Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Review: Secrets of the Book by Erin Fry

You don’t choose the book — the book chooses you.

Sixth grader Spencer Lemon is rapidly losing his eyesight. So he has no idea why he was chosen to guard Pandora’s Book. When Ed, the old guy at a nursing home, hands over the book, there’s no time to explain the rules to Spencer. Spencer only knows that the book contains famous dead people — who can be brought back to life.

Then Ed disappears, and a strange man shows up on Spencer’s doorstep — and he seems to know a lot about Pandora’s Book. Is he a bad guy? Or can he help Spencer unravel the secrets of the book? There are others interested in Pandora’s Book, others who might use its powers for evil. It’s up to Spencer; his friend Gregor; and Ed’s mysterious granddaughter, Mel, to protect the book — and save the world.

E-galley received for review.

I wanted to like this, I really did, but I ultimately had to abandon it about a third of the way through out of sheer boredom.

The premise was interesting but the characters were just so incredibly boring or felt like you were supposed to be watching an After School Special.  Spencer was okay, but he had some sort of mysterious degenerative eye disease which had absolutely zero point in the plot besides giving him an interesting disability to overcome.  Yawn.  Even more annoying was his best friend, Gregor.  Gregor is autistic.  Again, this adds nothing to the plot and there is so much about how special Gregor is because he is autistic and how he must be handled with kid gloves that it just feels like an After School Special.  Gregor as a character is fine, but it's the author's treatment of him that is more than a bit annoying.  The story is less about the magical book than about Spencer's eye problems and Gregor's autism and left me wondering why I should even bother.  Of course, I didn't actually bother to finish this because it was so, so ... frankly, not good.  It wasn't actually outright bad, but it wasn't good either.  I quite resented losing the couple hours or so that I spent reading this.

I really cannot recommend this at all and I really have no desire to see more from the author.  Ever.

☆☆☆ = Just Okay


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