Monday, January 3, 2011

Trickster's Girl ~ Hilari Bell review

Trickster's Girl
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
January 3, 2011
288 pages
Buy/info @ Amazon


It's a century after 9/11 and the world--or at the least the US--is now a mix of Big Brother with everything more secure and a science-y Jetsons with vehicles that 'fly.' People might have found a way to prevent murders and track everyone's whereabouts, but they haven't found a way to heal the environmental troubles. In this new, sophisticated, advanced world, magic might be the only answer.

Yes, magic.

Kelsa's a teenager who understands the security of her world, but also that nothing can protect her from death. Her father has just died from cancer--a rising epidemic in society. It's just after his funeral when she's approached by an odd boy. He claims that the planet is dying--by human's doing--and that only magic, that he needs Kelsa's help with can save it.

Kelsa will have to travel far, far out of her comfort zone both to believe him and help him.


I went in to reading Trickster's Girl thinking it was going to be something other than what it was. I think I thought it was going to be more about the future, more of a dystopian novel where magic was a part of it. In a way, I suppose, that's what it was, but it also was not.

I actually found myself thinking quite a bit of the Buffy episode 'Pangs' while reading this (if anyone knows it, it's in Season Four, the one on Thanksgiving). **slight spoiler** There were shapeshifters in the book and there's a scene like that in the episode, too ;) The talk in the book of all the harm human's had caused the Earth reminded me of Willow's arguments in that episode, too. **end slight spoilers**

The beginning of the book was rather interesting, setting up some of the way the world worked in 2098 and how it was different from 2010 and how it was not. I also enjoyed meeting Kelsa and seeing how she was morning the loss of her father. (Not because it's enjoyable, but because it was well done and you also learned more about the society while learning about her grief.)

In the middle, things seemed to drag on for a little while. I understood what the characters were doing and why they were doing but it seemed to take a while for them to get from event from event. It also seemed like there was always something going wrong or side trips but not in a way that made things particularly interesting, but just for something else to do.

I was looking for more . . . ooomph with a lot of the book.

The ending was more enjoyable, again, than the middle and, as I believe this is a series--or at least has a sequel--I will read the next book, or at least give it a try, but I don't think I'll buy it.


**spoilers** This book is likely worth reading if only for the fact that it has shapeshifting Indian/Native American spirits in it. And things about ley lines and 'healing' the Earth after we humans have damaged it. I don't believe I've heard about or read any other books that have the same plot points. I think it could have been a stronger book, but it was unique and contained interesting and original (to YA fiction) ideas. **end spoilers**


6/10


read thanks to NetGalley

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