This week’s book was, to say the least, a huge disappointment. I picked up Pegasus because it was written by Robin McKinley–one of my favorite authors, whose books I will buy without reading reviews or checking popularity, simply because she wrote them. If I see her name on a book I buy it no questions asked. Normally that serves me well, but this time it was a bust. I was quite (unpleasantly) surprised by how much I disliked this book.http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=Bibliograph07-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0399246770&fc1=F3EDED&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=040404&f=ifr
Normally, I try to put a positive spin on a book and encourage people to read it, even if I don’t particularly care for it. This time, I’ll say don’t bother. It is a YA novel about a girl in a fictional world, who is a member of the royal family. Every prince and princess, on their twelfth birthday, is “bound” to a pegasus. Sylvi, the protagonist, is bound to a jet black pegasus named Ebon, and though most humans struggle greatly with communicating with their pegasus, Sylvi and Ebon have an abnormally close relationship, and are able to communicate psychically. Now, here’s what I don’t understand…if a human can’t speak with their pegasus, is forbidden by taboo to touch their pegasus, cannot ride them, and otherwise has only severely limited interaction with their pegasus…how exactly are they “bound” to each other? That was my first issue.
My second is that it is dead boring. The conflict is unclear throughout the entire novel. One gets a vague feeling that human magicians might be evil and plotting to keep humans and pegasi apart, but the reasons for this are unclear, and there is no clear enemy established. It’s basically all about Sylvi and Ebon having to grow up and bridge the gap between their two races, all the while trying not to freak people out too badly with their unusual relationship. It focused less on plot and more on character description and historical detail. It got exciting in the last ten pages, but then McKinley did that thing that all YA authors are doing, which is starting to tick me off–she ended it right smack in the middle of the action, obviously indicating that there’s another book. Because this book was so painful to read, I will not be reading the second one.
When I read a novel, I like to be able to pronounce the names of the characters, and most of the words in the book, even if I’m pronouncing it wrong. Some names, like “Siobhan,” (pronounced shuh-VAHN, looks like see-oh-BAHN) are often mispronounced, but even if I have to guess how it’s pronounced, it still flows phonetically in English. All the names in this book, and the pegasi language, look as though McKinley said, “Hmm…what should I name this one?” and proceeded to jam her hand down at random on the keyboard, building a name out of whatever keys she hit first. Every time I come across these in the text, it’s like a hiccup. It interrupts the flow of the paragraph and it is so irritating.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=Bibliograph07-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0441017673&fc1=F3EDED&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=040404&f=ifrIf you want to read a good Robin McKinley novel, read Spindle’s End. It’s amazing and I will reread and review it here soon. It’s what got me hooked on her in the first place. Or how about The Hero and the Crown? I haven’t read it, but it won a Newbery Award, which is the highest award given in children’s literature, so you know it’s good.http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=Bibliograph07-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0441013058&fc1=F3EDED&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=040404&f=ifr