My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Used book stores are amazing places, but they can lead to book-mania.
I blame the irrationality of book-mania for this book. It was in the clearance section (of Half Price Books! Even more cheap!), and I hadn’t read anything pure fantasy in awhile, and honestly it has a picture of a unicorn on the cover, so yeah, I bought it.
I realized about a third of the way through that I’d made a mistake, but I kept going–surely it will get better any time now.
First, this is a sequel, but I’ve not read the first book in the series (oops), because I didn’t realize it was a No. 2 until after it was too late. So I didn’t know what was going on at first. Things eventually were kind of revealed, but…this plot needs work. Terry Brooks was clearly going for some kind of “know thyself” message, but it was really muddled. This was one of the rare books that I honestly thought would have been better if the main character had switched with the secondary character: that is, rather than mostly following lead character Ben Holiday, I kept wishing I could drag the perspective away and see what Willow, the tree-girl/sylph, was up to. Because while Ben spends the majority of the book totally lost and aimless, Willow has purpose. She may not know WHY she’s doing something, but she knows she should (oh the “my fairy magic told me so” excuse).
It was particularly upsetting when the BIG REVEAL made it up to Ben to suddenly know everything, when the reader knows Ben is completely clueless. It was like Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High suddenly became Sherlock Holmes. There was just NO WAY.
Also, it’s probably a bad idea to have one of your characters declare he’s not a deux ex machina. Odds are if he says he isn’t, the magical mysterious cat-like-fairy-creature doth protest too much.
Anyway, I’m relieved to be moving on from this one.