The author of the Artemis Fowl series brings this story of an island kingdom from the last century alive with excitement. The requisite princess and hero start as babes and suffer through love, murder, greed, power hungry attacks,a prison like the Chateau D'If, and the imagination to want to fly. There are great characters who support the story throughout.
I gave this a 2 1/2 because I was curious enough to read to the end. HOWEVER, the dialogue in this book is so disconcerting that it ruined the book. I kept trying to picture people actually mouthing phrases such as"You look so delectable in those jeans" cop to his young wife, or "After dinner come upstairs and I'll shift YOUR gears," young wife to her cop husband. Do people in their 30s talk this way in 2010? The dialogue of the children was even more challenging. An 11 yr girl who constantly says things like "Sometimes dear child you are quite inscrutable," to her 8yr sister. She also uses words like perspicacious and intrepidity, yet she dreams up magical lands. Along with dialogue suited more to Beaver Cleaver's mother, the girl kept saying phrases like " You don't know beans about.." I searched Koontz online to find his age. I hadn't heard "don't know beans" out of a kids mouth since a show from 1960. As Koontz was born in 1945, this explained the obsolete dialogue but did not excuse it or change how annoying and disruptive it was to hear. The only way these colloquial phrases would have been acceptable is before1960! The children's behaviors are completely unbelievable! A 13yr old boy who wants to be a marine knows details all about WWII but never thinks about any later US wars including the present. Does anyone know a 13yr old boy like that? The girls have a grape drop into a mirror that ripples like water, and see a ghost. The boy fights with a violent entity-yet the traumatized kids never mention any of it to loving parents. Also there are many stereotypical shallow ideas and characters- girls cant do math, boys can, and the whole book's attitude toward females and violent sado-sexual and incest details even have an unsettling vibe as if they were written in just to titillate the reader rather than to be shocking and abhorrent or move the story along in any way. Kind of a trashy book- idea could have been good with better writing
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