Wednesday, July 02, 2008

"The Chaos King" by Laura Ruby

Why I read it: Cybils nominee.

What I liked: Excellent sense of humour. I read the boy the part where Georgie is reading the Book of the Undead, and it's like bad greeting card poetry, and he said he wanted to read this when I was done. That's always a good sign.

What I hated: I felt like I was reading a sequel, though there was no indication anywhere in the book that this was the case. There were tons of references to back story. Also, it seemed like there was an awful lot of tell in those portions.
So I looked on Amazon, and in fact this is the sequel to "The Wall and the Wing". It would have been nice maybe to have that indicated somewhere on the cover. Unless that book did remarkably poorly, and they wanted people to read this one as a standalone, or not feel obligated to read the first one first. This somewhat angers me.

Though to be fair, the blurbs on the back were all for "The Wall and the Wing". Maybe that was a hint I just didn't know about.

Also, while the world seemed to be making fun of the worst bits of ours -- obsessions with celebrity and short term memory, and the like -- I felt sometimes like I was reading advertising copy.

What I can steal: I loved the amount of detail. I loved the energy. I loved that Georgie might be beautiful but she just isn't aware of it. The characters were great. But I wish I had known it was book 2. Maybe I should rename this section "Lessons", and the lesson for this book should be that if there's a prequel, either don't mention it at all, or make it really clear on the front of the book or on the inside flap. And that's something that I bet most authors don't have a whole lot of control over.

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