grace had entrusted her with. She wrestled with promise keeping throughout the novel, and she realizes in the end that Grace has a story that deserves to be told rather than snuffed out after the letters are burnt.
Just a great story. I really enjoyed it. I'd recommend it to teens, it may not be up to speed for adults. But it was really good for being a teen novel. I'm not sure how accurate the historical aspects were, but for me what was there worked. I don't go back and fact check I tend to trust the author has done the leg work involved. ...more
This book took my entirely too long to read. Which was in part my fault that I didn't have much time over the last week, and I wasn't really into my rThis book took my entirely too long to read. Which was in part my fault that I didn't have much time over the last week, and I wasn't really into my reading mode as I have been. No shocker I read nearly non-stop for a while I was bound to hit a breaking point eventually. The other part of the fault I have to give to the book. I hate saying that about a book, but sometimes it really can not be helped.
What I liked about the book for starters was the fact that there was the historical fiction aspect. I'm attracted to them and that portion of the book had my attention. I won't say everything was completely accurate because I honestly don't know. I am not a history buff by any means, although I do enjoy a bit of history now and then, but this did spark my interest in the French Revolution. It did take a while to get to this part of the book, and I was glad when it did because that helped me want to finish it.
There were a couple things I didn't care for, one was well the main character Andi. She is just annoying. I never felt any connection to her. She is a teenager and quite honestly a very disturbed and depressed one. Part of her characteristic is that she shuts down and pushes people away, but to keep the reader at a distance too makes it hard for the reader to want to see the story continue and wonder what is going to happen to the character. There were frequent mentions of her brother and the fact that he died very young. This is a reason for her being as screwed up as she is and why her family is broken, but we never find out exactly what happened or how he died until I believe it was the last 100-50 pages. I'd rather have found out sooner. Maybe the writer was using this bit of information as a draw to keep the reader reading, but for me it was irritating.
Would I recommend it? Nah not really. I've read good things about her book A Northern Light, and actually am starting it tonight to see if maybe it is as good as it is billed. Who knows, it may be much better....more
LOVED LOVED LOVED IT! Can not wait for the next three books to be translated. Intrigue and all kinds of mystery involved. I liked the cover so I pickeLOVED LOVED LOVED IT! Can not wait for the next three books to be translated. Intrigue and all kinds of mystery involved. I liked the cover so I picked it up, read the back and was interested when I read that the premise had time-travel. Not just time travel....but a TIME TRAVEL GENE! Okay now you have my attention, because not only now are you throwing in an interesting plot there is some serious potential of historical facts and period type action thrown in. Likable characters with some not so likable characters as well. Not that the characters are badly written, because they are not, the author just does well with making the other characters unlikable in terms of the characteristics. Nice little twist, and a teaser ending. Makes me wish I didn't have to wait til Spring 2012 for the next book in the series to be translated and released. Makes me wish MORE that I knew how to read GERMAN!...more
Another period piece, which is why I enjoyed it. I liked the plot twists and the novel kept me interested throughout. I really liked Lucy and her buddAnother period piece, which is why I enjoyed it. I liked the plot twists and the novel kept me interested throughout. I really liked Lucy and her budding romance with her boy next door. ...more