Reading Challenge Day 3

At least, I think it’s the third day. My sleep schedule is always a bit off on the weekends, and every kind of comprehension sort of goes out the window.

Another day, another book down. It’d be nice to keep up this pace, but I dunno. I’d also like to get through more than one book in a day, but although it’s a lot easier for me to burn through ebooks, they are still books. The brain gets heavy and, er… think-y. It’s like a big meal. Chewing and swallowing aren’t exactly demanding tasks, but digestion takes time and occasionally effort.

I’m also reading some things not on my lists of 10 and 5. My copy of The Laundry sourcebook came in the mail yesterday, and although present tense has still managed to keep me from getting into the actual meat of the The Laundry Files (sorry Stross, that is my hang-up) I love the premise and what I have managed to glean. I’d like to get people to play this. Here’s hoping for better success than the last time I tried to interest others in a Cubicle 7 game.

Anyway, the third book I finished was Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos. I was thoroughly confused for a good 30 e-pages until I looked up the author and found her to be an American. That cleared up a lot of the confusion. I’m still iffy on the intended time period though (guessing 190X?) which keeps happening to me lately.

My biggest problem with the book is that the main character, though mostly likeable, is very one-note. Although she does have harrowing moments, she still seems to be stuck on a single emotional display. That emotion is not a simple one, but still. This is a bit difficult to explain. Maybe what I mean is more that she has only one tone of voice. She gets scared, annoyed, elated, different emotions appropriate to what’s going on, but she always sounds exactly the same.

Yes, that’s how I would put it. Theodosia is something of a “Buffy narrator”, to coin a term. She’s stuck on semi-detached snark mode, and this is the voice in which she delivers every bit of the story. To her credit, she is likeable and has a real personality.

I couldn’t stand her parents, though. Talk about Adults Are Useless. They were the sort of people that one simply cannot comprehend even having children. Her father is dismissive, rude, and criminally negligent. Near the beginning, Theodosia talks about how he works late at the museum, basically forcing her to sleep there. And that she does not feel safe there.

This eleven-year-old girl sleeps in a sarcophagus because the curses and dark magic make her feel unsafe in the museum at night. Never mind that in this world, all of those curses and magic-y things are real. She should be at home in bed. Her father’s response to her sleeping in a sarcophagus? Irritation at the impropriety. He tells her that she should sleep in an armchair. Because that’s so great for her back.

But that’s just a reason not to continue the series. I know that parents in YA books are always weird and often horrible parents if you look too closely (in some cases, if you pay them any attention whatsoever), such as the hysterically useless mum in the Spiderwick Chronicles. It doesn’t make it okay. Just because the parents aren’t important to the story doesn’t mean they have to be bad parents, for one thing.

Anywho. I keep dipping in and out of Jingo. It’s a little hard to read in e-ink because I’m used to the audiobook, so I slow myself down with a mental rendition of Nigel Planer‘s performance. This means I can’t really read it quickly, and that can get a bit frustrating.


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