Monday, July 12, 2010

Perchance to Dreams

When Nate is kidnapped and taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him. She and her fairy sidekicks embark on a journey aboard the Thèâtre’s caravan, using Bertie’s word magic to guide them. Along the way, they collect a sneak-thief, who has in his possession something most valuable, and meet The Mysterious Stranger, Bertie’s father—and the creator of the scrimshaw medallion. Bertie’s dreams are haunted by Nate, whose love for Bertie is keeping him alive, but in the daytime, it’s Ariel who is tantalizingly close, and the one she is falling for. Who does Bertie love the most? And will her magic be powerful enough to save her once she enters the Sea Goddess’s lair?

First of first, the bad points.

When I started the book, though, most of the events were a big jumble. Characters were thrown in harshly and events succeeded themselves too quickly for me to understand. I think that this is the main problem in this book; The author tried too hard to turn the story fantastical and incorporate magical elements and finished only by making me confused. I agree that it was all nice and sparkly, highly original and entertaining, but not laid out well enough for me. There were things I didn't understand. I didn't understand why they were hapenning, how they were happening, and sometimes I thought they didn't make much sens. I don't think I'm enough of a dimwit to not understand something after many rereads.

So as I said, too much effort into making the story magical and all. Another thing that irked me was that as the story started, I had no idea where the story was happening. In what country, what city? I only found out they were crossing a meadow 50 pages later. It really annoyed me, because I always need to know where everything is happening. I need to feel that I'm part of the story, and that I'm beside the characters throughout the entire book.

I was never really sure if the book took place in a magical world or in the real one, but I'm guessing it takes place around the Victorian Era with all the bodices Bertie has to wear but then again it was so faintly outlined I'm not sure.

The lack of reality as a base dimmed the effect the fantastical elements of the story should have had on the reader.

You know, when you read books such as Harry Potter and the Golden Compass, the reader isn't yet thrown into all the magic. Both worlds from those different stories have similarities to/are the real world, and when you're well anchored in the realism of the plot, you're more amazed and hooked by the magic and sparkles that comes afterward. In Perchance to Dreams, it's more like you're thrown in rainbow water and you're spinning around before reaching the shore and being like 'wait, what?'

I also didn't get any further explanations on Bertie's magic; where it came from/how it happened/why it happened and because the world is so badly defined most of the magic makes no sense.

Really, the major bad point of this book was the outline, the setting, the organization. The cover is beautiful, the characters entertaining, the writing fluid and rich. I loved the love triangle between Ariel and Nate, Berti was still a strong protagonist. I enjoyed all the theatrical elements that surely people interested in theater could have related to more than I did. There were nice metaphors, and beautiful imagery, even if the plot was a bit shallow (common rescue quest).

It's a fun read, overall, thought a bit confusing at times. I recommend it for those who love magic and crazy adventures in crazy-land. It's a light reading, good for summer, with moral squeezed in here and there. I was disappointed, though, that the story was so jumbled, similarly to the first volume.
Perchance to Dreams by Lisa Mantchev
Rating: 7,8/10

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