Patrick's Reviews > Adrian's Lost Chapter

Adrian's Lost Chapter by Richelle Mead
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's review
Jul 29, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, digital-media, fantasy, fiction-ya, horror
Read in July, 2012

Note: It just dawned on me that I wrote this without mentioning I've yet to read The Golden Lily. Blame that for any screw-ups in what follows. Or just blame me. :)


Adrian's Lost Chapter (scribd link)

Interesting perspective, and though I think I do agree w/Ms. Mead about how switching character POVs would have been a nightmare for her as an author, as a reader it is something of a pity to get a glimpse of what "might have been" had she pursued this path. I'm not certain the end product would have been superior to the actual book as published, but I'm not certain it would not have been, either.

I think switching POVs can and does work, but works best with "doorstop" type fantasy series like A Song of Ice and Fire, The Lord of the Rings and sort of worked with the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series§. Yes Bloodlines # 1 does run to over 400 pages, but it has a rather large type-face (compare it to any of the paperback editions of Lord of the Rings) and is planned only as a trilogy, so I don't think that concept applies here.

I also think using Sydney as the sole narrator makes a great deal of sense, especially presuming the boarding school plot-line would have been followed in a book written from multiple POVs. Mead would have essentially been switching between Adrian, Jill, Sydney and Eddie, possibly with a few brief moments inside the head of (a very confused) Clarence, or perhaps even Clarence's housekeeper...after all, if there is one element both series have so far neglected, it is the psychology behind what would cause a human to volunteer to become a feeder; and as far as we as readers know they all enter into the role under no compulsion, and with their eyes wide open regarding what to expect...but this we may never know, and it is certainly not central to any of the narratives thus far. In any event, Sydney by process of elimination:

Adrian - Whether his ennui is genuine or not, he simply knows too much. As in, there is very little in the way of machinations from inside the Moroi court that would take him by surprise, or probably not even be able to anticipate, meaning reading the story through his eyes would mean few surprises for readers. Besides, since he can only spend limited amounts of time at the school, to get him to where the action is would probably be to force a few things.

Jill - To resurrect a blatantly sexist term, Jill is more ingenue than player at present. I suspect this will change as the series advances, so that "ingenue," label is likely temporary. However, for the moment, where Adrian knows too much, Jill knows too little, doubtless spends a great deal of time being thoroughly confused, and would likely confuse readers as well.

Eddie - As things presently stand I just don't think he would work as a central character. Besides, reading the story directly through his eyes would make the "mystery" of how deep his feelings run for [not sayin', neener-neener] go *poof* before our eyes. The same sort of issue exists with Jill as narrator, through somehow it does not seems as central to her personality. At least from where I'm sitting.

..."and the rest".. Just like on Gilligan's Island (at least the first season's theme), I guess. Say a name and say "No!" Keith, Lee, no way, for not being central enough to the story and for reasons I'd best not go into. Clarence, only if there were multiple POV shifts, and everybody else was dragged along. I can't see any of the human students or faculty at the school helping much as narrators, up to and including Micah and Ms. Terwilliger, nah. And Abe? fugedaboutit. No fun in having an all knowing narrator, since he seemingly knows everything about everyone, and he's not around much anyway.

So: Sydney. This time by noting her positive characteristics:

* A very interesting blend of opposites - She knows a great deal, yet is also ignorant of a great deal. Rather like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson rolled up in one person, in a way that works. Her technical skills are borderline savant, her ability to "do the right thing" by those cares for blows up in her face as often as not.

* Conflicted loyalties - She's had Alchemist training drilled into her since just about birth, including all the prejudices the organization instills in its members. Yet here she is, spending her time around Moroi and Dhampirs, and finding it impossible not to ignore the evidence before her eyes, that at least some of what she was lead to believe might possibly not be true

* A deal with a 'devil' - Her "agreement" with Abe. How much more trouble is that going to cause her? We do know if the Alchemists found out about it, a one-way ticket to some sort of re-education camp is about the best she can hope for from them. And who knows what's up Abe's sleeve? So, how is she?/or can she? slide out from under this "Sword of Damocles" she's now living under? I'm certainly interested in finding out.... :)


§ - Apropos of nothing - Sadly, IMO, the Wheel of Time series went rapidly downhill following the third book, but solely based on increasingly silly plot lines, or what in essence amounted to no plot line, as with the fifth book. Which is where I abandoned the series. Possibly Mr. Jordan's increasingly poor health accounts for this; I'm not sure how else to explain what started off so well ending up as it did.
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