Customer Review

14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Idea for a Story!, 5 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Stoneheart: 1: Stoneheart (Hardcover)
I was really looking forward to reading this book, but, as happens all too often when there's a considerable hype attached, I was somewhat disappointed.

There were certainly things I really liked. The pacing is fantastic; it kicks off at a run and ends up at a gallop. It's very visual. The dialogue is totally convincing. And the concept, (London's statues coming to life) is a mesmerising one.

However, as the story progressed, I started to feel that this one brilliant idea had been stretched a little too far, and I wasn't convinced it was enough to sustain an entire book, let alone a forthcoming series. Basically, it's a story of two children being chased by living statues; they run, the statues chase them ... that's it ... chapter, after chapter, after chapter. Although it seems an unlikely thing to say, after a while the excitement starts to get a little repetitious ... almost boring!

My other issue with this book is that it's one of those stories that depends on the sort of irritating plot device where the main protagonist doesn't really understand what's happening, but everyone else around him does, and no matter how many questions he asks they never quite get around to telling him anything useful. The `Gunner' (who's meant to be helping George), is always giving annoying cryptic hints or saying things like, "...wrong question again. Just come ..." So do the sphinxes, Dictionary and the Black Friar; they keep George intentionally confused by withholding vital information ... but ONLY because it serves the plot from the reader's point of view.

The children at the centre of the story, George and Edie, aren't particularly sympathetic characters. George isn't the most heroic of heroes, and Edie has an disturbing habit of settling arguments by being nasty, bitter and hitting anyone who disagrees. Personally, I find that stark realism and fantasy rarely fit well together, and, as a result, I didn't find myself caring about either of the two children very much; I liked the statues more than the humans, and, bizarrely, found them more believable! There's a lot of swearing in the text; this didn't bother me especially, (it's usually appropriate to the adult characters speaking), but some parents might want to be aware of the content before giving this book to younger readers.

Finally, if you're a dragon fan, don't let the cover image deceive you; there's only one dragon (statue) in the story, and it appears only in one chapter.
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Location: UK

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