So I know I mentioned how I recently read so many books over the last month while my internet was down in my last review? I oddly am struggling to remember what they were. Pretty sad huh? I check all my books out from the library, and unfortunately, unlike Netflix, there isn't a way to see my check out history and I take books back as soon as I finish them. Drats! I need to be better at blogging right after I finish a book. I finished this one last night.
I'm a pretty big fan of Shannon Hale's writing. I've enjoyed her creativity. I think her stories are light and fun. I had a hard time getting into this story though. I stuck it out because I figured in the end I'd like it, and I did. I think I'm realizing as I'm typing this what my problem was. You know when you like an author, and their first books are full of so much heart and just such a unique, new style. But then their name becomes recognizable to more readers. And their books gain more notoriety. And suddenly, they are publishing a book every year or two. And they become more like stock books.
I felt a bit as though Hale was rushed to get this book out. Though she had the idea back when writing the other books, it just didn't have her usual magic. It didn't flow as well as other stories.
Something I did like about the book: When I read books which are part of a series, I don't like how the first section, up to 100 pages at times, are recapping the previous book[s]. With this story, it just stood on it's own. There was some reference to previous stories, but I don't feel you have to read the 3 preceding stories to understand what is happening (though I do recommend reading the other three first because it will help you enjoy this one more.) And I do recommend reading this one. It doesn't draw you in so much that you ignore (or neglect) everything around you, but it's one you can pick up when you just have a few minutes to read a chapter or two.
So there's my two cents. Here's Kirsten's review from a few month's back. She tells more of what the story is actually about.