Caitlin's Reviews > The Sweet Far Thing

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
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Feb 27, 09

bookshelves: fantasy, series, historical-fiction
Read in February, 2009

** spoiler alert ** The Sweet Far Thing has left me extremely disappointed. My rating for these books went down with each installment. I really had high hopes for this book because I hoped that Bray would finally explain all the loose ends of the series and that a pattern and order would emerge and that we, the readers, would finally GET IT. That did not happen. Rather I am left with so many unanswered questions. I might have even forgiven the inconsistencies and huge plot holes if Gemma and Kartik could have ended up together. But NOOO, Bray doesn't want to give us a "typical" happy ending, so she traps Kartik inside a tree after Gemma has rejected eternal glory to come back for him. Here's the problem with this: it accomplishes nothing. Kartik's sacrifice doesn't feel noble, it just feels foolish. We don't understand why it is necessary. We don't understand why he can't speak to Gemma like Eugenia Spence could or why Gemma cannot save him. And the message we are left with isn't one of self-sacrifice, even if that's what Bray intended. Rather, we feel cheated. Gemma will run away from her problems again. Her father will die away from his family, forgotten and alone. The friendship between Felicity, Ann and Gemma will end as they are spread out around the globe. So the magic is done for those girls? And Gemma will not use it until she returns to England? Why? Why did they hold onto the power for so long only to not care about it anymore as soon as it's within reach?

Bray's acknowledgments at the beginning of the book talk a lot about her struggle with writing this book, and honestly that struggle is apparent to me because it seems like she had no direction and no plan while writing this book. I would literally scoff aloud at times because the characters' actions were motivated by NOTHING. Their actions were inexplicable. No, I take that back. They did things because Bray needed them to be that way in order for the plot to work. When it's that transparent that the actions are merely a means to an end, you can't believe in the characters.

Ugh. Too bad.
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