[DWJ] Best of 2008

jenne at fiedlerfamily.net jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Tue Dec 23 13:09:58 EST 2008

> And I'm using that to connect to a very disappointing book on the
> "boy-meets-dragon" plot: Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley.
> I hung out for months for the pb to be available in Australia.
> I loved Spindles End and liked Sunshine even though the narrator does tend
> to carry on a bit, but the narrator of Dragonhaven is incredibly verbose
> and
> mostly has nothing to say. The problem that drives the plot is extremely
> farfetched AND badly explained, and each plot development is visible
> chapters away. In the end I felt I was wading through words that meant
> nothing.

As usual, I feel like I'm the only one who actually liked this book. Which
is ok. Part of it may be that the narrator's voice is very much like
McKinley's blog voice, which I'd already been reading for a while. I felt
like I was being shown Jake's state of mind through his narration; but
perhaps only a few people could feel connected to that alleged state of
mind. The legal/political problem that drives the plot is all too
believable to me, but then I've worked in Non-Profits, as a librarian, in
the US, for years.  There are definitely three endings, and they do feel--
odd. I thought they were supposed to; but I can see how it would be
maddening. I don't think I liked the last ending, it has an "alternative
ending for Podkayne of Mars" feel to it. (Then again, I just re-read
_Spellcoats_, OBDWJ, and I find that ending, in the context of the other
books in that world, frustrating in a completely different way.)

By comparison, Chalice felt light and fluffy, a return to _Beauty_ but
with less plot substance.

-- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa
jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

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