Saturday, September 7, 2013
Once upon a time, I borrowed some books from a friend of mine and have been diligently making my way through them. I started with this book, and I have to say, I haven't felt such irrational hatred for a book in a while.
Sorry Drew, but this is an unreadable.
An amazon summary, "A devilish debut by a brother-sister team invites us into the world of the elite Marlowe School, where some gifted students are having a hell of a year.
One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish — only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary "gifts." But as the students claw their way up — reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty — they start to suffer the sideeffects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
To be fair, this is the first book I've attempted to read after the glorious The Lord of Opium which you can find my review HERE.
So there's probably a part of me that's just rebelling after encountering something of less quality.
Nevertheless, I managed to push through until page 132, and than I just had to rage quit it. I fell asleep on it too many times, I couldn't care about any of the characters since none of them seemed to have any redeeming qualities.
However, based on the back of the book and the description, I was expecting to at least get to a school scene already. But I hadn't.
I had only seen parts where each child exhibited their powers, and some monkeying with the normal humans.
Let me break it down a little better for you.
Each of the children come from a situation where they are always craving more; they have a desperate desire to have a good situation in life and will sink to lower and lower means to get it.
These take on different forms and abilities that were bestowed upon them by the Governess.
First, there are a set of girl twins. Bice and Belle. Belle is obsessed with being beautiful, of being so attractive that she can obtain anyone. Bice on the other hand doesn't seem to have an extra power, but maybe she did and I missed it. I did sleep on this book a lot.
Then there is Victoria who 'cheats' at everything. From what I can tell this is mostly a mind-reading ability and she fancies herself to be very clever while also being after award there is.
Christian doesn't seem to particularly want to be there as he started homeless, had his memories oppressed, but he has to 'steal' to become stronger, more athletic. He aspires to be a star athlete and to never have to worry about where his next meal will come from or whether he'll have a roof over his head.
Valentin has the ability to stop time and go back in time. I didn't see any abilities to go forward in time but that could happen later in the book. He's obsessed with getting everything right and being able to 'woo' almost anyone. He also writes spectacular poetry and has much fun being able to torment Christian with his abilities (Christian wishes to write poetry). He also enjoys pulling pranks and what not as he is always able to turn back time and make it so it never happened. He claims to be the only one that remembers what happens in both realities, but Victoria can read his mind and find out what he knows as well.
So there's that.
Then there's the governess herself who is probably the devil of some sort and has an odd eye. She constantly makes bargains about giving them new abilities and helping them out, but it always comes at a price. She needs them to succeed at whatever they desire for some unknown reason and agenda.
I've just had enough of it.
There is so much of the story that involves each character manipulating the other without focusing on any clear direction of where they are headed or what they wish to accomplish.
We see their goals and desires, yet I didn't even get to see them in a school setting dealing with the rest of the populace.
Also, I found it annoying that I couldn't quite place what time period there were in or if they were in an alternate Earth. There were moments where I'd be like, "oh, they're in the 1800's" and suddenly a microwave would appear and it'd be, "Oh...they're in the 1900's? 2000's? Eh?" but then it would jump back to a throwback to the 1800's as far as dress would go or something.
I don't freaking know.
I suppose I don't have the patience at the moment to deal with cut-throat conspiracies, lies, and manipulation for seemingly just the pleasure of trying to control someone else.
Onward to the next book!