My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book was utterly disappointing. I SO wanted to like it. I really, really did. It seemed so much like the kind of story I LOVE! I was so frustrated with the book that I actually kept notes on it!
- I was expecting more whimsy.
- I was also expecting it to be charming.
- Technically, I was listening to the book on CD. It was read by the always fabulous Jim Dale, who also read the Harry Potter series. So, unfortunately, I kept hearing those characters. I kept saying, wait a minute! Ron doesn't do that! Or, Luna never says that!
- It reminded me of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which I actually enjoyed because I'm weird like that. But the visuals in the book were somehow less enticing. And there was no Heath Ledger. Or Johnny Depp. Or Jude Law. Or Colin Farrell. Really, why even bother?
- Because I kept taking notes: The voice kept changing. Sometimes you were addressed, as in, you entered the tent... Most of the time the story was told in third person, but it was distracting when it switched back to...second person...I didn't really think books were written in second person.
- For a while I thought Isobel was Celia, and I know I'm not the only one. I read a number of reviews saying this exact same thing.
- There's some seriously confusing jumping around in time.
- For illusionists/magicians, Celia and Marco are mind-numbingly boring. It's like meeting someone who's just come back from a tour of Europe who wants to tell you all about how much her back hurts after a 14-hour return flight. Good Lord!
- For a long time Bailey is a nice, albeit useless character. You really don't learn his purpose in the story until the last (or eleventh, for those of you who are counting) CD. I don't know what that equates to in chapters.
- You also don't have any understanding of why they can't stop competing until about CD nine, when Celia asks Marco to imagine leaving the competition and he suffers immense pain. Apparently the kind of pain that makes you see stars. Except it was so undramatically written that I felt like telling him to man up about it.
- For a while, I couldn't decide how I felt about Marco and Celia. Then I decided that Marco is creepy and Celia is pathetic.
- The book started to become interesting in CD nine when ***spoiler alert*** Heir Teisen dies. Also, in this CD, you actually start to learn how Marco does whatever it is he does.
- At one point my note simply said: this is a frustrating and stupid book.
- What is the point of the players in the circus not aging? Other than to drag out the misery of the reader?
- I think the story should have ended one chapter sooner. Then, at least it would have ended with symmetry. KNOW WHEN TO STOP!
In case you're wondering, I kept listening to the CDs because I kept hoping to fall in love. And I didn't have a lot of better things to be doing on my commute.
Seriously, though, don't waste your time!
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