- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Matador (12 Dec. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 178803970X
- ISBN-13: 978-1788039703
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,097,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Sorceress and the Postgraduate Paperback – 12 Dec 2017
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
One thing that was really disappointing was that there was not much focus on the historical aspect. There were maybe just a handful or less references to historical figures or time points, and while this was definitely appreciated by me, it just wasn't enough. If you are going to brand a story by saying it is historical fiction, it needs to be a lot more historical than this!
One of my biggest issues was with the lack of proper development with the story. Things are pretty much just told to the reader rather than shown. We are told what happened to lead to the 4 sorceresses saving Constance. We are told by Constance about her relationship with Albrecht Durer. We are told what led the Oxford student to steal the object. All of these things (and many more) could have been shown if the author had lengthened the story to include the relevant events. It was also disconcerting how quickly Constance adjusted to the modern day. For someone trapped in a bottle, she adapted way too quickly to her surroundings. There was no trace of an antiquated style of speaking, no shock from seeing all the new inventions around, just the enthusiasm that a tourist would show when traveling to a new country. Even the thoughts and feelings of the Oxford student who discovered her lacked strong development, and seemed to be very ... childish.
The writing style of this novel was really not up to my standards. It read like the musings of a teenager rather than work that has been shown to an editor. It was all very childish and if I had been a preteen, I would have enjoyed this. But there was no indication that this book was meant for a younger audience, and if I'm to judge it as an adult book, it falls way off the mark there.
Believe me when I say that I really wanted to enjoy this book. However, the childish writing and lack of proper development of the story was something I could not get past. I have to give this a 1/5 stars.
As Constance- the sorceress- learns more about current times, they go in search of other magical items, which leads to another “borrowing”, that of the Alfred Jewel. From there we have Alice-in-Wonderland shrinking, magical fish, giant talking birds, and giant spiders. It’s a wild ride.
While the Witch in the bottle and the Alfred Jewel are both very real, the story is really only on the marginal edges of “historical fiction”. It’s fantasy, pure and simple. While it was a rather amusing read – and a very fast one- it’s not the best I’ve ever read. Constance adapts to the 21st century way to fast to be believable (she also gets over her 15th century lover promptly). She, and the other historical characters, all speak modern English. The story doesn’t really have a plot; it’s more of a series of adventures that aren’t really guided by anything but their curiosity – which is a splendid reason to do things in real life but it doesn’t make for a good story. And I really disliked the main male character. It reads like a first novel (and may very well be); the author has some good ideas so I hope he gets better. Three stars.
Overall, the story is very one dimentional and linear; a lot of telling rather than showing. The characters were a little too perfect, especially considering a post graduate stole a bottle and released a witch from a different century, then help her integrate herself into the current year.
This is would be a book to recommend to high schoolers, it's faced paced and light. If you go in thinking it's a youth/young adult book, the lack of complexity isn't a negative. (Not to knock YA of course)
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.