Young Adult Pretty Dresses (aka Period Setting) book. I enjoyed a great deal about what this book had to say about how awful girls are to each other,...moreYoung Adult Pretty Dresses (aka Period Setting) book. I enjoyed a great deal about what this book had to say about how awful girls are to each other, about how much people fear and resent a woman of power, about the control of conformity. That said, I definitely did not feel like the Victorian setting was more than a setting for this book. The sentiments and tone of it were much more modern. Additionally, I felt it was sort of odd to make all the characters come from "incorrect" families. I understand that the author was trying to show that everyone has secrets, but I feel like it got a little heavy handed in how that was put in. I did like how sexuality was handled in this book. (Although I want to know whether the author actually intended to make such strong sexual undertones to her female relationships [I think she did:].) I would also have liked to see more of India.
I will be reading the follow up books as I am curious to see how things work out. I would not say that the book was a masterpiece by any means, but I like its drift.(less)
It was nice to finally see the end of this enjoyable but somewhat limited series. I once again found myself caring deeply about the characters, but th...moreIt was nice to finally see the end of this enjoyable but somewhat limited series. I once again found myself caring deeply about the characters, but the writing itself was problematic. Most of the book is spent on the road, so Croggon's habit of describing food and locations in dull detail is mitigated, but that is offset but the fact that she completely fails at POV here. While the first two novels were tightly confined to one character's perspective and the third was a different character but similarly limited, here Croggon seems to think that going back and forth between the two the reader will not notice if she slips in insights occasionally into others' minds. Despite this sloppiness, I sat down and read the book all at once, anxious to see its conclusion and greedy for more of the lovable characters (although I wish Croggon would use the word love less, since English fails to have a separate word for romantic love and also love being the difference between good and evil is hackneyed in the extreme). A very satisfying conclusion, although I feel sort of irritated that the reader is robbed of the revelation scene that was so patiently waited for.(less)
After a second volume that was too easy and less than inspiring, I started the final part of the Darkangel trilogy with trepidation. Would it validate...moreAfter a second volume that was too easy and less than inspiring, I started the final part of the Darkangel trilogy with trepidation. Would it validate the things that seemed pointless or tacky in the second book?
At first it seemed the answer was yes, the start of the book is as chilling and dreamy as the first volume. The second half, however, was a mixed bag. The identifiable problems of communication and rivalry over a man seemed to earthly for the fairy tale aspect of the series. The sci-fi continued to be well integrated however, and the story actually reminded me more of the Narnia stories in some ways than the new fairytale of the first or the hackneyed classical allusions of the second. I think it was the bittersweet nature, and of course the White Witch, who is disturbing the seasons (she is of course causing a drought instead of eternal winter, but it is much the same and her castle is made of ice). The similarity is graceful though, and I greatly enjoyed the suspense of whether the Witch would be turned or destroyed. Her interactions with Aeriel are well written and compelling.
My main problem with the novel, ultimately, was that it didn't know where to end. It didn't seem like the final book in the series, for in the end Aeriel embarks on another quest, just as open as the lack of resolution in the prior two novels. I feel that might have worked if implied briefly, but the 20-50 pages devoted to it are irritating and ruin the catharsis of the obstacles being overcome. It makes one think that the author intended another trilogy, and if she did one wishes that she would have left this one alone and introduced the next quest separately in the books it belonged to.(less)