Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Book Review #789
The Loose End Of The Rainbow by D. B. Pacini
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I was excited to see that I had won this book in a Firstreads giveaway.  I was even more thrilled to see that it was a young-adult book. YA is my favorite genre. While I admit that the story's premise was an interesting concept, the storyline was not well developed. I also had a hard time getting into the book because it was fragmented and confusing. 

This novel was supposed to be fantasy, but when you take characteristics from today and mix them with people from 500+ years ago, you lose some of your credibility.  The characters were unimaginative and stereotypical.  If they had Japanese elements, then all of them were Japanese: from their name, to their clothing, to the way they gathered food, and lived.  You either need to have your own culture for your fantasy world or you need to borrow and extrapolate to make it your own.  You can't take random things out of history and expect them to flow smoothly in your fantasy novel.  

I enjoy footnotes with useful and helpful information. I did like how some of the footnotes gave descriptions about the food and plants.  But at times, the informative footnotes disrupted the flow without adding relevancy to the story. I couldn't figure out if the novel was a fantasy disguised as an educational book, or an educational book trying to be a fantasy novel. Distracting footnotes were inserted with random bits of information that had no relevance to the story. Although it is commendable to have historical and educational footnotes along with a story and one of the footnotes in this book featured Martin Luther King Jr., I was confused about why he was even referenced in this fantasy novel set hundreds of years before his time.  To introduce this man in a footnote and never refer to him again was very odd. He had nothing to do with the storyline and inserting his information was jarring.  In another instance, the author added a complete footnote explaining that the descriptive phrase mentioned, “wet spot in a haystack,” was a phrase used by one of her relatives.  This would be great to interject as interesting trivia in a conversation, but would only be relevant as a footnote if the book were an autobiography.   There were several footnotes of this type in the book. There were at least two instances where Wikipedia was given to find more information. Wikipedia is not a legitimate reference and should never be used be as a reputable source. 

There were sentences throughout the book that made little or no sense.  It was almost like someone had cut one long sentence in half and inserted a period in the middle with the second sentence starting where the last one left off.  There were also random bits of dialogue that were out of place or jarring because they didn’t flow well.  I would find myself having to decipher what point the author was trying to get across due to the way she wrote things down.  There were many instances in the story where the conversations were stilted and incomprehensible.  

I was genuinely confused about the ending.  I didn’t see why things worked out the way they did, and I wondered why they had gone to all the trouble in the first place.  I felt there were major plot holes in the story.  I had a hard time getting through the entire book because of the abrupt writing style.  I was often puzzled when a paragraph in the story ended abruptly and then the next paragraph started a completely different topic with no transition.   This happened too many times and it was a struggle to finish the book. 

In my reviews I try to be fair, but truthful.  I know that someone worked extremely hard to bring about this story, and this story is a part of them.   Although the author put a lot of thought and effort into creating the different people, this book had major flaws in flow and plot.  I would not recommend this book.

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