Saturday, March 13, 2010

Eyes Like Stars

All her world's a stage.
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She is not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but has no lines of her own.
Until now.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters of every place ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

First thing that drew me to the book was obviously Jason Chan's art. Isn't the cover just delicious-looking? Just wait till you see the cover of the second book.

In any case, this book is clearly a debut novel. There are many flaws such as in the writing and plotting. Yet, the book was still captivating and I finished it quickly.

First of all, there are a lot of elements that lack explanations. From where does The Book come? Who made it? What is the theater's location? How does the magic work and from where does it come from? A lot of things such as these were left aside, and it was irritating because you didn't know anything. There were also events that I didn't understand. From where does the Sea Goddess come? She just appeared out of nowhere with a rush of water that disappeared just like that afterward. I mean, she's a Sea Goddess, and gods don't appear out of nowhere like that. I found it queer, and I don't like finding things queer.

The next thing that was risky for my appreciation of this book was that the whole story took place in the theater, and mainly on the stage. It seemed as every single action happened on it, which I found as more of an interesting trait than a displeasing one. It's as if the whole story was a play, unraveling on the stage of the Théâtre Illuminata. Original, I must say.

The plot isn't amazing in my opinion, and the twists at the end weren't that unforeseen. It has a childish vibe to it, and could still be spun around for an older audience to appreciate. I found the writing descriptive and engaging, with a taste of simplicity even though there were some amazing paragraphs that out stood the rest of the book and that I re read with blithe. At some points the dialogues, especially Ariel's, were quite admirable, and at some points, less.

Bertie's character is energetic, head strong and troublesome. I really liked her eccentricity and her stubbornness but there were moments when her stupidity and foolishness took over. I didn't also understand her fit of sadism toward Ariel. I think she could have dropped her little horns and pointed tail a little. Some of her actions such as this one were irrelevant.

I loved Ariel though. I really loved his brooding and enthralling personality, and how he fought for his motives. Nate was appreciative too, with his big-brother care over Beartie. And then you have Bertie who doesn't know who to choose. Don't you just adore love triangles? I sure do. There's quite a lot of romance in this book, which I'm sure will please many. The four faeries were funny too, with their hyper attitude and love for sugar. They lacked physical descriptions, though.

It happened that there were too many characters 'on the stage', and some came in randomly and while others were forgotten. It was rather confusing at times, but fun to see different characters from popular plays like Hamlet and Macbeth interact together. Sometimes it ended in lots of comical trouble.

The ending was tied up hastily and the character's feelings could have been more laid out. Nevertheless, it was a fun book. Cute, funny, romantic. A good read.

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Rating: 7,6/10

1 comment:

  1. I also felt like the world needed a bit more build up. I couldn't really place what was going on - why there were such strange creatures and I felt stuck inside the Theatre without knowing why it existed. Otherwise, I liked the basic plot and it was quite a fun read. Definitely hoping that the second books holds more explanation for us.


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