Alison Livingston's Reviews > The Cabinet of Wonders

The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski
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's review
Aug 11, 2009

did not like it

Four chapters. That is all I give books these days. If it hasn't captured my interest by chapter four I put the book down.

The Cabinet of Wonders has a great story idea, but ultimately I could not get over the poor writing. I know the book was written for children, and thus more simplistic, but there are so many adjectives in the story as to render imagination bored and rote. An example: "She went into a room with a square window" Okay, I don't know about you, but I assume windows are generally going to be square, and if it isn't square, then let me know. Also if you are going to mention a window at all, it should be because the window is going to play a role later. That's a petty example, I know but the book is bursting with too much word fat. Not only that, but almost every conversation was artificial. The main character's father comes through the door with an old bloody bandage over his eyes, having had them gouged out by the prince and their pet mechanical spider asks him what the palace library is like! Huh? Then the father goes on to talking like he's not phased at all by being blinded and having to be pack-carted home by two thungs.

It just didn't ring true. It feels to me like this woman either speaks English as a second language or she somehow got her first or second draft of this thing published (and not the 10th-20th draft it takes to finish a good novel).

I am sad because the story was interesting and the author looks like a cutie pie, so I am sorry this one didn't work out. After four chapters I was done.

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