Friday, August 03, 2012
Strangeness and Charm by Mike Shevdon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
2.5 stars. This one was quite disappointing. Not only didn't it fulfill my wish of exploring the mythology and fascinating world and characters that Shebdon created with this world and the Feyre courts, but Niall was just annoying in this book. He didn't do his job well, screwed up at every turn and didn't really seem to care or want to improve. He didn't seem to care about the people he set free or the danger they were in or the danger they posed to the rest of society. He didn't care about protecting the secret of his world at all, he told Katherine about Alex without even thinking about what she would do with the information, didn't even consider the consequences. Really, he didn't seem to care about anything except Alex, which I get, but he was being such a jerk about it. And when it came to making the story interesting, or not as the case may be, he didn't even use his power until p. 192 or really mention that it was void power more than briefly before then. And he barely even used it then. He was just really unlikable this time around, I couldn't root for him at all, he was just some annoying, whiny guy, he didn't relate at all to the guy in the first two books.
Plus there was so little recap of the first two books that I felt almost no connection to the charaters or the situations at all as well. I remembered Niall and Blackbird but I didn't remember much about the courts or what brought them there. And I wasn't reminded almost at all until the end. There was almost no magic in this book other than Blackbird trying to teach Niall to use a few skills better. There was no exploring of the courts or the cool mythology that Shevdon created. It was mostly about Niall not doing his job and about his runaway daughter, Alex.
The most compelling part was about Niall's daughter Alex, I appreciated the coming into her own journey, but it wasn't enough to carry the book. And Blackbird felt like a nagging wife, there was no sense of the incredible, dynamic woman I vaguely remember her to be. And then it the Big Bad was a couple of kids barely older than Alex, how did they know how to figure all of that stuff out much less pull it off? It was pretty hard to get worked up about them as the bad guys, even if they were mean to Alex, they were hardly compelling after the big mysterious bad guys I vaguely remember from the last books.
There just wasn't enough mystery, mythology, magic or tension in this one. It was mostly a story about a whiny middle-aged guy dealing with his pushy boss and his pushy wife and his wild-child daughter. There was some cool stuff at the end that wrapped the whole thing up, but it was really mostly a set-up for the next book. And now that I think about it, it revealed that this book was really just a transition between the last book and the next book, too. The whole thing was just about showing Niall fighting with his boss, revealing some prophesy, and the set-up at the end, a total transitional book. I'm really sorry to give such a rotten review to a book I was really looking forward to. I really hope the author gets back on stride for the next book.
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