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Fair telling of a modern fairy tale.
on December 24, 2016
This book is fair. Not bad at all, but not great, despite the tremendous hype about John C. Wright. It is best suited for younger readers, say 11-13.
The book is plodding throughout, with a great deal of time spent on the main character trying to get close to a mermaid (Why? Because she's cute? Because she's there?) and the zany antics that ensue. Gil also spends a good portion of the book walking all over the region Blowing Rock, NC. And there are detailed descriptions of various knights' heraldry. Lots of them. Hope you care. (Actually, these are well done, but would be more interesting if the story had better pacing.)
Gil's mother is indeed one-dimensional, an annoyance as she won't provide direct answers to the family's unusual abilities and experiences, yet expects Gil to be her lackey. Realistic for a woman? Perhaps, but not endearing at all, and made worse since it is framed as commendable b/c it is supposed to represent Christian teaching.
Worth noting, honor and Christian tradition are significant elements in this book.
Wright is very creative with background references and allusions, but once again these hints at interesting tales seem to be his substitute for actually writing an interesting tale. The book definitely picks up toward the end, and is much more enjoyable at that point, with Wright providing interesting villains for Gil to encounter. However, several events throughout are left unexplained, which leads to this point: This book ends in a cliff-hanger reminiscent of a Stan Lee comic, so expect you'll need to buy the rest of the trilogy.