Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review: The Book of Dead Days

I had been tempted to buy Dark Flight Down by Marcus Sedwick because it seemed really interesting. However, I found out that it was a sequel . . .and I hate reading sequels first so I bought the prequel first. I was so happy when I saw this book for sale (Sedwick's books aren't that popular in my place).

I had the opportunity to read it before Christmas (It was almost the same time as the setting of the book).

Now that I've read it . . . .I love it but I have to admit that . . . I was pretty disappointed.

The Book of Dead Days
by Marcus Sedgwick
The days between Christmas and New Year's Eve are dead days, when spirits roam and magic shifts just beneath the surface of our lives.
A lot can happen in the dead days.
Set in a dark, dangerous city and in the frozen countryside of a distant time and place, The Book of Dead Days conjures a spell-binding story of power, corruption and desperate magic.
=== What I Did Not Like:
  • I was hoping there's more to the "dead days" in the story than it appears; like there's some legend or myth behind it or something. But from this book those days are just one of the character's last days. I don't see the point of making it seem universally depressing.
  • I don't like it that many parts of the story are just mentioned by the characters. I mean, instead of making a certain character narrate those past events to another character, why not let the narrator do that job? They had been wasting time in just filling the other character on what's going on. It doesn't feel that natural either, especially with the danger that they're encountering.
  • Mystery is cool, but making SO MANY parts a mystery until the end seriously sucks. Things appear and happen, then SNAP! That's it. To be specific, an example would be the murders, the phantom, and the evil that the magician had made a pact with. We just know they're there and had happened, but we don't get to see any explanation on what they really are and why such things happened in the story in the first place! The promise of a sequel can make up for it, but missing so many details on purpose really sucks.
  • Maybe it's just me but I think it lacks in development on character relationships. I don't feel the bond between the pairs here . . . or at least not much. Character development is okay, but they kinda lack in background. It's too sad that we only know too little of the main character's past even until the end.
  • This book had good drama but the moment gets ruined too quickly or it turns out to be some joke in the end. That gave me headaches.
=== What I Liked:
  • Its three main characters have been interesting. I'm pleased with the leading girl the most. For a dark tale, we have a clever and useful girl for a main character, not some emo or a damsel-in-distress. I also like it that she had managed to have a huge role in the plot, and had greatly affected the behavior of the other main characters.
  • I really love the plot twists in this book. I love it when it keeps on turning out to be different from what I expect the events will turn out to be. I like being tricked in this manner. Haha!
  • I don't feel the macabre in this book, but it does have horror alright. To be specific, more on the "depressing" and "decaying" type of horror because our main characters keep on facing misfortunes and end up in places full of foul smell of death.
=== Fangurling:
  • I like Boy and Willow, individually and as a couple. I think Boy is goodlooking because some waitress called him "gorgeous". Haha! And I like girls like Willow, who doesn't let herself stay ignorant. I like the mutuality of Boy and Willow's relationship for they help each other out, not one only depends on the other. How they became close seemed pretty fast, but I love it that they act like a couple already even if they're not official yet (he always hugs her in their every reunion! Squeee~)
=== Overall Thoughts:
This book had so much potential and the story is actually very good and interesting. However, it lacks so much background and explanation. I also highly wish that it was narrated a little differently. In short, it's pretty good, but it really could have been better!

I honestly can't believe that this one had more than a couple awards, when the other book I've read by the same author (The Foreshadowing) had been more impressive than this one. Nevertheless, this has been a good read. I finished it as soon as I can. Hehe.

=== Next Book Initial Thoughts:
I am hoping that the sequel, the one that originally attracted me, will make up for whatever this book lacked. Besides, I want more Boy x Willow. Hahaha! I'll be buying this as soon as I can~

=== Verdict:
Rating: C (OKAY! Not that great but isn't bad either!)
Favoritism: 3 out of 5 Hearts ---> LIKE

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