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Changeling (Order of Darkness) Hardcover – May 29, 2012
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How I Acquired the Book: I got this book from my library, who had 4 copies of it. WHY, library, DO YOU ALWAYS PURCHASE THE MOST COPIES OF HORRIBLE BOOKS.
The Review: Okay. First off, full disclosure: Changeling is not what I expected it to be. That's not the reason why I gave it two stars, though; it's quite idiotic, in my opinion, to give something a low rating just because the author didn't do what you wanted them to do. The reason I gave it only two stars is simple: Changeling is just a horrible book.
Let me break it down. First off, some minor complaints. The title has barely anything to do with the novel. Yes, I know, it's not that big of a deal, but for some reason, it really annoyed me. It makes the book misleading in a way, I suppose. Another problem I had with it is that the entire book is only divided into 4 chapters. Yes, you read that correctly. One chapter is 150 pages long! Now, this wouldn't be so bad if the plot were good, but it isn't, and that brings me to my next point.
The pacing was really, really awkward and awful. It was made even worse by the aforementioned weirdly distributed 4 chapters, and the plot was just boring. I realize that the author has next-to-zero control over the description they put on her book...but seriously, it gave away 90% percent of the plot. By the way, that 90% wasn't even interesting. It was all leading up to the 10% climax, which was not 'climaxy' enough and just fizzled out.
And the characters. Hands down, they were the worst part of the book. All four main characters were flat, and they barely differ from people today. Their dialogue is terrible, and they sound way too 21st century.Read more ›
Isolde is the daughter of a rich and well respected Lord. The Lord planned to split his properties and monies between Isolde and her older brother. According to her brother who forbid Isolde to be present at her father's deathbed, the Lord changed his mind and ordered Isolde to marry or become the abess. Isolde chose the latter, where she would come face to face with the young new inquisitor, Luca.
It is rare that I dislike a book so much I do not even finish it. Unfortunately, after 93 pages, I did not have the will to go on. I have a policy that I read 100 pages before passing this kind of judgment, but I just could not do it. Changeling was that bad. I think Philippa Gregory should fire her copy editor; he is obviously lazy. Gregory's copy editor must have assumed that since Gregory's previous books were so successful, this one would be no different. He was sadly mistaken.
The writing is atrocious; it is boring, repetitive and sometimes just plain dumb:
"Course I do! Course you are! Course you will!"
Really? Gregory was incapable of anything better than that, possibly, "Course I do! You are and you will." Gregory's version sounds and looks like a presidential campaign slogan.
And then the dumb just continues:
He found he was smiling at her, though he could not see if she was smiling back.Read more ›
Later the author describes food being laid out: "two types of bread: white manchet and dark rye." In the very next sentence the protagonist spreads plums on wheat bread. Did he bring that along with him in his pocket?
Am I nitpicking? I don't think so, not when similar discrepancies show up again and again.
I would like to like this book, as I have enjoyed books by this author in the past, but I may have to return this purchase if the editing errors do not improve soon!
A writer of Ms. Gregory's talents is wasted on Changeling. This book feels like the product of a few weekend writing sessions and in sore need of editorial review. YA historical fiction includes some considerable heavyweights, like the delightful Libba Bray, and Alison Weir is a leading historian whose works are beautifully conceived. Changeling feels like a hack job beside these authors; it lacks the polish, surprises, and crafted dialogue I expect from a writer of Ms. Gregory's caliber.
The story starts with a glaring error: knocking going off like a handgun. Really? In historical fiction, I liberally edit out all references to modern technology, familiar cliches, and everyday slang. Plenty of resources identify 15th and 16th century phrases in common use, and I hardly expect to see a handgun in the 1460s unless we're in alternate history, which Changeling most certainly is not. Leaving a sour taste in my mouth, the reference made me acutely aware of other small, jarring follies.
At its core, Changeling is a love story between two young protagonists from very different worlds and their faithful servants. Isolde is a noblewoman disinherited by a sudden deathbed will change and forced into serving as the lady abbess of an abbey on her familial lands.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Starts out with an anachronistic simile that bugged the heck out of me. Kept me from being able to just dive into the book. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Freckles' mom
Even if you read this series out of order, you still can enjoy the backtracking. Anyone who loves historical fiction will love this quick, light read.Published 2 months ago by Deb Sherman
It is a very good book. The first of a trilogy that Phippipa Gregory has written. I enjoy reading all of her booksPublished 4 months ago by marypatriciaweakland
This story had some interesting moments, but it also had quite a bit of down time where not a whole lot really happened. Read morePublished 5 months ago by What's Beyond Forks?
Wow! This was certainly not what I expected. If I'm perfectly honest, I thought this was going to focus more on the ladies than Luca. Still, it was a well-written book. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lindsay
I was very surprised at this. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. I like the description of life in a nunnery and the customs of the day. Read morePublished 7 months ago by R Linam
Compared to most of her novels, a did appointing book which left us in the air at the end. I am normally a great fan of this authorPublished 8 months ago by MR PETER L BAILEY