- File Size: 1463 KB
- Print Length: 461 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Copper Crow Books (November 21, 2013)
- Publication Date: November 21, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BA6Y86U
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,698,316 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Zelda Pryce: The Arcane Trilogy Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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I bought this based on Lewis’ Aetherium series, which I really enjoyed. I have trouble believing that this was written by the same man.
The title character, Zelda, is a (very) young inventor of apparently limitless ability, no fear, and a teenaged sister on speed dial to look things up for her on Google. Of course, her smartphone could be used to do that without bothering her baby sister, but so what? Logic shouldn’t get in the way of a good story.
The novels take place in an alternate universe where a sort of magic exists, contained in things called arcane devices— a place where Occam’s Razor really is a magical razor, for example.
But it was the logical problems that drove me away from the book, at both the micro and macro levels. Zelda has been tricked into stealing a magical, arcane item from the British Museum, apparently by someone with some sort of mind control, when she meets up with a woman who claims to be a French agent with “DCRI, the equivalent of your CIA”. [It’s not, by the way— the author’s confused it with the DGSE, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure, General Directorate for Exterior Security. The DCRI, or Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure, is charged with internal security and counterespionage, much like our FBI.]
My problem wasn’t with the author’s using the wrong acronym, though (that actually is rather arcane knowledge!). Rather, it has to do with our intrepid heroine, having already learned that criminal mastermind she’s up against has the ability to fog minds into believing pretty much anything at all, is still quick to believe this French agent, Nadia Demir, really is an agent with DCRI, based on an ID card she couldn’t recognize in a language she couldn’t read.
Okay, the book is, I suppose, written for readers young enough that such nuances might simply slow the action. But if the readers are supposed to be so young, then the joke lines about Clive Caspian, the male lead, asking a spirit about the color of Zelda’s underwear, and then having her ask it, “How long is Clive Caspian’s...” before he cuts her off seem to be inappropriate at best. At least, I would tend to see penis-size jokes inappropriate for middle schoolers.
Joseph Robert Lewis is capable of writing quite good fantasy novels when he’s writing for adults. Unfortunately, in this trilogy he is not. I read a bit more than halfway through the first of the three novels, hoping that the Lewis I’d recognize would reappear, before giving up.