This is a great combination of fun entertainment and a more serious exploration of the pros and cons of telepathy. Some reviewers have complained thatThis is a great combination of fun entertainment and a more serious exploration of the pros and cons of telepathy. Some reviewers have complained that there wasn't enough action, that the teens with ESP didn't embark on some big adventure. But this is actually a very realistic book--as realistic as something can be when a paranormal ability is involved. I liked the first person plural POV, though I could only keep track of the main characters that get the most attention. As far as I can tell (not being a teen), the teen voices and attitudes are spot-on. The characters that seem like they're going to be caricatures turn out to be more dimensional. They're all focused on the minutiae of their lives: friends, romance, family, grades, their bodies, other people's bodies, and most of all, what other people think of them. This is a book about actually knowing what other people think of you and other people knowing what you think of them and how messy that can get. Some stories feel unfinished, but there is going to be a sequel.
Other reviewers have brought up the references to sex and the swears. It's not a matter of whether or not this is realistic for 10th graders--it's because, as librarians, we think about who we can recommend the book to. It's tricky to find the balance between something that's mature enough to interest readers who don't want to read baby-ish stuff, but not so mature that librarians put it in the non-PG pile. The thing is, the pile of books for readers who have moved beyond middle grade but aren't ready for sex and swears is very short--we need more of them! That developmental stage may not last long--and it may start at different ages for different readers--but it's nice to have books for the teens who are in that stage.
I know it's not cool to "review" a book you didn't finish, so please take this with a huge grain of salt. I wish Goodreads had a separate category forI know it's not cool to "review" a book you didn't finish, so please take this with a huge grain of salt. I wish Goodreads had a separate category for DNF and categories for why you couldn't keep going so they could be separate from the actual reviews.
I was intrigued by what I'd read about the narrator telling different versions of the story, but just couldn't get past a logic obstacle. At first, I was thrown by the question of why people don't just blow dragons up with missiles, but I read something that led me to believe this would eventually be explained, so I soldiered on. But then I got to the explanation of why people still drive fossil-fuel-burning cars, which seemed to boil down to "they're expensive." The high likelikhood of being killed by a dragon if you drive a gas-fueled car seems like way too much of an incentive to not come up with other forms of transportation. I'd be very happy to be convinced to lighten up and just enjoy the story, but it would take some work......more
Pros: Male protagonist. Great humor, use of language. Historical period that doesn't get visited often. Amusing secondary characters. Some amusing fooPros: Male protagonist. Great humor, use of language. Historical period that doesn't get visited often. Amusing secondary characters. Some amusing footnotes.
Cons: For me, the biggest obstacle to enjoyment was the confusing world-building. I never quite got the relationship between the real world and the faerie world(s) or things like why the faerie king couldn't find his daughter despite her slow pace of travel. Also, the romantic relationship might be called a reverse-Twilight, which isn't any more palatable just because the "girl" is older than the boy.
I believe the right word to use for this type of story is "rollicking." It pays homage to Tom Jones by Fielding, which is great if you like an episodic story that meanders from adventure to adventure....more