Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Review: Lament

Way back in August Maggie Stiefvater was doing a signing not that far from me (the same store I saw Scott Westerfeld in actually) and, since it's generally considered polite to buy a copy of the author's book at the bookstore (and I really didn't like Shiver) I got a copy of Lament which is from a different series and that I had read years ago and remembered liking quite a bit. I was hesitant that I might not like it anymore since it had been four years and that plus my habit of putting books I own at the bottom of my to-read list (after all, my books don't have due dates/fines) it took me a really long time to get around to actually reading it. It seems like I waited the right amount of time though since the second book in this trilogy has been out for a while and the third one is being written so hopefully there won't be another year wide gap between reading those two.

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Summary: Deirde is an up-and-coming harp player who has a fairly normal life with a few quirks. Her life gets a bit quirker after a local music competition, strange boys appearing, clover blankets her front yard, her dog reacts to things only the two of them can see, so she's only half surprised to find out that faeries exist and they have taken a possibly deadly interest in her.

The Good: I really liked how Luke was upfront from the beginning that yes, there is something supernatural going on and is willing to try and see how much he can say to give Deirdre a fighting chance at surviving all the weirdness going on*. And I liked how James, Deirdre friend, also noticed that something odd was going on at how he was a bit special himself. I’m used to seeing a major supporting character, often a male love interest, become magical/powerful as the story goes on as a way to keep them in/so they can keep up but it’s unusual to see them like this from the beginning and I also loved the scenes when the two of them sat down and tried to figure out just what was going on.   

The Bad: There was a character death and a betrayal by another character which both caught me off guard, even though I kinda thought I remembered something like that happened, and while both of the events had a bit of foreshadowing they still came off too suddenly for me. Also rather curious how this is going to tie into other books in the trilogy since the story here was neatly wrapped up (and it sounds like the second book has little to do with these characters) yet the first words in the third book are apparently "Luke Dillion". Not a bad thing per say but something that always makes me nervous, I've been seeing a lot of odd sequels (admittedly in anime) lately that I'm extra wary of them these days.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see that yes, I still liked this book and still enjoyed it a lot more than I did with Shiver. Maybe it was because Shiver is primarily a love story and this one isn't, that could be it....


*he actually reminds me of Mark from Guardian of the Dead (by Karen Healey) in that respect and I really LOVE when characters admit something strange is going on, considering how obvious it is to the read it can be frustrating to read about genre blind protagonists all the time.

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