review of Merlin Conspiracy

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Sun Dec 7 20:12:20 EST 2003

Hi All

There was a reasonably favourable, quite long review of MC in the Globe and 
Mail this weekend.

Full text:

I thought it was quite a good review, both in terms of it was reasonably 
favourable, and in that it said decently interesting things about the book. 
Then I got to the paragraph that started with this sentence:
"What the novel lacks in nuanced character development, it almost makes up 
for in boisterous invention."

I thought this was a very odd (and harsh) criticism of DWJ, since her 
character development almost always seems to me to be interesting and nuanced.

It goes on:
"Roddy and Nick are put through the paces of magical transformation so 
quickly they become paper thin. Roddy is overbearing and brave - Nick is 
handsome. We know they are attracted to each other because Wynne Jones 
tells us so. Like all good conspiracy, subtlety is fast sacrificed for the 
intricacies of plot."

Now is it just me, or is this a misreading of the so-called attraction? I 
thought Nick was clearly attracted to Roddy, but not because I was told so. 
Plus, I thought Roddy was not equally attracted to Nick. I wonder about 
Nick's standout characteristic being "handsome"; I thought if one were to 
be reductive, one would go with "selfish".


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