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Rae of despair
on 21 April 2015
I'll be kind and class this as fan fiction rather than plagiarism but really what we have here is a very clunkily written Harry Potteralike.
Orphan whose parents died in traumatic circumstances? Tick
Brought up by aunt and uncle? Tick. Except, let's be a bit different - they're nice to her. Yes, it's a she orphan, not a he.
Sudden summons to an English boarding school? Tick
Find out you're there to learn magic? Tick
Discovery that your parents were powerful magicians and you're expected to be the same? Tick
Except - there's something evil going on and nobody is prepared to talk about it. Tick
And so on.
Now the writing. Bad. Very. The author seems to have swallowed a dictionary, or rather a word list, as there's no indication she understands the meaning of many of the terms she sprinkles generously about, I was particularly taken with the 'combustible, deadly fire' which orphaned our heroine. We won't go into her attempts to write a Welsh accent, total failure doesn't begin to cover it.
Then there's characterisation. There isn't any; just a bunch of cardboard cut outs with physical characteristics and a magical ability.
Finally we come to the setting. England imagined by someone who doesn't know the country and hasn't done any discernible research. Those supposedly British cardboard cut outs talk about their Moms - really? Manchester and Edinburgh described as being at opposite ends of the country, well hardly. The blithe assumption that a sixteen year old can have a driving licence. The school has a 'dean'. No, lady - the term is 'bursar'. Just wrong, all of it.
I admit I'm hardly the target audience for this pathetic confection but the teenage girls it's aimed at deserve better. I did read to the end, utterly transfixed by how dreadful it was, sort of literary equivalent of a rabbit caught in the car headlights. I will not be seeking out anything else by this author.