Star rating is a disappointing average between two very important factors. For sheer wonderful imaginative storytelling? A++. Bradbury is incomparableStar rating is a disappointing average between two very important factors. For sheer wonderful imaginative storytelling? A++. Bradbury is incomparable as always.
For history? F-. To the point that I can't finish it because the Celtic section hits a deeply-ingrained pet peeve and pulls me straight out of the story. I was feeling a little skeptical up to that point anyway, but:
"Mr. Moundshroud, let us be!" "Shut up." Someone knocked Tom's elbow. Mr. Moundshroud lay on the earth beside him. "That's not me. That's--" "Samhain," cried the voice in the fog. "God of the dead."
No. No, no, no. Does the holiday have ties to modern Halloween? Sure. Did ancient Celts worship Samhain, the "druid god of the dead"? All reliable information I've ever seen on the issue says no.
And I know. It was 1972. I'm sure the information available has changed since then--I've honestly got no idea whether that's a factor here, but it could be. But I just... I do know better, and that's kind of really interfering with my enjoyment of the piece. Which is a shame, because as I said, if you can ignore the historical fallacies it's really pretty great. But I can't....more
I tried very hard, but could not get as far as the end of the second chapter of the first novella.
Please don't misunderstand me. It's not that this isI tried very hard, but could not get as far as the end of the second chapter of the first novella.
Please don't misunderstand me. It's not that this is bad writing in a general sense. It shows a lot of promise, and I'm glad that my money is supporting this author's work. I'm somewhat intrigued by the ideas behind what I did read, and the descriptive passages can be quite wonderful.
The problem is that it needs a great deal of copy editing. There are many mistakes, and where the mechanics are correct the phrasing and style are often awkward. It makes for very difficult reading. I tried to look past that to get to the story, but in the end I just couldn't quite do it.
If Goodreads will let me post this without a star rating, I will. I can't rate it highly because of the degree to which the editing is necessary, but at the same time I really don't want to condemn it for something that's very fixable should the author choose to revise the work in the future. That goes extra for indie digital publishing, where a) releasing a new revision is a relatively simple process, and b) the lack of the traditional publishing industry's built-in refining tools and procedures seems to call for more attention to constructive feedback (as opposed to simply describing the book in order than prospective readers might decide whether or not they are interested in it)....more
The premise sounds really interesting. The whole which-twin-is-it thing has been done before, but I wanted to see what happened with the murder. It seThe premise sounds really interesting. The whole which-twin-is-it thing has been done before, but I wanted to see what happened with the murder. It seemed like an interesting setup.
A third of the way through the book, I got tired of waiting for the promised murder to happen. There are some serious pacing issues here.
More importantly, though... There's really no very nice way to say this. Someone at Bloomsbury has confused "young adult fiction" with "poor writing". There is an odd combination of exposition that's too heavy-handed in some areas and a total lack of exposition in others. Characters behave in ways that make no sense--right from the beginning when even the main character isn't sure why she's answering the door instead of the servants. The voice of the narration is... It's a bit awkward in a way that I can't quite put my finger on. I mean, it's first-person narration from a teenaged girl, so it's not going to sound like a grown adult who's had decades to polish their speech patterns, but this is beyond that.
When I checked to see how it had been published, I was rather surprised to see that it had come out of a major publishing house. It reminds me of nothing so much as the many self-published works I've read which had great ideas but needed so much more editorial process in order to really develop into compelling novels.
Am I still interested in what happens with the twins, with new boy next door Kit, with Lucy herself as she begins her teen years? Yes! Unfortunately, I've come to the point where it's just not worth it to put up with the writing in order to follow the plot....more