This is a weird book. And I mean that in a value-neutral way. Anders’s writing, and the things she imagines. . . I couldn’t stop this sense of being an outsider looking into a totally different, alien-ish world.
Patricia is a witch, and Laurence is a super-genius engineer. She can turn herself into a bird and he can build super computers. They’re both interesting kids who face some REALLY ugly bullying and cruelty in school.
The trouble begins when we meet them ten years later.
Patricia’s desire to save everyone, and everyone admonishing her not to become an “aggrandizer” soon became tiresome. The weirdness had stopped being interesting, and all the details had started boring me enough to make me skim and skip paragraphs. The only reason I persevered was because I wanted to know how the “vision” that a sort-of-villain had early on in the book was going to play out. By the way, this sort-of-villain was probably my favorite character in the book. He is an assassin who becomes a counsellor and his ongoings had just the right hint of buffoonery in them for me to stop believing that he was really a villain.
The last one-third of the book would have been much better except that Patricia and Laurence have a Big Misunderstanding. Romance readers, you know what that means. Non-romance readers, that’s basically when an author uses miscommunication between the protagonists to further the plot. (or is there a better way to say that, romance readers?) It drives me nuts. Patricia becomes this cold bitchy person and Laurence a sad, sad man. It did not help that the post-apocalyptic world that Anders describes is. . . meh. The misunderstanding IS cleared up a little later but by that time we were nearing the end and I just did not have the patience for it.
Then comes the end. Which was a little too. . . twee for me. Don’t get me wrong, I actually DON’T think that rationale/logic and intuition/perception are incompatible but I just did NOT like having this particular ending to the journey that Anders had been promising all along. To be fair, if I’d enjoyed the book more I can see how I would have totally argued FOR such a “simple” solution but it is what it is, reader!
Ok, rant over! I definitely want to hear from those who enjoyed the book!
Ha, you’re not wrong! I actually had some serious problems with the first half of the book too — the abuse the two of them suffer is pretty significant and Roald-Dahl-ish, and then when they’re adults we’re supposed to act like that was mostly fine? Like it wasn’t the abusiest abuse ever and they now have reasonable relationships with their family? I dunno, it rang very false to me.
I see what you mean! I think that’s why it struck me as weird that despite being each other’s only support system during that time they just let go of each other completely. . . I dunno, maybe they didn’t want to keep those memories active or something which being in touch would have? Whatever it is, the book was just off.
Great review. I heard mixed reviews about the book. SOme really loved it. And some not so much. I gotta read for myself. Anyway no hurry to bump it up on the TBR pile
Yeah, I guess it’s one of those books where you have to read it for yourself!
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