How to describe this book without starting to sound like an over-enthusiastic fan? Very difficult. Very diffcult indeed.
Just let me tell you this:
If you miss the sound of a storyteller painting a whole universe with the sound of their voice, this is the book for you.
If you yearn for something that is more acoustic dream than readable novel, this book is for you.
If you want to hear a story worthy of Sheherazade's beautiful gift, this book is for you.
If you love a fantasy novel that is more fairy tale than anything else, this book is for you.
And to make this book even better, let someone read it aloud to you or even better just let them tell you the story face to face. For this book, this fabulous fantastically dream-worthy book, is a pleasure to 'listen' to even if you are only reading it with your eyes alone. You will simply hear the storyteller's voice in your head.
Just like in Sheherazade's 1001 Nights...
At the moment I am at the beginning of chapter 18 and I can already tell that this book, even though it has quite a fascinating story premise with the creation of angels and demons, will go the way of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings for me. Which means it will probably take me a very, very, very long time to finish the book. (After over ten years I am still at chapter six of the Fellowship of the Ring.)
This has nothing to do with the story itself. The idea that demons and angels get their powers from an infection that writes itself into the genetic code of the infected's decendents is superb. It's the writing style that ruins the fun of reading for me here. The language used reminds me so much of Twilight (another book I didn't manage to finish) that I actually had to force myself through each page.
So, I am sad to admit that this book was just not my cup of tea. On the other hand, those who liked Twilight will probably love the book.
I have to admit that I never had any real contact with what they call children's literature when I was the age of this book's intended reader group. I learned to read with lots and lots of Greek legends, a side-dish of Hemmingway and hundreds of Mickey Mouse comics. The only books I read at the time that could be classified as actual children's literature, besides the Disney, were Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, which I read in the 'original' German translation and not the 'child-friendly' shorter version.
In other words, I read stories that used a more elaborate, some might say even difficult vocabulary/language in primary school.
Now to the book at hand:
I really wanted to like the story. The setting reminded me so much of a favourite animated movie (Dot and the Kangaroo) that I could not help but want to like it. I wanted to feel for the bandicoot and Molly's problems. I wanted to. I really, really wanted to.
The story has potential. At least, I think it does. Finding the story under all the cutey-bitty two syllables or less in a word narration was a bit difficult for me. I don't know if children's books are supposed to be written like that these days. I've read Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl and they had more complex language. On the other hand, Potter and Fowl were also written (as far as I know, so I could be wrong) for ten year olds and up, not for seven/eight year olds like this book here.
For example, for every three uses of the word 'tummy' at least one time there could have been a 'stomach' or word of similar meaning. Children are young, not stupid, and writing as if they could not understand a word they might not use in their everyday speech is as strange as... as... I don't have a word for it.
Just one question: If children never see more complex words, how can they learn how to use them?
I got this book to review from the Read It & Reap project.This book really did nothing for me.
I am sad to admit that I didn't even finish it. I tried, oh how I tried, but the writing style threw me out of the story practically every second sentence.
This is how the plot looked from my point of view: Main character arrives at college, meets the room mates, *sqwee*-ing happens, "oh, dreadful me, my life has been dreadfully dreadful until I came here" happens with much exposition, more *sqwee*, dress shopping comes and goes, stilted dialogue pertaining a creepy moment on the street happens, a dance with a perfect boy that does nothing for the main character is next, ending with more *sqwee* and exposition and "dear girl, you should open your heart to love because you are just dreadfully dreadful afraid" from room mate.
All the time my mind was going along the lines of "shouldn't there be aliens here?" and "what does the soap opera emotionalism has to do with a love story with an alien?".
There I was, somehow expecting a story that would remind me of Starman (if you know the movie with Jeff Bridges, that is), and what I got was this...
On the other hand, from all the four and five star reviews this book seems to get, there must be something that is worth reading inside the story. Too bad that I was not able to find it.