2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Extruded Fantasy Product,
This review is from: The Ragwitch (Paperback)
I've recently found out that this was an early novel of Nix's, which means that I can forgive a lot of the sins I'm about to recount... not that it's going to stop me listing them.
I read this book myself, as well as giving it to my cousin's boys, aged 13 and 14. I found the main character wet and unlikeable. My nephews found him really patronising. He gets a little better as he goes through the book but I felt there was a bit too much sobbing for comfort. It might be a realistic response, but if my lads are anything to go by it's not the sort of thing that playstation generation kids (even quite intellient ones who preffer books to tv) want to read. If memory serves me, I don't think it's the sort of thing I would have wanted to read either. It's been a long time though.
One of the things that I like about Nix is that he gets into the action quickly, but I have to admit this one could have used a couple of extra chapters to let us settle into things. It felt arbitrary and rushed.
The setting was another thing that really galled me. I'm used to getting rich settings with a little depth but the Ragwitch's setting just made me think of a low budget 80s fantasy film, which could have been endearing, but the 12 foot rag doll and explanation for how she got that way just really spoiled it for me. Also the Celticness irritated me. Charles DeLint can't do it and neither can anyone else. Gratuitous Celticness is SAD. Making your world sound fantastical by turning it into a Welsh A-Z went out with the dinousaurs.
The later parts of the book were quite good, but my ire returned in force when I read the last half a page. I hate the old "I will smooth your memories clean of these terrible events" chesnut never fails to make me spit broken glass. The lads didn't comment on that one. I'm not sure they read that far.