Thursday, 10 January 2013

BOOKS: Mini Book Reviews #2

Hi!
I know it's such a long time ago since I posted my first book review post on here so just to recap I have another blog in which I post my book reviews on but seen as reading is quite a big part of my life I decided to start posting mini reviews on here too with a link to the full reviews if you are interested in reading further. My first post explains it more so if you want you can read that here

The four books I'll be reviewing on this post are: The Somnambulist, The Snow Child, Elijah's Mermaid and Wicked.

The Somnambulist by Essie Fox
Essie Fox's debut novel is a real page turner, it was so captivating I couldn't put it down. The descriptive narrative provides a Gothic element which is a nod to the great classic Victorian novels The Somnambulist beautifully emulates. Told from the naive Phoebe's point of view, the reader is always one step ahead of the protagonist, however this doesn't ruin the dark, brooding mood of the novel. It's clear to see throughout how much passion Essie Fox has for the Victorian Era and for someone like me who is equally as interested in that era it is a must read novel. 
Full review here.
★★★★★

 The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Jack and Mabel are struggling to survive in Alaska. Jack can't clear the land in time before the heavy snow comes and Mabel is still consumed by grief for the child that her and Jack lost many years ago. Everything changes when they build a snow girl one night only for it to have disappeared the next morning. From that point on Jack and Mabel catch glimpses of a girl in the woods and become convinced that a child is out in the wilderness on her own.
The beauty of this book for me is that it isn't fast paced which allows you to fully absorb all the beautiful descriptions of the Alaskan landscapes and detailed character descriptions. However the last hundred pages really let the book down, the slow pace and wonderful writing is lost and replaced by a rushed narrative and too many breaks in chapters. Overall its a beautifully written book but it could have been improved by a less hurried ending.
Full review here.
★★★★

 Elijah's Mermaid by Essie Fox
The second offering from Essie Fox and The Somnambulist I was expecting very good things. For the most part I wasn't disappointed although it certainly wasn't as good as its predecessor. 
When twins Lily and Elijah have a chance meeting with Pearl little do they know it will change their lives forever. They go their separate ways only to be reunited years later when an artist wants to employ Elijah and when he turns up with his wife in tow, Lily and Elijah immediately recognise her as Pearl. Elijah, who has been in love with Pearl since the first meeting, wastes no time accepting the offer and moves to London. However a few months into his employment Elijah goes missing and Lily must travel to London to find out the truth about all their lives. 
The story itself was just as good as The Somnambulist however there were a few things that niggled me such as the style in which it was written but that is just down to personal preference. I also felt like it was trying a little too hard to shock the reader with one too many twists and revelations.
Full review here.
★★★★

 Wicked by Gregory Maguire
I bought this after seeing the show in London and whilst I wasn't naive enough to think that the book would all be happy and light like the show (after all Wicked is an adult novel intended just for adults unlike the show) I wasn't expecting what I read. 
What struck me from the start was the heavy religious aspect, you couldn't go a single paragraph without religion been mentioned which did annoy me. There were also parts of the novel that were never fully explained which was frustrating and confusing.
Despite the bad aspects I do appreciate how Gregory Maguire took a classic novel and turned it on it's head to provide a good commentary on the aspects of good and evil to get you questioning what the two things actually mean. 
For the most part it is an enjoyable book that could have been improved had the religious aspect ben toned down.
Full review here.
★★★

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