Top critical review
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A good novel, no where near as good as the later ones
on 1 February 2006
It has been well documented that this isn't one of Nix’s later and more successful novels so I won’t delve too deeply into that, although suffice to say Sabriel or Mr Monday – this isn't… What it is however is a novel of no small amount of skill and patience, the story line is inventive and likable, its just the execution that is a bit lacking.
It is almost unfortunate the Garth Nix is as successful as he is as any of his early work is bound to compared to his massively successful later works. I am a huge fan of said later works and in turn a huge fan of Nix so that is how I base my review.
The story is focuses around Julia and her brother Paul. Julia is the more adventurous of the two siblings and one day when playing on the beach she comes across a rag dull buried mysteriously in the sand, Paul wants nothing to do with it but Julia is entranced, for this doll is no ordinary one and consumes Julia entirely. For this is the Ragwitch, previously the evil North Queen of a far off distant world. Paul manages to force himself through to the other world along with the Ragwitch but how can he do anything to stop such a fearsome creature?
Meeting guides along the way both Paul and the now consumed Julia begin to fight and find inner strength they never knew they had. Is this enough though?
This book really shows the threads that have made Garth Nix such a talented author – the execution is lacking, for example the ending feels rushed, threads of storyline are untold and characters can be a little wooden. For all this though it is a decent novel, just don't compare it to his later works.