Top critical review
It's fine but lacks the zing at the end
on 30 July 2013
"Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven." So starts this tale of an unusual, but not a forbidden, love. The love story ambles along and develops, which is a surprise in itself. Then along comes a half-raven girl child with the mind and desires of a raven trapped in a girl's body. This girl is called simply "Raven Girl," and we study biology along with her.
A visiting professor, "The Doctor," who "looked fairy ordinary," was however, capable of miraculous transformations in his laboratory. It is during her biology lesson that the modern world properly intervenes with stem cells and operations. Raven Girl asks for an operation to give her a raven's wings so that she may fly. The Doctor replies to her wish quite honestly, "I don't know if I can do this ... Most of the things I do for people are aesthetic, not functional." The book is itself beautifully presented - the drawings are haunting.
There are some ups and downs as are expected in a fairy tale, but not in a direction the reader would necessarily expect. There is originality shown. Is there a fable in here? Is this a morality tale? If so, it might be about mixed-gender individuals who identify with one gender while their body conveys the other more strongly. That is only one postulation. My gripe would be that there isn't the sense that the highly-read author is giving a message. The words "fairly tale" are included in the book flap, which conveys the authorial intention to this reader. Isn't the whole point of a fairy tale to leave a message that lingers with the reader? That is what the time immemorial fables do. The lack is the reason for this score.