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What a mess
on 11 June 2014
I lost my old 2002 edition of The Curse of the Gloamglozer, and since it's not sold on Amazon any more, thought I might pick up this "updated" edition instead. I was slightly bemused by the decision to rebrand it as the first book in the Edge Chronicles series (it's actually the fourth), but shrugged it off. What a mistake.
For a start, the introduction, present in each book, is supposed to introduce the reader to the world of the Edge, in case this is the first book they have read. In this edition, however, it has been "updated" to a synopsis of the story, which rather defeats the point of actually reading the book. Things do not improve, either, with a large chunk of "updated" material at the beginning copied word-for-word from the tenth book, The Lost Barkscrolls (which, for some reason, has not received an "updated" edition).
The book then segues into the real opening scene, in which the "updated" characters appear not to have anything vaguely resembling a memory or an attention span. Quint bounces unpredictably between anger, fear, grief and merriment, whilst Maris forgets his name at least twice. The two talk at great length, and then in the "updated" next chapter, we discover that they are actually mortal enemies.
As the book progresses, there is not a lot to compliment. In general, long conversations in which we learn more about the main characters and their relationships with one another have been "updated" to pointlessly melodramatic posturing, whilst the exciting action scenes, at which the authors really excelled, are now dull blow-by-blow accounts. The dramatic climax of the story, meanwhile, is nowhere to be found, despite being wonderfully written in the original.
The one extra star I did give is for Mr. Riddell's excellent illustrations, which mercifully have not been "updated" in any way. However, if you have any interest in it (or, presumably, other "updated" Edge Chronicles) other than as a book of concept art, I strongly suggest that you search for the 2002 Corgi paperbacks on eBay or in a second-hand bookshop.
Update (2014-08-01): Thanks to a friendly local bookshop who let me have a brief look through their copies, it seems that only these Edge Chronicles books have been mangled in the way I described:
* The Curse of the Gloamglozer (this one)
* Clash of the Sky Galleons
* The Last of the Sky Pirates
* The Immortals
The other books have barely been edited at all in the new editions (apart from the changed introductions and new numbering system). I have no idea what went on at the publishers to cause this, but hopefully this is helpful information for someone.