Sunday, March 4, 2012
"The Nightmare Garden" by Caitlin Kittredge
I received this book to review from Netgalley. I have not read the first installment, but as it happened, it wasn't really necessary. "The Nightmare Garden" was written in such a way, that a new reader, who has no idea what she's got in her hands - what world she's entering - would have no problem to follow the story. I sure did, you would too if you like a mix of steampunk, paranormal, dystopian kind of thing that has a tinny tiny flavor of romance underneath all the drama.
Well, unfortunately, for the time from 33% to 80% the story got so boring, I was a second away from putting it down and just dismissing it. I was totally ready to do it, but decided against it out of respect for the author who put so much time and effort into writing this story. Instead, what I did was skip around and read just the dialogues and some of the descriptions. It's unbelievable how good it felt to read it this way. No tedious explanations that repeated themselves, no descriptions that went beyond the necessary... And then at 80% the action, tension and drama picked up, and with them so did my interest. It's why I gave it the 3 star rating.
I was annoyed by the repetitive explaining of the main character, Aoife, how terrible she felt for leaving her mother in Lovecraft. That happened at least once every couple of pages, and after the first several times, I got tired of it. Then Aoife was saying how much regret she felt for ever trusting the Fae Tremaine, but she did it again and oh, how terrible she felt!!!
Also, there was so much telling, that the showing kind of got lost somewhere in between the lines. So, me skipping around was kind of helpful. And with reading so little of the overbearing descriptions, I was still well aware of what and where was going on. So why make a novel so unbearably heavy with needless narrative?
I don't think I liked Aoife. She felt superficial and lost in herself for the better part of the book. She didn't really care what anyone else around her felt like or thought. The only important thing to her was... well... herself. Her feelings, her inner turmoils... It was too much.
And Dean, her Erlkin boyfriend, never got angry at her even though she had to be yelled at at least half the time. It was unnatural, like he was a toy and he had to be played.
Conrad, her brother was more with his wits than Aoife wanted to portray. He saw things in their real image, he saw what was right and did it. I can say that I liked that guy.
I don't think I will recommend this book to my friends, seeing that it was too long for its own good. One must really be into extensive descriptions to like The Nightmare Garden.
My rating is: