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Author: Edward Eaton
Book Rating: 7
Personal Rating: 7
Where to start. Well let’s start off by saying I had high hopes for this book. In fact very high hopes. I liked the first one enough to want to read the second part and was rather excited to get part two in the mail. That being said, without checking, I think I’m giving it the same rating as the first. I just couldn’t get into this book for some reason.
Firstly I like the world enough. It started of with a bit of action(in the second chapter) always good. Young heroine fumbling to do something that she’s been doing for the past five months. It seemed to be going somewhere. Then there was the obsession over going to a party and meeting her boyfriend who she hasn’t seen for weeks. In fact she doesn’t even know if he has her number. That was all a bit sketchy to me. But it had the required teen angst. It even had the best friend and the bumbling sidekick who was full of useful factoids but useless for anything else. And the villain. No good teen book is good without the evil teen villain. Basically this book had all the makings of awesome. But… the first book had all of the above things as well.
Firstly was the door explanations. The first time in the beginning I was like, oh that’s what it’s all about. I was intrigued. The more the topic of the doors popped up the less I wanted to hear about them. I don’t mind some exposition. In fact I want to be told. But after you tell me the first time, I trust that you think I’m smart enough to remember, or that I’m smart enough to flip back the pages and reread. Tell me once, tell me in full detail, and I’m good and happy. The over use of the word umpteenth in the first chapter really drove me nuts. I vaguely remember a section in the first book that used ‘for the umpteenth time’ too much too closely together. But that’s just me being picky about wording. So the doors, passageways through time, descriptions came too often for my liking and seemed to slow the pace of the book down each time.
The big explanation about time was the only explanation I can think of that I just didn’t need even one time. It’s kind of like in Philip Pullman’s dark materials. There are doorways through time and dimensions. The angels can see them naturally the main characters can actually slice them open. I just took it on faith that this was another form of time travel. Time travel is not a foreign concept to most people. Whether it is or isn’t really time travel or what most people think it is vrs what it really is and so on and so forth is the type of theological stuff I would expect in a book like ‘Sophie’s World’ which was a fantasy about philosophy. This book seems to be a fantasy more about correcting, or realigning and keeping in place the fabric of the present by making sure the past doesn’t change. So the philosophy of time travel is basically just information that was, to be fair, very interesting. However it ultimately just slowed down the story. Clocks, eastern and western time, daylight saving time and the rest. It was just interesting stuff that made me think, ‘yeah, but what is the main character doing hiding in the woods’ seriously that was my only real interest.
Basically I thought the second chapter was awesome and the first one just dragged. Which is always a bad sign but chapter two, once the chase began and all the slow paced catch up that should’ve came after the chase was over, the book seemed to be going somewhere great. The information needs a bit of a flip in my opinion. Thoughts to contemplate after the big task was complete. All accept the naming of the beast stuff. Now that was hilarious. And it was well placed because she was in the forest to attack the beast so it was needed information.
Moving on to Angie, the best friend. Sadly, in this book, I don’t think I got to get to know her better. She still just seems like the sheriff’s daughter and Rosie’s best friend. Who is she, what makes her tick, if she should be blown to pieces why should I care. I just don’t feel attached to her, or her boyfriend whose name I can’t remember.
The new characters, in part two of the book were brilliant though. ZIlla and her son. I loved them. So not much to say there. Dan, Rosie’s boyfriend, how did this happen, why aren’t there emails from here to beyond about this long distance relationship they are having, and how could Rosie possibly be panicking about him not saying if he will be at the party if she isn’t even clear that she gave him her number. In this day and age a girl like her would never not give out her cell and email immediately after becoming a couple. Under normal circumstances you do it before you’re a couple.
And Kirk. He’s an idiot. In the first book I had a problem with him actually seeing the bits of time travel and ghosts and what not and still barking on about hidden treasure. In this millennium money is in the bank. All the Carol riches are genuine riches, why would there be hidden treasure of some kind that could actually be stolen. It’s just ridiculous. And then to actually be sucked into a time vortex and know first hand that indeed the secret is time travel and still be looking for treasure centuries before his birth is just odd. Everyone knows if you screw with time you may not be born. Yet two people die because of his quest to find the hidden treasure that obviously doesn’t exist. And he himself could be destroyed and yet he still believes in nonexistent treasure. To the point of manic rage. I couldn’t wrap my head around it in the first book and I cant in tis book. With all the obvious evidence staring him in the face of what they do that they pretend they cant why is he ready to kill for treasure. He should be trying to rob the local bank because that’s where all the money is. It just comes of as an odd plot device but if I deleted him from the book it would work just fine. There are multitudes of ways to suck people through time. This way just seemed a bit much to me.
I could go on, on characters forever but lets get to plot. With the time explanation. The description of doors that arrives a few times. And just other things that take the characters from point A to point B. It was too slow. It didn’t have the flow of the first book at all. The first book had the sneaky reporter, a secret Rosi didn’t know but had to find out, an uncle who made her life difficult by knowing the secret and then blaming her for getting into trouble for not knowing it when he could have told her, and it all lead to her finding out who the reporter, and her uncle were and the mystery behind the moving doors in the castle. It had a start, something to figure out, a place to go, and it went there and concluded. This book just seemed to float.
There’s a war coming, we have to stop them from coming into town. How do we do this. With the preparation to the war, then the end of the war, the introduction of new characters, and the loss of some. This book was just slow. My brain kept on saying, when is this war happening. And when it did the book continued. There was a conclusion but it wasn’t the end. The novel kept on going. After, plot spoiler, the war was lost and Rosi, who was an excellent general I loved her as army leader through the entire middle section of book. My favorite section to be honest. That should’ve been it. Walking of back to the farm of Zilla and her son to formulate a plan be to get back the town of New Richmond. It would’ve been an excellent cliff hanger after all of the excitement to leave the reader pondering the fate of Rosi, her friend Angie and her nemesis Kirk, all three are separated in the same past, and close the page screaming ‘no this cant be it’. But it kind of, much like I felt like the beginning, a lot of the information should’ve been the beginning of part three. When she reached the farm the book should’ve ended right there, leaving us knowing what she would find but not knowing how she would react.
I just found the pacing to be a little off and the points at which information and plot was given should’ve been moved elsewhere in the book, or removed and placed in the next book. At the end I got the feeling the book was leading up to a climax and that’s exactly what it did. Stayed in lead up zone only to ultimately end in the middle of lead up without even completing the set up. After the war was lost I felt like I was leading into the next phase and was, without counting pages, a little worried that it would follow through too fast or the book was indeed not finished and I had over 100 pages to go. Neither of these things happened to my further dismay.
And lastly I still agree with Rosi on her stance with her uncle. It is an I can only save the world if I obey you like a slave kind of arrangement. More than one person should be doing this job. The world is too big a place for just Rosi to be fixing it. If there are others they should be sharing the load. Her uncle shouldn’t be telling her if you don’t do this I’ll find someone else. Not just for the one time, but entirely. That’s too extreme for a fifteen-year-old girl. In my opinion even if Rosi was the most stubborn person in all of mankind, she still needs some form of help other than the answers will come to her. He want’s her to follow orders on dangerous missions yet leaves her to her own devices to figure it out. After so many years of doing it, it just seems odd that he takes a less is more sort of approach to the things he can give. Researching history and all of that well that’s Rosi’s part, but sometimes I just get the feeling he can’t be bothered with helping her and enjoys having a certain amount of power over her that extends beyond guardianship.
Basically I left this book feeling it could’ve been more. It could’ve been quicker, some of the side characters more developed, definitely the ending section should’ve been cut of much much sooner. Yet I happen to like the writer’s style. I laugh at the right points, roll my eyes at the right points, and get angry at the right moments. Just as a whole I couldn’t get into the structure and pacing of this novel. I got more when I felt there should be less, and less where there should be more, and some things just shouldn’t have happened at all. But would I recommend this book. Yes. Chances are since I finished it rather quickly that I will enjoy the next one. I already know what to expect having enjoyed the first installment much more than this one, and knowing I like the way the author’s brain works. I can see that most of my issues probably most people wont have. They’ll read this review and think what is this guy going on about. It was fun, the concept is still good, and the way the author handles using time to keep things the same as opposed to changing or altering things is a great idea. And after all my not so good points above, I still enjoyed this book just enough to really, and genuinely want to read the next installment.