Title: Bad Magic
Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
[Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and unbiased review of this book. I was in no way compensated for my review and was not required to provide a positive review.]
This book is part of a series of books written by Pseudonymous Bosch. Now I don't know Mr. or Mrs. Bosch, but I do happen to appreciate the play on words in the name. It's kind of like Lemony Snicket. It's fun. It catches the reader's attention. It makes me think, right off the bat, that I am in for something fun along the way.
But this was a very, very long story. It was very slow developing. It was very slow getting to the point. And when we finally did get to the point it wasn't like there was an 'aha!' kind of moment; it just kind of happened. "Yep, it was a ruse all along. Now we'll let you in on the real secret." And the secret was rather disappointing.
So here is where I am with this story: I'm uncertain. I finished it a week ago and I sat on the review because I'm just not certain. There were elements of the story that were fun and wonderful. I especially enjoyed seeing all the connections to The Tempest—this was probably my favorite aspect of the book. I enjoyed that there were subtle hints of blossoming teenage romance, but that it wasn't overdone. I enjoyed that as far as a nemesis is concerned, it was mild.
I'm not sure there was anything to dislike about the story, but I'm not really sure there was anything that really drew me in and compelled me to want to read another in the series. There was some humor. There was a pseudo-ghost story. There was a little bit of action. There were clues and a sort of mystery. But it all seemed like so much 'let's hurry and include all the elements of a good story without any real reason for including them.'
It had a lot of elements. It had several characters. It had some 'suspend your disbelief' moments and elements. I didn't even find the characters to be overwhelmingly likeable.
But I'm just not certain that by the end of the story I was sufficiently drawn in to give this story an overwhelming seal of approval. It might just be me; maybe others will feel differently. But here I am standing on the ridge of 'did I get' and teetering largely to the side where there is a resounding echo from the 'no' chasm.
By and large, this book was a disappointment to me. I do not say that easily because I like to like books, but at this juncture I can say little else.