Top critical review
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A Frustrating Read.
on 9 June 2014
*This review is spoiler free*
I'm in two minds about this novel. Whilst I thought that 'Ghost Hawk' was an interesting, poetic and well researched story that successfully blended history and fantasy together, I couldn't help but feel that I was 'detached' from Cooper's narrative and her characters due to how often the author summarised story events, and how she 'chunked' the novel into four sections.
Rather than painting a vivid and detailed picture that grips the reader and forces them to feel empathy, hate, or any emotion for her book's characters, Cooper has instead created characters who, to put it bluntly, I found difficult to care about. The author often tells the reader what the characters are like, or shows the characters to be overly-serious and two-dimensional. Without spoiling the book for anyone who hasn't read it, I do understand why Cooper chose to present the characters as zealous and serious people due to its historical context, but I still feel as though the characters could have been more likeable. Even John and Little Hawk, the novel's two main protagonists, are difficult to relate to because they are simply too serious!
However, I don't want to be completely negative about this story, because I do genuinely believe it's worth a read. As mentioned previously, the novel is written in a poetic style that may or may not be your perfect cup of tea. I think that younger readers may struggle to access the book because of its style, as there are several instances that could be extremely tense, but arguably aren't because of the novel's poetic tone. It's also worth mentioning that I found the historical context of the novel really interesting, as I knew very little about the Native Americans before reading this book, and it inspired me to do a little bit of research after finishing the final page!
Overall, I'd say this book isn't for me, but I can definitely see the appeal. If you want to try something a little bit different and crammed with historical context, this may well be the book for you!