Far from suffering "second book syndrome," BEASTLY BONES was, I thought, superior in nearly every way to its pr*Review also posted at Briar Rose Reads
Far from suffering "second book syndrome," BEASTLY BONES was, I thought, superior in nearly every way to its predecessor.
JACKABY was a fun book, but suffered a bit from lack of originality. It read like a mashup of "Sherlock" and "Doctor Who," with just enough likable characters and original concepts to keep it afloat. BEASTLY BONES takes flight from where JACKABY left off, advancing the world-building and the characterization of existing characters, and introducing several fascinating new players and supernatural beasties.
Characters and events that seem unrelated all tie back together in the end, culminating in a suspenseful, explosive finale that I did not see coming. And have no fear--the lovable character from JACKABY who seemed to have been Put On A Bus at the end is present and accounted for here. This book takes place in his new home.
Unlike many second books of trilogies, BEASTLY BONES refuses to end on a maddening, scream-inducing cliffhanger. It ties up the storyline in a satisfying way, while also effectively setting up the villain and story of the third book....more
I cannot believe it took me this long to finally read this book. (I feel like I'm at risk of losing my credibil*Review also posted at Briar Rose Reads
I cannot believe it took me this long to finally read this book. (I feel like I'm at risk of losing my credibility as a lifelong YA fantasy fan!) But now that I have read it, I definitely understand the hype.
A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA is the coming-of-age story. It is quiet and lush and intelligent. It is full of wonder, but does not flinch from the horrible.
Gifted with incredible magic, young Ged makes a mistake--a proud, thoughtless mistake, a child's mistake--which is magnified because of his power. He spends much of the rest of the book seeking to atone, and to track down the terrible, nameless thing unleashed by his actions.
The world-building is exquisite. Ged's journey, his search for atonement always interwoven with his discovery of the shape and nature and name of things, is deeply compelling.
I will confess to some surprise at the lack of female characters--the only one I recall being positively portrayed was a fourteen-year-old who seemed to know her place, who dutifully took care of her household--but I have hope that will be remedied in later books.
If, like me, you have managed to miss this classic, I advise giving it a read as soon as possible....more
William Ritter's JACKABY is advertised as "Sherlock" meets "Doctor Who," and it doesn't disappoint on that coun*Review also posted at Briar Rose Reads
William Ritter's JACKABY is advertised as "Sherlock" meets "Doctor Who," and it doesn't disappoint on that count. For me, that was mostly a good thing.
Occasionally it was a little too on-the-nose--I could hear Sherlock's or the Doctor's voice in the brilliant, eccentric Jackaby's--but mostly I thought the author succeeded in creating a distinct character and world despite the influence of those two powerhouse British properties.
Intelligent, headstrong Abigail, daughter of a famous paleontologist and a proper Englishwoman, determines to forge her own path in the world and quickly finds herself assistant to Jackaby, a man of science who believes only in what he can see. He just so happens to be able to see the mystical world beyond our own. The two dive into pursuit of a Ripper-like serial killer who may or may not be supernatural, their mission both helped and hindered by a series of mystical encounters.
In addition to the main cast, I enjoyed the setting, and the minor characters--the brave but sad ghost, Jenny, who serves as Jackaby's housekeeper; the handsome policeman with a secret, upon whom Abigail develops a crush; and the near-madwoman whose Sight is as likely to show her a jumble of horrifying nonsense as anything helpful, but to whom all dangers are equally real.
Though JACKABY was not necessarily the most original book I have ever read, all the components were solid, and the plot threads wove together to a satisfying--and surprisingly action-packed--conclusion. I will definitely be picking up the sequel when it comes out later this fall....more