Loralee's Reviews > Legacies

Legacies by Mercedes Lackey
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's review
Jul 23, 2011

did not like it

Page 186 was good. That was when the teenagers discovered a hidden basement whose secret rooms hid objects belonging to the many teenagers who'd disappeared from their private school, as well as files marked "Tithed." Chilling.

And page 282 was pretty good too, an action scene during the fight when the teenagers set a trap for their enemies and attacked.

In a book over 300 pages long, that's a pretty poor score.

I always wonder, when I slog through a book like this, why it is that fabulous writers start churning out drivel. Do they forget the tricks they used to know? Do they stop caring? Do they grow lazy, when sales stay steady in spite of declining quality?

You'd think that a book about an orphaned magician sent to a secret magic school full of scheming teachers, interior betrayal, outside attackers, and difficult homework would be full of danger, suspense, and some good old teenage angst. In fact, that plot describes a whole series of books I seem to remember enjoying quite a lot...

But this book is flat. You've never encountered such an unsentimental bunch of orphans in all of fiction. Dead parents? So? Characters get introduced, then whisked off by the bad guys only a page or two later, before we have time to get attached to them. (And since the first abduction doesn't take place until about page 100, you spend the first section of the book unattached to any particular plot, either.) Although the main characters encounter difficult teachers, long homework assignments, and the disappearance of classmates, their reactions and emotions happen mostly off the page, so it's hard to sympathize with their troubles. Teachers show up long enough to spy on the IM messages, yell at students in martial arts, or assign 10 page papers before they vanish again, and the headmaster, who turns a new student into a mouse and attacks her in a first scene that could have led to lots of tension-filled encounters, doesn't show up again until the end of the book when he congratulates the victors of a battle he had no idea the school was fighting. Let's just say he's no Dumbledore.

Apparently the publishers found enough teens who liked to this book to get some good book jacket quotes. I wish those teenagers could instead have been shown Lackey's earlier work. Her Diana Tregarde series, supernatural mysteries written nearly two decades before the current market glut, hummed with feeling and tension on every page. If Diana wasn't fighting monsters or trying to sift clues to crack down on the evildoers, she was struggling to meet an upcoming deadline for an overdue romance novel, as her editor sent up garlic-reeking lunches when he heard she had a vampire in her apartment. In those books, Lackey wrung story out of both supernatural problems and personal problems, and kept the stories alive on every page. If you want some great urban fantasy, read those. Then, like me, you'll be wondering whatever happened to Mercedes Lackey.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 23, 2011 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Diane (new)

Diane Loralee,
I love your reviews. You work magic with words.

friendly reader sorry but i have to disagree with what u said about the book. but this is ur oppinon so then maybe u just dont like this type of book.

message 3: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Gondolfo next time u should say spoiler alert so someone that has yet to read the book wont read ur comment, thanks

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