Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Thread That Binds the Bones

By Nina Kiriki Hoffman.

If there is such a thing as a book having too much magic being a bad thing, this book exemplifies it. Like a child eating candy, I rushed through it and got a stomach ache. The plot is rather jerky; if a problem comes your way, what do you do? Just enchant it out of your way. The facility with which the characters cast spells, without any care or repercussions, is ludicrous. Tom Renfield, our main character, is a man who has spent most of his life denying that there's anything special about himself, but within hours of meeting Laura Bolte he is not only married to her, but overpowering her family with his magical prowess. Unbelievable.

The book may be emotionally tasty, but intellectually it leaves quite a bit to be desired. The changes that occur in the characters are just as swift and magical as the ones that occur outside them: one character, being (physically) transformed for no longer than two days, changes from a spiteful puppetmaster into a soft-hearted mensch. There is little profit in reading this, for the characters seem very much like puppets moved as the author wills it, rather than sincere people who have individual character.

It may be a captivating read in some respects, but has, I think, little merit upon completion.

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