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Interesting, but singular plot that could have been better executed
on March 27, 2012
This book moves deceptively fast: there were times when Jenny (the protagonist) is frustrated by the lack of action, then you find out it's only been a day. The plot is interesting, though I wouldn't call it mind blowing or anything. It is also very straight forward read; there's only one plot and zero side story.
Jenny is quite naive, having grown up far away from everyone except her parents. This innocence pops up throughout the book and unfortunately does nothing for the "heroine." For instance, she decides not to lock the front door of her master's house because there are people home. Just because you live in the forest doesn't mean you shouldn't lock your door (I grew up in the ghetto, but this really irked me). Then, after repeatedly being told that all alchemists keep secrets, she goes and blabs it right away. No hesitation to what she was doing. Luckily this worked to her benefit, but seriously?!
Lastly what bothered me was not being able to figure out where the heck this is set. The author mentions familiar places (Venice/Venetian, etc) but then goes on to make up a majority of the other names. Confusing, to say the least.
Interesting plot that could have been better executed. Jenny learns alchemy quickly and independently in the face of a tough situation, however as a person she doesn't grow all that much. Yes, she is no longer angry for being taken from her family, but she does not speak up about her concerns (even though, to me, it was very obvious who the villain was), fails to listen to sage advice, and altogether lacks some common sense.