Chessie (chessie_reeves) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book 36: The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier

Here is book thirty-six from my Book List 2009. The link leads to a more detailed review in my journal.

36. Title: The City in the Lake
Author: Rachel Neumeier
Pages: 294
Thoughts: Link
Review in five words or less: Lifeless start; interesting villain; anticlimactic.
Personal Rating: «««¼ out of five.

In Timou's magical world, the Prince has suddenly gone missing and with that event, everything within the Kingdom is out of sorts. Life seems to be stagnant and nothing feels right. A powerful force has invaded the Kingdom and is trying to take control of it.

Timou's father is a mage and she is learning the craft from him. When he disappears as well, Timou gradually begins to realize that the Kingdom's disturbances are linked to the disappearances and her mysterious family heritage. Thus begins her journey to the Kingdom and the City in the lake.

I think Neumeier had solid and fascinating ideas for her book, but when it all came together, I didn't particularly like the result. The first 85 pages are incredibly dull, so much so that I almost stopped reading. It took a long time for me to wade through this because I would find my thoughts wandering while I should have been paying attention to the action in the book. Some of Neumeier's concepts were abstract. Now this would be fine if the author made some acknowledgment of them when scenes abruptly shifted due to the ever changing worlds, but this wasn't the case. It was difficult to distinguish which actions were happening in which worlds and if dream sequences were actually real.

The best thing about the book was the villain. The casual cruelty inflicted on those who disobeyed was horrible, but well written. Neumeier describes those scenes so well that you can almost feel the pain. With a villain as evil as this one, I fully expected a battle royale at the end. When you are told what happens to the villain by another character instead of reading about the villain's actual experience for yourself, it detracts from the book and made it feel incomplete to me. Unfortunately, this made the ending anticlimactic and extremely disappointing.

One other thing I liked about this story is that Neumeier's prose is pretty. Her wonderfully detailed descriptions made many scenes come to life. I enjoyed the scenic descriptions and the villain, but I can't say that I recommend this book.

36 / 50 books. 72% done!

12,654 / 15000 pages. 84% done!
Tags: fantasy, young adult

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