Collette's Reviews > Black Hearts in Battersea

Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken
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's review
Dec 11, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: juv-and-ya
Read in January, 2009

This is the second of a series and although it kept my attention I really did not enjoy it much. I really wanted to like it, especially as I had enjoyed The Wolves of Willoughby Chase I think the author's use of dialect and made-up words really detracts from the meaning of some of the dialogue, so I couldn't fully understand what some of the characters were saying. This annoyed me. It is possible that she is using antiquated language in some cases (e.g., hoboy for oboe), but for other words I have not found any historical reference. I believe that she may have constructed her own history of Britain in the early 19th century, and that does give an interesting twist to the novel, as wolves were completely wiped out in England due to hunting by the 1500s. I think Aiken writes a decent mystery, and that led me to read this second novel. However, I think that the escapes/rescues were simply too fantastical for a children's book that doesn't purport to be based in magic or fantasy, and I really disliked the dialogue in places, so I won't be reading further.

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