Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
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PART ONE of a well written story with flaws
am 8. April 2013
1. Ransom Riggs can write. He (or she) writes so very well that until the first quarter of the book is over you will not even realize the flaws. So well you will enjoy this book in spite of its flaws. For the story telling I give 5 stars even. But -
2. What seems to be a huge advantage of the book is really a drawback: the wonderful photographs. They were the reason I bought this book and I looked at them before I started to read the story. Each and every picture tells you a story longer and (unfortunately) more interesting than the one written around them. For that's what the story is: It's written around the photographs, meandering and taking turns not for the sake of the plot but to be able to bind in all the amazing snaps shots.
But because they are that amazing and invite you to look at them more closely, to imagine the stories they tell and the worlds they invoke, it is obvious they are not part of this book's story and do not show what the author wants us to see in them. You cannot use three pictures of three different girls and claim they are one and the same. You cannot show us a picture of a young man in his 20s and claim he is a little boy. None of the stories for the photographs work because they are an art of their own and speak for themselves. The dubbing sounds wrong and by that pulls us out of the story we want to hear and believe. That's why it's only 4 stars.
3. Again: the story is well written, beautifully at times. But it lacks structure and purpose. In itself it's inconsistent, unbelievable at times (not the concept as a whole, not the fantasy in general but the character development, the decisions made) and too ad-hoc in many places. Much of the suspense plot leads nowhere in the end and it seemed to me as if the author hadn't been sure how (s)he'd let it end until (s)he'd written it. It would explain the lack of structure. (SPOILER!!! What if the hollows had in fact been the nazis? It would have made so much more sense. This way the whole world-war-II-scenario is nothing more than background and - as so many times in the past - used to get awards because it automatically makes the story meaningful when in fact it doesn't mean anything. If you'd left that part out, the story would have worked just the same.) That's why it's only 3 stars.
4. This is not a story. It is part one of a story. There is no ending whatsoever, nothing is resolved. It's the first act. If I had known about that I would not have bought the book and I would not have waisted the time to read it. I hate this trilogy-mania and I refuse to buy and read three (or more) books to finally know what the story is about. That's why there are only 2 stars left.
That doesn't mean I will not keep an eye on the author. Great writing indeed. Wish there had been an editor around.