Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday=Book Review Time--Tedium

You'll have to forgive me today. This will be brief. I have sprained my wrist and typing is a pain. Literally.

Up for today: THE MAGICIANS AND MRS. QUENT by Galen Beckett
The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett: Book Cover
Why I bought it?  We were reading it for September's selection in my book club.

Synopsis:   It was really a combination of  Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Jane Eyre with a fantasy twist. It was set on an foreign planet that had days and nights of varying lengths in a society had early 19th century manners and conventions.

What I thought? Now, I'm one who loves a twist on Austen and Bronte. I've read a ton of them, and I had high hopes for this one. It sounded strange, but I figured it could be really cool.  The friend in the book club who suggested it had said it was great. As I read I kept thinking I was missing something. She had said it was slow starting and that it would pick up, so I waited for it to pick up. It did ever so slightly. It was slow starting. Slow developing and slow wrapping things up. Plus there were a lot of things that were never wrapped up. It's the first in a trilogy. Ugh! There were some neat twists, but I found the language (It was trying to sound like early 19th century prose.) pretty distracting and unclear at times. It was a real slog. Beckett was slow to get to almost every important point, and then he'd often make it again in a slow, round about way like someone telling someone else about it. Ugh! Again! The ideas for this story were interesting, but it was not a fun read for me. It could have been reduced in length by at least a third and been much better. 498 pages. It was only my determination to finish it that got me to the end. 

My rating: ** out of 5. Just barely. There were enough intriguing story points to keep it from the dreaded one star status. It just didn't cut it for me. The friend who recommended it didn't like it as well on second reading.

Cleanness Score: 4 out of 10. This is a book intended for grown ups, and it's pretty clean for an adult book. There are some violent things and a couple of references to rapes.

NB: We discovered in our book club that even though this is advertised as a debut novel, it really isn't. The actual author is Mark Anthony (and that's not Marc Anthony) who has already had several books published, but this book is a departure in genre and so he's taken a pen name for it, and this is the first book under this pen name.

Oh well, sorry. It wasn't that brief. 


beth said...

Oooo...I'd considered this one, but definitely not now.

Lady Glamis said...

That's a great review, Lois. Even if you didn't like the book, you were honest and clear about what didn't work. Just from the description of the book, I know I'd hate it. Too bad. I'm surprised you stuck through it, but I think you always finish don't you?

And I'm so sorry to hear you sprained your wrist. I think we need some chat time, m'dear.

lotusgirl said...

beth, it was a pretty unanimous opinion in the book club that it was tedious. There were some positive points with some of the magic stuff and the trees, but I don't plan on reading the others in the trilogy. I just don't care enough about the characters to trudge through all those words.

glam, In my opinion there was too much of the original stories and the language just seemed weird in the setting. I don't always finish, but since this was for book club I did. If it had been for my own pleasure I'm not sure I would have persevered to the end. we do need to catch up. chatting is better on the phone right now than typing.

Yunaleska said...

Hadn't seen it before, it sounded fun, but I think I'll give it a miss. Thanks for the review! Rest your wrist :)

lotusgirl said...

Yuna, I had thought it sounded fun too and there are some things that were cool like the magical wood, but mostly I thought I'd never get through.

T. Anne said...

Bummer about the book and your wrist! Ouch. Feel better!!!!!!!