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Book Title: The Crow|
The author of the book: Alison Croggon
Date of issue: June 1st 2012
ISBN 13: 9781406338744
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 480 KB
Edition: Walker & Company
Read full description of the books The Crow:I loved The Naming. I loved The Riddle (with a few notable exceptions with parts near the end). But I might as well be honest. I did not like The Crow. It took me a long time to pick this one up and read it, and I’ll be honest, it was because of the lack of Cadvan and Maerad. I really got wrapped up in their story, and I was none-too-pleased to realize they weren’t in The Crow at all, but I decided to give it a chance anyway, and I was disappointed. In comparison to Cadvan and Maerad, the characters fell flat. The situations seemed less realistic. The story was darker than the first two books, but I think it tried too hard to be dark. At some point, I stopped being appalled by things and started thinking, “Ok, now that was just done for the shock value and to illustrate that the Nameless One is a Very Bad Man.” Yes, the Nameless One is a villain. Yes, he is a bad man. He is a very bad man. I don’t need the author to bash that into my brain by having him kick babies in his free time. She does, at least, give an explanation for why some things are done (which is good), but it’s not entirely convincing. In the end, I forgot the storyline was so much darker than it had been because it was more convincingly done in the first two books.
I still have hope for the series, and I do look forward to reading the last book, but I really thought this one fell flat. That’s a shame too, because I do love Croggon’s writing for the most part. And even though I really didn’t like this particular book much, I still love the first two, I still expect good things in The Singing, and I would still gladly recommend the series to others.
With that said . . . here are a few of the notes I made about things that bothered me. (Possible spoilers. I tried not to get too specific, but I want to give fair warning just in case.)
1) As Eliza said to Freddy in ‘My Fair Lady’, “Please don’t explain. Show me!” Yeah, yeah. So the kid’s heart is bursting with anger. Don’t tell me. Show me his fists are clenched and his eyes are brimming with tears of rage or some such. Show; don’t tell.
2) A makeshift hospital during a siege will probably not be an atmosphere of peace, even if you do like healing. I’m sorry, but no.
3) Adults who are a vital part of planning battles during a siege or who are in charge of short-staffed overrun war-time hospitals are not going to have time to stop and have comforting talks with children in the middle of what they’re doing. No, it’s not fair, but it is battle. A healer doesn’t have time to let men and women die so he or she can comfort a weepy child. It’s just not realistic.
4) Hundreds of men and women sacrifice their lives bravely and die in battle, and forever more the bards will sing of . . . the boy who talked the birds into fighting off some other birds. Yeah, it’s a good idea and helps the cause a little. A little. Not enough for the entire town to talk about him and for bards to write a song about him. Next thing you know, they’re going to be building the kid a statue. Which the birds will then make a mess on as they say, “Hey, we did all the work! Why don’t you give us some credit?”
5) And your new name shall be . . . Slasher Blood? Oh, come on. Are we in a fantasy novel or the WWF? I laughed for a solid five minutes over that one, and I don’t think it was supposed to be funny. I mean, seriously? Slasher? First thought: fake wrestlers with bad face paint. Second thought: Wait . . . you mean he writes that weird Harry/Snape fanfic? Ew. Yeah, yeah. So these are some tough little kids because they collect ears they’ve bitten off of people and name themselves “Slasher” and “Slitter” and “Reaver.” I get the point. They’re Very Scary Children. You don’t have to keep hitting me over the head with it.
6) Boredom: perhaps NOT the best emotion to describe what someone might be feeling when in disguise in a hostile enemy stronghold fearing discovery and excruciatingly painful death at any moment.
7) “Hem sniffed the air uneasily: it was heavy with a vague menace, which grew stronger the closer they came to Dagra.” I wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow if he hadn’t actually smelled the air. So that uh “vague menace” there, what does it smell like anyway? Does Yankee Candle perhaps sell this scent? If not, maybe I should suggest it to them. “Dear Yankee Candle, in your winter line, I would like to suggest the following scents: Vague Menace, Quivering Fear, and Dank Oppression. I do hope you will comply, as I cannot quite decide how to take over the world without your candles to help me instill fear into people everywhere with their wicked scents.” Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot, “P.S. If you decide not to make these scents for me, I will kidnap your puppy, turn it against you, and make it eat out your intestines. And I’ll throw your lollypop on the ground too, because I am a Very Evil Person.”
8) So the hero is trapped right under the enemy’s nose. He’s just been caught trying to escape. There are deadly creatures flying around. Most importantly, there’s a barrier that extends so high birds can’t even fly over it and an impregnable gate. How does our hero escape? He passes out and when he wakes back up, he finds an earthquake and a battle have taken out the obstacles between him and freedom. Whiskey tango foxtrot? Can you say Dues ex machina? Prime example. Come on, Croggon, you’re better than this.
Read information about the authorAlison Croggon is the award winning author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Books of Pellinor, named a Top Ten Teen Read by Amazon in 2005. You can sign up to her monthly newsletter and receive a free Pellinor story at alisoncroggon.com
Her latest Pellinor book, The Bone Queen, was a 2016 Aurealis Awards Best Young Adult Book finalist. Other fantasy titles include Black Spring (shortlisted for the Young People's Writing Award in the 2014 NSW Premier's Literary Awards) and The River and the Book, winner of the Wilderness Society's prize for Environmental Writing for Children.
She is a prize-winning poet and theatre critic,, and has released seven collections of poems. As a critic she was named Geraldine Pascall Critic of the Year in 2009. She also writes opera libretti, and the opera she co-wrote with Iain Grandage was Vocal/Choral Work of the Year in the 2015 Art Music Awards. Her libretto for Mayakovsky, score by Michael Smetanin, was shortlisted in the Drama Prize for the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. She lives in Melbourne..
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