Read: December 15, 2011
So this book started fairly slowly, and continued at a fairly slow pace. The world description, character description, and plot threads were beautifully done, but I felt like I was being dragged by my shirt slowly down dusty alleyways that had no foreseeable ending. There's Kaoru's world that slowly becomes not-Kaoru's world and then the story leaves you as confused as Kaoru. Most of the time, I felt like I was sitting there in a math class that has no patterns to even try and follow and it was highly frustrating.
Now those who love epic fantasy books that have a lot of world building and confusion up until the end, some satisfaction, and then way more confusion will love this book. I have to admit, I liked the characters enough that the pace wasn't an issue for me (most of the time), and I liked Akiva the more I got to know him.
I have mixed feelings about this book, and right now I'm a little emotionally wrung out to figure out exactly why I liked this book, I'll try to go with stating facts.
1. Angel and chimera lore was very well researched. I felt that there was no inconsistencies and we were given enough information just to wonder and marvel at these different races.
2. Wishes were involved. The fact and fiction of magic was fascinating and logical if not a little sad.
3. The humanity of the non-humans. This was interesting to me, because I always like to explore what defines humans as humans versus other creatures. I think that what we've termed as "humanity" is not exclusive to humans at all, but more of a universal rightness that exists in all creatures. This book is a fabulous example of that.
I hope that is more descriptive than the rambling words my brain produced.
Read: December 18, 2011
This middle-grade read was given to me by my mom as a senior in college gift. The writing is geared towards middle grade, so no lavish descriptions or large words, but it is just as lyrical as some young adult books. Throughout this book, I was reminded of The Thief Lord with the whimsical characters and action.
This book is more of a suspense book. Nothing huge, but each chapter alternates between the three main characters and the chapters more often than not end in cliffhangers. I had to resist the impulse to flip ahead and see what happened. It was sweet and innocent, with some violence and a little technical jargon with the clockwork pieces, but it was also mysterious and fascinating. The hotel, for example, holds many secrets with boarded up rooms and odd guests. I love exploring old houses, so I was very excited when I came upon the old hotel. However, since it is geared toward middle-grade readers, there were plot strings that were never resolved. It felt a little like there was only one purpose of this book, and the plot threads that were on the side were largely ignored once they had played their parts. This didn't detract from the book, but just indicated it was not like a young adult book I'm used to reading.
Light-hearted and fun, it was long for a lower level book but definitely an easy read for a day or so. I would recommend it as a breath of fresh air for your brain. It was a very nice break from dismal and gritty novels I've been reading.