Given that today I shall be sharing my thoughts on not one but three novels I shall not be sharing the Back Cover Blurbs (for the synopsis please click on the book title) nor the First Sentence or my Memorable Moment.THE CHILDREN'S BOOK by A.S.BYATT.
MY THOUGHTS ... On the one hand a story about Olive (author and mother) and her relationship with her creativity and her own and her children's childhood. On the other, a study of the history and politics of the time (1895 to 1919). Both aspects that could have combined quite happily and yet ...
70/75 or so pages in and still there was next to no plot development, just a lot of the author setting the scene, oh, and Victorian history. Something that I never thought I'd hear myself say (and it pains me greatly to do so), but, enough is enough, the wealth of description, of detail, it really is this book's down fall. Not its only one but certainly, in my eyes at least, the major one.
A novel with too many characters, many of them similar; lacking a distinct voice. That I had little interest in many of them - the dying of the chauffeur (unnamed and only mentioned this once) a case in point.
That at first the book follows the story of a young boy who as it turns out is a talented artist, only for this aspect of the story to be dropped and picked up again (seemingly on a whim) on other other occasions later in the book (something the author does numerous times). Agghh! Frustrating just doesn't come into it.
Essentially a read with way too many threads; I can't help but think that within this one novel there were the makings of two, possibly three, shorter novels.PARANORMALCY by KIERSTEN WHITE.
MY THOUGHTS ... There are those books targeted at the Young Adult market that I'd defy any reader no matter what their age to read and not enjoy and then ...
And then there are the likes of Paranormalcy which I do think is very much written with the teenage/young adult in mind and therefore not guaranteed (as much as anyone can guarantee these things) to be enjoyed by all older readers though that said, far from a teenager/young adult myself, me, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
With all manner of super naturals (including your gorgeous but dangerous faerie), a love story (albeit a tame one), some adventure. I think it fair to say Paranormalcy has most of the attributes you'd expect to find in a book of this sort and yet, thanks largely to its heroine, a departure from most of the other books of this genre that I've read.
Not exactly your kick-ass (though to be fair she has been known to overcome some big and bad super naturals with nothing more than a stun gun, a pink one at that) leather clad, stiletto wearing heroine. Beautiful in a what, a wholesome, a girl next door kind of way? (she's certainly not what I thought of as sexy). Funny (I loved her bad jokes), girly (but not in an annoying way), that one aspect of her life (that as a 'bagger and tagger' working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency) begins to conflict with her increasing desire to be your 'normal' sixteen year old, the aspect of the story I found most compelling, something most of us will relate to in one way or another, altogether I found Evie refreshing.
Ending in such a way that leaves little doubt that there will be a sequel, I look forward to reading more of her journey.THE SIGHT by DAVID CLEMENT-DAVIES.
MY THOUGHTS ... Not usually tempted by animal stories but having enjoyed Akea: The Power Of Destiny and, its sequel, Akea: His mother's Son both by talented young author Elizabeth Jade I thought I'd give this one a go.
Take some wolves, feature in some Christian theology, some Norse, Greek, Roman and Arthurian mythology, add in some fairy tales and combine with some 'Wolf Lore' and to my mind you have all the ingredients of a great book.
By far my favourite aspect of the book, I loved the myth that was Wolfbane who we learn 'in Wolf Lore was a demon spirit, in human terms almost the equivalent of Satan himself' (Pg 22) and I thought the parallels drawn between the life and ultimate sacrifice of (wolf) Sita and Jesus interesting but otherwise ...
Longer than it needed to be to tell the story it did and, oh my goodness, talk about melodramatic.
The dialogue, stilted and somehow unnatural (yes, even for what I thought of as 'magical' wolves for lets face it Clement-Davies wolves are about as far from actual wolves as its possible to be) and, oh my goodness, talk about melodramatic.
Outdated. Its kind of hard to put my finger on it; maybes it was that whilst the 'Chosen One' was a female wolf (as were the 'baddies') they were the exceptions, everything else about the other wolves was dictated by what I felt were outdated ideas on the roles males and females play, maybe that's why the writing felt a bit, well, antiquated.
Most of all though ...
There's a high body count, this being the main reason I tend to steer clear of animal stories and something that normally has me reaching for a box of tissues and yet, no, not so much as a sniffle, I'm afraid these just weren't characters I invested in.
Rated ** (It was OK). Really?
Hmm! I think this was me being overly generous.