Friday, April 12, 2013

Storybound (Marissa Burt)

(The Storybound series, Book 1)
Marissa Burt
Fiction, YA Fantasy
*** (Okay)

DESCRIPTION: Seventh-grader Una Fairchild loves nothing more than escaping into a good book. She never thought she'd actually fall into one. But when she discovers the strange book in the corner of the library - the one with her own name on the cover - suddenly she finds herself in the middle of the story, with no idea how she got there or how to get home.
Peter Merriweather only wanted to pass his practical exam on Heroics at the Perrault Academy for characters. Despite being partnered with the snobbish girl Snow as his Lady companion, he was doing just fine... until a strange girl pops up right before the dragon encounter, ruining everything. Angry as he is, he can't help feel sorry for poor Una - and a little afraid. He's heard of people being Written In to the world of Story, but not since the terrible days of the Muses. Under the reign of the Talekeepers, who locked away all the old books to protect the characters of the world from Muse-penned lies, WIs shouldn't be possible.
Peter and Una soon find themselves up to their necks in a dark plot that threatens the world of Story, stretching back to the days of the Muses and rumors of a long-lost King. Faced with an ever-increasing array of powerful, deadly enemies, getting home soon becomes the least of Una's worries.

REVIEW: I wanted to like this book more than I did. It's a great idea, one that should've riveted me to the page. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get past the often- cliched characters and situations. Friends and enemies largely sort themselves based on first meetings. The baddies do a lot of skulking and scheming (conveniently when they can be overheard by snooping children) and nefarious hand-rubbing. The good guys, on the other hand, spend much of their time repeating things they already know, constantly reminding the reader of the questions they're trying to answer. They also trip themselves up more than once, in ways that had me wishing I could fall into Story long enough to smack them upside the head. More or less despite their actions, the tale builds to a tense climax (one fairly obvious plot twist notwithstanding)... only to end with a To Be Continued non-ending. That cost it a half-point in the ratings, and assured that I won't be picking up Book 2 unless I'm particularly desperate for reading material. It's an interesting premise, with some glimmers of good ideas here and there, but ultimately I just couldn't connect with the characters or their world.

You Might Also Enjoy:
Inkheart (Cornelia Funke) - My Review
The Book of Story Beginnings (Kristin Kladstrup) - My Review
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Patricia Wrede) - My Review

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