Nannah's Reviews > The Outcasts

The Outcasts by John Flanagan
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Apr 22, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: fantasy, historical-fiction, male-author, male-pov, middle-grade, not-recommended, series, series-i-won-t-finish
Read from April 22 to 25, 2012

I'm sorry to say I didn't enjoy this book.

This is a young adult book, I understand, but I couldn't help but feel insulted by the writing. It was all function and nothing else, and worse than that it had so many repetitions and explanations of gestures that it made me think John Flanagan thought his readers would be idiots who didn't understand that when a character nodded it meant they agreed with something. Everything is told, nothing shown. I was TOLD that someone was angry or confused or happy, I was hardly ever shown it. And when it did occur, it happened with "in anger" or "in frustration" after it, so consistently redundant that I actually flinched every time it appeared, which was maybe fifteen plus times on a single page. The writing was awkward and contrived; I can't even count the number of times I saw the phrase, "as a result, . . . "

The plot just a competition between boys. I was waiting for the plot to pick up into some romping adventure but it just sat there at a competition.

The characters were flat, especially the boys in Hal's brotherband. One of them was a thief. Everything about him, every character trait had to do with the fact he was a thief. He run really fast, because he's a thief, I guess that would be a helpful trait if you were a thief (literally it was explained like that in the book). It's mentioned he's a thief almost every time his name comes up in paragraph. Or the "I'm short-sighted, not stupid" appeared in the dialogue at least two times. These characters had pretty much one defining feature and it was all they were throughout the entire novel. Not to mention the random love interest present in maybe two pages tops. I had forgotten about her until near the end she randomly kissed Hal. It's as if she was an afterthought, "oh yeah I need a girl character, she should probably just be a love interest but I don't want to deal with her so she'll appear just two times and it'll just be defending her from the antagonist and then a kiss for the hero."

Exposition made up half the dialogue, all awkward and sounding out-of-character. I'm not actually sure what was in-character though, to be honest, everything was so stilted and cliche and written in one voice, all the characters could be the same if not for their defining feature.

Sorry, I'm being really mean. It's my opinion only.
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08/22/2016 marked as: read

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

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Camille White Ok Ive been searching for someone with the same thoughts on this book that I have. Finally! Why has everyone given it such good reviews?


Daniel Nice to see different views of this book, I disagree with you, however I do understand where you're coming from, good review :)


message 3: by Peter (new)

Peter Henrichsen Hi! This review is so spot on. He really wrote this book, like it was a boys book from Robert Baden Powells era "Scouting for boys". I too was really annoyed that everything was told, not shown. I don't think you're being mean, just honest. I wonder what kind of books readers that loved this one, reads besides Flanagan. Not the usual YA novels, I'm sure. Best wishes Peter


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