Gem's Reviews > Changeling

Changeling by Philippa Gregory
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's review
Jun 09, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: read2012, yabooks
Read in June, 2012

I read the ARC, not the final copy, but I can't imagine it was very different.

The opening line reads: "The hammering on the door shot him into wakefulness like a handgun going off in his face." This scene takes place in Rome, June 1453. I feel that "like a handgun" is not the most suitable simile. I realize that firearm development did begin earlier than 1453, but surely it wasn't common by then?

Even if I'm incorrect, I was already so hung up over the opening line that I wasn't sure if the rest of the book was going to proceed well. I also got stuck at a map description that didn't match from the text to the actual map, and one use of the word "hoity-toity," which the Online Etymology Dictionary places at an origin in the 1660s. I am usually not so picky, but I feel like Philippa Gregory has a reputation of a popular historical fiction writer, I didn't see that holding up in the first third of the book.

The plot and characters were okay, but I couldn't get past the writing style.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Ozana I just started reading this book and first thing I notice was a metaphore about handgun. I wonder if handgun was so common or rare thing in that time if not at all. So you are not picky at all.

message 2: by Gem (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gem Thank you! I'm glad I'm not alone in noticing that.

message 3: by Rose (new) - added it

Rose So true. It's hard to get beyond this type of thing. For those who read it regardless, was it ok?

message 4: by Gem (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gem Sheena Rose wrote: "So true. It's hard to get beyond this type of thing. For those who read it regardless, was it ok?"

I thought it was okay. Not great - just okay! The story didn't make up for the writing style, in my opinion.

Jennifer I was also thrown off by the very first sentence and didn't like the writing style. I found the whole thing, plot and characters, simply flat.

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