Book Reviews

El círculo del fuego blanco by Lara Ríos

El círculo del fuego blancoENGLISH BELOW

Rating: 🍁

Este libro falla en su intento de emular el género de fantasía juvenil, lo cual es triste porque no hay tantos buenos ejemplos de él en Español como los hay en Inglés (y desearía que los hubieran).

Simplemente, este libro es aburrido. La mayoría de la historia es gastada en exposición, con muy pocos eventos o sucesos. La protagonista no tiene iniciativa, ella no hace nada a través de su coraje, o sabiduría o cualquier otra habilidad o atributo memorable, y simplemente sigue las instrucciones que recibe de parte de otros personajes que no tienen porqué no haber resuelto el problema ellos mismos. Se sintió como si dos tercios del libro fueron gastados dándole instrucciones sólo para que ella pudiera completarlas en unas cuantas páginas, y ya, con eso el libro termina. 

También se detienen así como de la nada para rezarle a Dios… ¿para que los ayude a resolver el problema que ya de por sí van a resolver? No sé, yo crecí en el mismo país católico que esta autora y me imagino que lo incluyó como una costumbre común, pero dentro del contexto del libro se sintió fuera de lugar ya que no le agrega nada a la historia, y la historia sería igual si el rezo no estuviera ahí. 

También es súper evidente como la autora fue influenciada por A Wrinkle in Time de Madeleine L’Engle, al punto de que uno podría alegar (y me duele decirlo) que hubo plagio. Hay tres personajes ancianos y místicos conocidos como: el Señorpresente, el Señorfuturo, y el Señorpasado. Me parece demasiada la coincidencia, además considerando que el libro trata sobre una niña que viaja a otro mundo para salvar a un familiar. 

No le recomendaría este libro a nadie. 

——— 

This book fails in its attempt to emulate the middle grade fantasy genre; which is unfortunate because there aren’t as many great examples of it in Spanish as there are in English (and I wish there were more). 

It is just plain boring. Most of the book is spent on exposition, with few events actually happening. The protagonist has no initiative, she doesn’t DO anything out of her own bravery, wisdom or any other memorable skill or attribute, and she simply follows the instructions that she is given by other characters who have no reason to not have solved the problem themselves. It felt like two thirds of the book were spent on giving her instructions just so she could complete them within the span of a couple of pages and then the book was over.

They also randomly stop and pray for God to help them solve the problem that she is already going to solve anyway? I don’t know, I grew in the same Catholic country as this author and I can see how she probably included it as a commonplace thing, but it just felt random and out of place to me since it didn’t add anything to the story and the story wouldn’t change if you took it away. 

It’s also too evident how the author was influenced by A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, to the point that one could say (and it hurts me to do so) that there is plagiarism. There’s three mystical, old characters known as: Misterpast, Misterfuture and Misterpresent. It seems like too much of a coincidence when you pair it with a young girl who travels to another world to save a family member.

I would not recommend this book to anyone. 

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Book Reviews

Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir (Author), Steenz (Illustrator)

Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir (Goodreads Author), Steenz (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator)Rating: 🍁

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is not a book I can honestly recommend.

The main character is very unlikable. She is: immature, stubborn, willfully ignorant, self-indulgent, and as other reviewers have pointed out, emotionally abusive. She is offered help constantly but always refuses it and instead flips those offers on their heads in order to accuse the people who are trying to help her. She also mistakes anger for determination.

At one point she fully admits that she doesn’t want help and that apparently what she needs to do to feel better is to lash out at people? Again, that’s emotionally abusive.

There’s also a small hint of romance that is not believable because it plays out like a fantasy from the main character’s mind. The person who seemingly has a crush on her lists qualities that she has NOT displayed up to that point in the book, and it just sounds like he’s saying what she’s wanted to hear all along, which is a lie.

The most enjoyable aspect of this book is found in the character design. The cast was diverse (including body types) and a lot of thought was put into the outfits and their bright colors and patterns.

But I was often pulled out of the story because the action was sometimes hard to understand, and the transitions from scene to scene were too abrupt. I found myself flipping back and forth in multiple occasions, trying to figure out if I had missed something. I hadn’t, it was just a sudden transition.

The story itself (archivist at a museum helping the ghost who haunts it) is not a bad pitch; it is the reason why I wanted to read this, after all. But the execution could be much improved.