Thursday, January 02, 2014

The Apprentices (2013)

The Apprentices. Maile Meloy. Illustrated by Ian Schoenherr. 2013. Penguin. 432 pages. [Source: Review Copy]

I still have mixed feelings on both books in this series. (The first book is The Apothecary). On the one hand, there are lovely little historical details in both books that make me want to love these books. (The books are set in the 1950s. The first book was mainly set in England. The second book is set in America and Asia. Multiple locations in Asia.) On the other hand, there is a fantasy element to be dealt with. A fantasy based on science, chemistry, and transformation. Main characters take potions to transform into birds in both books. Main characters take potions to be invisible, etc. In this one, there is a potion or recipe for long-distance telepathy. I found this strange to say the least. One can experience the world through-the-eyes-of-another. I had a hard time comprehending how this works, why this works; it was convenient to the story obviously. But my main issue was how romance factored into it. It just didn't work for me. For example, why does the hero send someone across the ocean to "protect" the heroine from a rival love-interest (a classmate, a waiter). It is like he's refusing to see the actual real threat right in front of his eyes; the truth is that she is in danger, in a dangerous position because she's blinded from real threats as well. But no one is really able to do anything right then and there to take her from the situation because the whole plot depends on her being the bait.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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