Daniel and Dina Nayeri
We begin with five children. Each one is longing for something more than what they currently have (umm, who isn't?)...so strongly in fact that it becomes a weakness or flaw in their character tainting their hearts black (which becomes visible when wet.....an odd, yet intriguing write in). If you haven't heard the old adage, "it's not what's on the outside but what's on the inside that counts"....this book will certainly show you where that came from. Let's take a look at our cast....
- Victoria - Eager to stand out from the pack, and the shadow of her adorable brother, she desires to be the best at everything. Win every award, take top prize in academic competitions....an "A" is not good enough for her. She wants that "+" with all of her little blackened heart.
- Valentin - Son to a couple of poets, he happens upon a family shame occuring right under his nose. Seeing how his father reacts, or rather doesn't, enrages him...pushing him to imagine what he would do if given the chance...
- Christian - Stealing does not come naturally to this unfortunate child of fate, but it has become his means of survival. After losing their home, he keeps his father as well as himself going with the rations he procures. Seeking a way out, he longs for a life where he no longer has to worry about poverty, or going hungry...simply about being the best.
- Belle - Twin to Bice, she wants to be the most beautiful girl..the one others CAN'T resist....
- Bice - Twin to Belle, she is satisfied with the way she looks, just wants for more time to read her books and increase her knowledge. (note to reader, her name is apparently pronouced "Beee, Chee", not "B" "ICE" as my head was reading until I was three fourths of the way through the book and the pronunciation was made to another character...)
When a story is told through one person's eyes, you really get to know their voice, develop a mental image...become their imaginary friend as it were. You are invited into their world as a guest and are able to partake of their adventures (although in this book, you may not want to experience some of the events....think shock and awe..). I didn't really feel that connection with this book. That's not to say that I didn't appreciate the story with it's twisted plot and religious/historical tie-in's (multiple references to legion as well as one to the forgotten tongue), or the flashback type entries at the beginning of each chapter (those were really good), but overall, it did not strike a happy note with me. Even the ending (as I was hurridly reading the last few pages at about 3 AM....), left me with a funny taste. It's not quite an ending, nor is it a beginning as the book suggests.....it just sort of ends.
Have you read this title yet? If so, who was your favorite character? If not (or if you feel like answering this one too), if you could be given any power in the world, what would it be and why?
Feel free to leave your comments and feedback!
Until next time....happy reading!