Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Curse of the Gloamglozer, by Paul Stewart


A fun young adult read--and even more notably, one that is truly appropriate for young adults and even children. Stewart steers clear of sex, profanity, and even violence for the most part (what violence there is tends toward the action variety rather than out-and-out gore). The characters are not terribly compelling, but then they aren't the main point of the story anyway. Stewart has created a complex and elaborate and incredibly original universe full of fascinating creatures and places. Libraries full of scrolls on wooden trees (in an amusingly literal depiction of the "branches" of knowledge), a floating city over the Edge (of what, you ask? It is not entirely clear), and flying rocks are just a few of Stewart's more inventive creations. Though the plot was decent enough, I found myself wanting to learn more about the world Stewart created than the people that lived there or the things that happened. Still, to leave a reader wanting to read more of his writing is more than many YA authors can boast.

As for the illustrations, they do contribute to the overall feel of the book, and provide the reader with some much needed context in such an otherworldly setting. Riddell's drawings have a decidedly Silversteinian quality, and he is at his best drawing places and non-human creatures (which might be hard for readers to visualize without assistance)--his "people" are less impressive.

A short and easy read, even if it's not terribly deep or meaningful. But if you're looking for a good, clean, fun read for a young (or young-at-heart) adult, this is a worthwhile find.

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