I really wanted to love this book. I had heard such glowing recommendations from both Amazon and friends and the premise seemed so magical and inherenI really wanted to love this book. I had heard such glowing recommendations from both Amazon and friends and the premise seemed so magical and inherently me:
A circus that only appears at night, without warning, without explanation. Two magicians are battling with imagination and wit, falling in love in the process, without knowing what will happen when one wins.
Sure. Sounds great. I'd like to say because the story had been built up by both friends and my mind that of course it was bound to disappoint, but that is not the case. The different perspectives did not flow, did not leave me wanting more, did not leave me wondering. Instead I read on angrily or resignedly because I hoped that eventually all these seemingly random stories and characters would tie together. They did, a bit, but almost as if someone darned with a blunt needle, poking holes in the plot and adding characters of importance who resounded not with the reader at all.
I can definitely tell this was a NaNoWriMo book, as there seemed to be many chapters or inserts that just seemed like lessons on adding as many words as the author could. I appreciated the descriptiveness of the circus from the viewers perspective but it honestly became quite tiresome. The challenge itself never seemed quite challenging, never quite fleshed out, more of a tiny flicker in the real story of star-crossed lovers.
The book was okay. When I approached Part III the book picked up and I was able to read for a while without getting bored. But please, don't look at this book as the magical fantasy wondertale the publishing company is making it out to be....more
I have not been so excited for a book in a very long time. The style, the mystery... the presence drew me in at once from merely the cover picture andI have not been so excited for a book in a very long time. The style, the mystery... the presence drew me in at once from merely the cover picture and blurb.
Reading the book was a pleasure. At first I noticed several typographical errors, which might have been laziness on part of the editor or the author's attempt to draw his readers into the mindset of an adolescent boy. These rankled me, but as I read on the story drew me in such a way that if these errors continued, I did not notice.
The average youth read is annoying and repetitive of its peers at best. The protagonist always is the pivotal point of the universe, gifted by (usually) birth or talent to be the savior of all. The supporting characters are mere shadows set to play their parts of friend, antagonist, love interest. There is little wonder on their story, what makes them special. In this book the side characters are fully developed. I found myself yearning to know more about a character barely mentioned, or one whose picture is shown and mentioned but never takes the stage. The ones who came to the fore were fleshed out, I could see them each in my mind. Even the love interest grabs attention and personality, rather than being a cardboard character in whom preteens could place themselves. I found myself delighted to see the protagonist, while indeed special, was not the end all, be all.
The Gothic, suspenseful air of the novel, accompanied by the old, creepy photographs really melded together perfectly. This was a read unlike those in many, many years, in which I could not put the book down and finished it all in the same night, sporting a headache and a satisfied but sad spirit.
I read a rumor that this was only the first in a series and I very much look forward to whatever else Ransom Riggs has for us....more
This series is one of my favorites in the guilty-pleasure, fluff section. I love how well she captures the rural South and I found myself nodding alonThis series is one of my favorites in the guilty-pleasure, fluff section. I love how well she captures the rural South and I found myself nodding along with many of the characterizations, relating them to those I know growing up in south Mississippi. Great first novel of the series....more
**spoiler alert** I'm not sure how much Rick Riordan intended to steal from J.K. Rowling, but the parallels to Harry Potter are too many to discount.**spoiler alert** I'm not sure how much Rick Riordan intended to steal from J.K. Rowling, but the parallels to Harry Potter are too many to discount. Three friends- one goofy guy, one smart girl, and the brave hero; being marked as being able to save/destroy the world, the camp/school for half-bloods, the big bad brought back from almost death, etc. While Riordan doesn't have the storytelling ability of Rowling, the books are entertaining enough to read, especially with the added bonus of my life-long Greek and Roman mythology fascination. I'm not sure I'd recommend this series, but I certainly wouldn't dissuade anyone from reading Percy Jackson....more